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Tool user at work!

As we were driving over the short causeway into Moss Landing, marypcb spotted a sea otter in the harbour. I pulled in at the side of the road to see three large otters basking in the early evening sun. Moss Landing is a good place to see sea otters close up, as it's where the Monterey Bay Aquarium releases otters into the wild after they've received vetinary attention. It's also the home of a couple of large rafts of otters, which use the calm of the harbour and a nearby slough to shelter from wild seas.

Tool user at work!

Suddenly one dived down, and came up with a pawful of mussels. It couldn't get into all of them, so it dived again, bringing up a stone which it carried on its stomach. In a flurry of water it began to break the shellfish open on the stone, quickly (and noisily) slurping at the opened flesh. We stood there for a while, just watching it feed.

Tooltime!

The otter would dive for more shells, holding the stone close to its chest as it dived, ready to use for the next batch of mussels. Down, up, crunch, bang, slurp. Occasionally it would tangle in some floating weed, ignoring the encumbrance as it concentrated on feeding.

Tool user at work!

Sometimes it's like living in a wildlife documentary.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
janetmiles
Apr. 28th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
Nifty pictures! May I link to this entry?
sbisson
Apr. 28th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
Off course!

[BTW everything I post that's public is linkable, so there's no need to ask, but thanks anyway...]
maetang
Apr. 28th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
Yay! Cute and clever!
angelcityblues
Apr. 28th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
Otters, I think, are one of nature's most incredible animals. Great pictures!
madcatwoman
Apr. 28th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, I adore sea otters. They look so lovely! No doubt they could give you a nasty bite/scratch/permanent disfigurement of some sort, but they are Teh Cute.
Your photos are always wonderful - I really ought to comment more...
davesslave
Apr. 28th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
Beautiful photos! I like kayaking in that area because the otters are very curious and will swim near the kayak.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )