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Photo: Sea otter revels in the kelp

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Our photo of the day reminds us of the importance of sea otters.

We love this photo by Sam McMillan of a Pacific sea otter wrapped in kelp at Morro Bay. First of all, it's just so cute, come on!

But also because it reminds us of what an important role otters play in the health of the coast. Otters feast on sea urchins and other invertebrates that graze on kelp, and in doing, the otters help protect the kelp and allow it to thrive. Not only does the kelp provide crucial habitat for a number of species, but kelp forests protect the coastline from storm surge and flooding as well as absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Who doesn't love a happy ecosystem?

Would you like to see your nature photo featured as the TreeHugger photo of the day? Join TreeHugger’s Reader Photo Pool on flickr and add your pictures to the group.

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