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When you think "river otter," you might not think "weasel," but that's exactly what they are. Relatively huge, semi-aquatic weasels as equally at home in water as they are on land. They will live in only healthy watershed ecosystems, which includes rivers, estuaries, lakes, or swamps. In these ecosystems, they are the apex predators; small but ferocious, nothing tops them. This mother leads her one youngling through a special area of river diving for small crabs. Using paws to grab crabs would be unwise, so they crunch the crabs down with all they can manage using just their powerful jaws. Sometimes the crabs fight back though. Scars are visible on their faces from the dangerous claws that have gotten the better of them. To keep themselves dry, they are born with a special oil in their fur that repels water. After they leave the water, there's nothing like a roll in the sand located on their favorite dune to fully dry off.
More river otters are popping up along California's coastline after a combination of over-hunting for furs, polluted waters, and habitat loss ravaged the species. Fortunately, new watershed protection laws have been introduced, which has helped the mysterious but lovable water weasels bounce back.