Asked by: Aines Bartosz
asked in category: General Last Updated: 30th January, 2020

Do sea otters eat sea urchins?

Sea otters are foragers that eat mostly hard-shelled invertebrates, including sea urchins and a variety of clams, mussels, and crabs. They have an interesting method of eating their prey. By controlling sea urchin populations, sea otters promote giant kelp growth, as that species is a favorite of sea urchin grazers.

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Considering this, how many sea urchins can a sea otter eat in a day?

California sea otters eat up to 1500 sea urchins (uni) a day.

One may also ask, do sea otters eat purple sea urchins? Sea otters, sunflower stars and California sheephead prey on purple sea urchins. Sea otter predation on purple sea urchins helps protect kelp forests from destruction. Sea otters that regularly eat purple sea urchins are easily detected—their bones and teeth turn sea-urchin purple!

Also question is, how do sea otters and sea urchins interact in their ecosystem?

Sea urchins are herbivores and feed on seaweeds like kelp. When urchins are uncontrolled by predators they become larger and more abundant, feeding on kelp until little remains. This type of relationship between a predator (sea otter), herbivore (urchin), and plant (kelp) is known as a trophic cascade.

What sea animals eat sea urchins?

Sea urchins are preyed about by many predators that inhabit their marine environment, but also those animals that don't. The main predators of the sea urchin are crabs, large fish, sea otters, eels, birds and humans. In some countries, certain species of the sea urchin are hunted and served as a delicacy.

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