For several days this week, these two tiny sea otter siblings were floating around on their mom’s belly in Morro Bay, in central California. Alternately nursing and being groomed, or occasionally floating beside her, the little furballs are a rare pair: Roughly 2 percent of sea otter pregnancies result in the birth of more than one pup.

The odds that both will survive are even longer.

“We know it’s kind of inevitable. A mom cannot raise two pups,” said Michelle Staedler, sea otter research coordinator for the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Research and Conservation program.

Normally, sea otters only give birth to one pup at a time. The first twin otters (.pdf) were only reported in 1986. Now, this pair has brought scientists and photographers to the chilly Morro Bay waters, straining pairs of eyes hoping to glimpse and study the otters as they rest and float near the kelp forests.

“They’re pretty rare situations,” Staedler said. “This is the fourth one that I know of.”

[MORE: Tiny Sea Otter Siblings Fight the Odds]

  1. witchybookworm reblogged this from wired
  2. eeelllllliiieee reblogged this from wired
  3. theyseemecoleen reblogged this from wired
  4. sherlockedindecember reblogged this from wired
  5. brownichu27 reblogged this from wired
  6. synchrobubble reblogged this from ambaphoebelook
  7. ambaphoebelook reblogged this from soverylittlehoneybee
  8. soverylittlehoneybee reblogged this from wired
  9. gracezee2010 reblogged this from evapukesrainbows
  10. evapukesrainbows reblogged this from wired
  11. jaykwillyn reblogged this from wired
  12. shadow01mine reblogged this from thecutestofthecute
  13. inspirationalharddrives reblogged this from thecutestofthecute
  14. gimmecorgibabies reblogged this from thecutestofthecute
  15. extremeinferno reblogged this from thecutestofthecute
  16. no-more-soda reblogged this from thecutestofthecute
  17. beginning-of-entropy reblogged this from thecutestofthecute
  18. eerieshadows reblogged this from thecutestofthecute
  19. irriparablybroken reblogged this from thecutestofthecute
  20. mizunosakura reblogged this from thecutestofthecute
  21. landofloveandlittlebirds reblogged this from thecutestofthecute
  22. kimmie-98 reblogged this from thecutestofthecute
  23. emmcud reblogged this from thecutestofthecute
  24. arashiau reblogged this from thecutestofthecute
  25. thegirlwiththesugarskulltattoo reblogged this from thecutestofthecute
  26. makronette reblogged this from thecutestofthecute