Photo: Urchin-eating sea otter saves the day

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sea otter eating purple urchin
credit: Sam McMillan / Flickr

Our photo of the day comes from the waters off of California.

While we may be swooning over those little hands delicately dining on such a delicacy, we'd be remiss to miss the bigger picture here. This is a photo of global climate crisis mitigation! Here's how it works: Kelp forests absorb CO2; kelp-devouring sea urchins are thriving and laying waste to kelp forests; sea otters eat the urchins, which gives the kelp a break. All in a delicious day's work.

Thanks to photographer Sam McMillan for this reminder about the importance of healthy, balanced ecosystems.

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. Alternatively, send it to with "photo of the day" in the subject line.

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