Photo: Mom gives sea otter pup a ride

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And the prize for cutest marine mammal goes to ... ?

Photographer Sam McMillan took this photo in California's Morro Bay Harbor which is a known "sea otter hot spot." Sea otters belong to the weasel or mustelid family, and like their cousins they have super thick fur – if you can imagine this: 850,000 to one million hairs per square inch, according to The Marine Mammal Center. This means they have the thickest fur of any mammal. Which leads to the need for a lot of grooming by moms, which they often do while toting their babes around on their backs. Which translates to: Photo op!

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