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David Helvarg

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"The terminally cute sea otter is a marine weasel into rough sex. The male otter's arms (legs, whatever) are effective for grooming their fine pelts or cracking shells on the rocks they place on their bellies, but they are too short for getting a good grip on a mate. So the male gets firm purchase by biting down on the female's nose before going for a little splendor in the kelp. Afterward you can often spot the females hauled up on rocks along the shore, their fur matted and their noses bloody. It's not hard to imagine that a female with a heavily scarred nose might get a reputation as an easy otter."
--
Los Angeles Times, January 26, 2005.

 
David Helvarg

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