Why do the sea otters clap? Is it fun for them? Asked a 5 year old; curious kid.
Sea otters are one of the favorite animals. Sometime we have to ask ourselves why animal does something is their natural behavior or not? If the sea otters clap in the zoo or in aquarium you might think it is trained by its human keeper. But what about wild sea otters? Do they clap too, and if they then why it meant to be?
Sea otters are fascinating creatures as they are air breathing mammals. Yet they spend most of their time at sea. They swim with their back feet and keep their hands free to do other things. They sleep usually out on the water surface, therefore, hold seaweed or deliberately each other to avoid drifting themselves. The quite fascinating sight is when they are resting with their eyes covered with paws.
Otters use their paws to tailor their furs. They have thickest fur coats among all animal to keep them warm in the freezing water. They maintain the thickest coat by rubbing their hands to the fur to let the air pass. Similarly, this keep them warm and dry and coat healthy. This may look like the clapping on their sides.
The most interesting thing sea otters do is feeding with their paws. They catch the hard- shelled prey like the shellfish or sea urchins. They will open the shell by hitting with stone resting on their body. Surprisingly they have their favorite stone in their armpits. While looking like they are clapping you can even hear the clap sound. The ravishing sound is the hard shell hitting the stone.
So, even the wild sea otter do clap. However, this clapping plays the useful role in their life. Hopefully, one day you will meet some sea otters having fun.