Hi there, my name is Oscar and I am a Sea Otter.
Wow! aren't you growing up fast now and it's not long till you will be off to Toddler levels so I better start helping you prepare.
Let me tell you a little bit more …
In this Level, we concentrate upon encouraging our little swimmers to extend their swimming both on top of and under the water. Swimming strokes are a focus, preparing children for entry into level 7 and their final baby level. Water Safety Skills learned in the previous levels are added to also. We have some great fun with more boisterous volunteer swims with exciting lifts into the water plus what soon becomes most children's favourite activity, jumping in and learning to do this in a safe and controlled manner!!!
My name is Oscar and I am a Sea Otter. Did you know that Sea Otters are the heaviest of the otter family?
Otters are from the same animal group as Weasels, Badgers, Polecats, Honey Badgers, Wolverines and Mink. Sea Otters are quite special though as we are the only member of the family that can live our entire life in water.
I expect you might go very wrinkly if you tried the same!! Our special fur, similar to that of Barney the Beaver who you met last term, keeps us nice and dry.
Sea Otters, live mainly along the Pacific Ocean on the west coast of America. Our smaller Otter cousins, can be found all over the world, in America, South America, across all of Europe and Asia too. We are one big Otter family.
Unlike most other marine mammals we have no blubber (fat under the skin), to keep us warm. Instead we have instead lots of our special thick fur to make sure we don't get cold. We have the densest fur of any animal with over 150,000 strands of hair per square centimetre! Now that's a lot of hair! We are carnivores as we eat meat and we have to eat quite a lot to keep our bodies warm. Our favourite foods are clams, sea urchins and mussels but we also treat ourselves to a crab, some types of fish or an octopus every now and again.
The food we eat is very important. Sea Otters need a lot of food, we eat between about a quarter of our own body weight in food every day. That’s a lot of food, we are always eating!!
Sea Otters are clever too, as we can dive up to 100 metres to find our food. That’s a long way down!! Our front paws are just like your hands, we can do everything we want to with them, we use our front paws to lift and turn over stones under water when we are looking for food.
We have also learned to use tools to help us open the shellfish we catch to eat. We use our paws to hold stones which we use to crack open mussels and sea shells that we find under the sea. Its lots of fun, we lie on our backs, put the shells on our tummy and crack open the sea shell for a yummy dinner.
I am sure your Teacher has told you many times that when swimming most of your propulsion will come from your arms and good paddling. Sea Otters, use the rear of our body, our hind legs and webbed feet to move. We are very fast swimmers, we can get up to speeds of nearly 6mph. I learn from my mummy and I shall stay with her until I am a year old.
Do you like playing on the raft in your lessons? Well a group of Otters is called a raft, but please don't get mistaken and try to sit on a group of us when we are resting in the water!! We love to play games, we make our own waterslides and play with the stones we find on the sea floor or the beach.
I hope you have lots and lots of fun and games in your lessons.