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17 Smallest Marine Mammals in the World

by Fitriani

Marine mammals are mammals who live in all oceans in the world. These mammals make the sea as their home. There are many types of marine mammals. They include sea otters, dolphins, seals, sea lions, polar bears, whales and manatees. These marine mammals also come in all sorts of size and shape. Some are big while some are small. This article will give you the 17 Smallest Mammal in the ocean. There are different kinds of species on this list who apparently come in a relatively small size. Read on to find out what these small marine mammals are.

1. Asian Small-clawed Otter

The Asian Small-clawed otter is a small marine mammal. The average measurement for this species of otter is around 65 centimetres.

The longest otter can only reach up to 94 centimetres. Besides that, the Asian Small-clawed otter also does not weigh much. Its weigh ranges between 1kg and 5kg.

This species lives in the South and Southeast regions in Asia. Its claws are so small and do not extend outside of the flesh of the paws. Its fingers and toes are also webbed.

2. Marine Otter

The Marine otter is a native mammal in South America. The length of this otter is usually around 87 centimetres.

But the large kind from this species can reach almost 1.15 metres. The weight of a Marine otter can vary from being 3kg or 5kg.

Its fingers and toes are also webbed. The Marine otter has dark brown fur. The fur is a lighter shade of brown around the belly area. The texture of the fur is rough and also tough.

3. African Clawless Otter

Another small marine mammal is called the African Clawless otter. The male African Clawless otter is usually bigger than the female.

On average, the adult African Clawless otter can measure up from 1.13 metres up to 1.63 metres. The weight of this otter can either vary from around 10kg until 36kg.

This species has no claws on their feet. The fur of this otter is very smooth. Also, the fur is long and quite silky in texture.

4. Giant Otter

The Giant otter average length is approximately 1.8 metres for the male. As for the female, it is able to reach 1.5 metres.

This mammal is commonly found in South America. The weight of the Giant otter can vary between 26kg and 32kg.

The length of the fur on this otter is very short. Moreover, the fur is extremely dense that water might find it hard to pass through. The colour of its fur is also brown similar with a hint of red.

5. Sea Otter

The length of a male Sea otter is usually around 1.2 metres but it may also reach 1.5 metres. Meanwhile the female Sea otter can grow up between 1 metre and 1.4 metres long.

The mass of the male can reach above 22kg. On the other hand, the female may weigh around 14kg with a maximum of reaching 33kg.

The Sea otter lives exclusively in the North Pacific Ocean. Its fur is so thick but it functions as insulation for its body.

6. Spotted-necked Otter

The next small marine mammal is the Spotted-necked otter. The males species of this otter may grow up to 76 centimetres. As for the weight, it can reach up to 6.5kg in total.

The female species of the Spotted-necked otter may turn 57 centimetres long as adult. The maximum length for the female is 61 centimetres.

For the female weight, the mass could be around 4.7kg on average. The fur of this otter species is brown but there are light spots all over its neck.

7. Congo Otter

The Congo otter is a species with the average length ranging from 60 centimetres up to 1 metres. The mass of this species can vary from being 13kg or around 20kg.

Unlike most otters with fully webbed fingers and feet, the Congo are only partially webbed. Its fur is very dense and velvety in texture. The claws of Congo otter is so small and do not grow beyond its paws.

Meanwhile, otter becomes ocean animals which become endangered. Threats to Sea Otter have been increased rapidly because of many factors. Not only otter, but also other types of ocean animals such as Types of Ocean Shrimp,  Types of Jellyfish in the Great Barrier ReefTypes of Dolphins

8. Smooth Coated Otter

The Smooth Coated otter measures up between 59 centimetres and 64 centimetres. The average weight of this otter is usually 7kg.

Other than that, the heaviest mass that this otter can accumulate is around 11kg. Unlike the other species of otter, the Smooth Coated otter has a rounder head and hairless nose.

Its fur is short and smooth. The colour of the fur is dark brown with a slight shade of red and also grey in the underbelly.

