2004, Pen and Ink on Scratchboard
This scientific illustration plate depicts the natural habitat and behavior of the sea otter for the general audience.
Sea otters wrap their bodies with sea weed when sleeping so they don’t drift away in the current. Sometimes they sleep holding each other’s hands.
Their fur is the densest of any animal on earth because they have no blubber (fat) to keep them warm, making it important for them to stay clean so the fur can trap air bubbles for warmth. Sea otters can be found scrubbing their head and bodies all the time when not eating or sleeping. Oil spills can therefore greatly affect their ability to stay warm, and many affected sea otters die from hypothermia.
Why Scientific Illustration?
Scientific illustrations are unique in that they need not feature one individual in a certain location, but the idealized image of a species in a habitat. This is achieved by researching literature and images and consulting with experts to include all the information needed for an educational plate.
11 x 8.5 Archival Quality Prints available. $35 print only; $75 matted print