9. Neotropical Otter

The next small marine mammal is the Neotropical otter. This species of otter can be 90 centimetres or 1.5 metres long.

As for its weight, it ranges between 5kg and 15kg. The fur of the Neotropical otter is brown but it goes lighter in the throat and muzzle areas. There are webs between its toes. Moreover, the tail of the Neotropical otter is long and wide.

Furthermore, this otter usually can be found easily in South and Central America, as well as Trinidad Island. This otter also popular as river otter.

10. Vaquita

Vaquita is a small marine mammal that falls under the porpoise category. The average length of an adult Vaquita is 1.5 metres.

It can weigh up to 43kg or even more. Due to the small size of Vaquita, it is often nicknamed as ‘little cow’.

This mammal is listed as critically endangered. Each year, the population of Vaquita has drastically dropped in numbers. As of 2016, only 30 species are left roaming the open oceans.

11. Commerson’s Dolphin

The Commerson’s dolphin is one of the smallest species of dolphin. Despite its size, the dolphin is very active.

The dolphin can either reach around 1.2 metres or 1.7 metres. The usual mass of this dolphin is 23kg. The body of the Commerson’s dolphin is described as stocky.

The dolphin’s body is covered in black and white. The front and the rear end is usually black. As for the middle part, it white in colour.

12. Hector’s Dolphin

The Hector’s dolphin earns the title as the smallest species of dolphin. Thus, it also counts as one of the small marine mammals.

The adult Hector’s dolphin grow up to 1.2 metres or may reach around 1.6 metres. Also, the weight of a Hector’s dolphin could range from 40kg to 60kg.

The female species of the Hector’s dolphin has a longer and heavier body than the male. Other than being small in size, this mammal is also very rare.

13. Hourglass Dolphin

The Hourglass dolphin is a mammal that may reach 1.8 metres when it fully turns into an adult. The weight ranges between 90kg and 120kg.

Reportedly, the body of the male Hourglass dolphin is smaller than the female one. Moreover, the female also weighs more than the male.

The colour of the dolphin is black and white or sometimes grey. The white part of the body resembles the shape of an hourglass which it is named after.

14. Crabeater Seal

The Crabeater seal can overall reach 2.5 metres when it reaches the fully adult stage. As for its weight, it can be quite heavy since it is able to gain 400kg.

The fur of a Crabeater seal is mostly dark brown. However, some do end up with blonde fur.

But what makes the fur of this seal special is the fact that it can go lighter during the summer season. The body of the Crabeater seal is slim and slender. It also has long snouts.

15. Antarctic Fur Seal

The adult Antarctic Fur seal can go up to 1.6 metres long. Its weight is normally 84kg.

This small mammal lives in the Antarctic waters. The male Antarctic fur seal tends to be brown.

As for the female species and the young ones, they are often grey. The Antarctic fur seal diet consists of mostly krill and small fish. Also, this particular species of mammal is very individualistic in nature and likes to roam around alone.

16. Ringed Seal

Next we have the Ringed seal as a small marine mammal too. The adult Ringed seal can reach the size of 100 centimetres.

The longest species is able to grow up to 175 centimetres. The normal weight of the Ringed seal varies from being 32kg to 140kg.

Additionally, the Ringed seal lives in the Arctic waters. It has a small head and a small snout. The coat of the seal has silver rings on it that goes on the back and the belly.

17. Galapagos Sea Lion

The last small marine mammal in this article is the Galapagos sea lion. On average, the Galapagos sea lion grows up to 1.5 metres.

However, it may reach 2.5 metres long. The weight of this sea lion ranges from 50kg to 250kg.

The male Galapagos sea lion has a bigger body structure than the female. This sea lion loves to roam in the sandy beaches. It also likes to glide along the waves in the sea.

All these marine mammals are indeed small. But do not let their size fool you. Even though they may not be large, they also hold important roles in contributing to the ocean’s ecosystems. These mammals are also crucial to the marine habitat

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