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Sea otters are well-known tool users, employing objects such as rocks or shells to break open invertebrate prey. We used a series of generalized linear mixed effect models (GLMEs) to examine observational data on prey capture and tool use from 211 tagged individuals from five geographically defined study areas throughout the sea otter’s range in California. Our best supported model was able to explain 75% of the variation in the frequency of tool-use by individual sea otters with only ecological and demographic variables. In one study area, where sea otter food resources were abundant, all individuals had similar diets focusing on preferred prey items and used tools at low to moderate frequencies (4-38% of prey...

    map background search result map search result map Tool-use frequency by individual sea otters in California Tool-use frequency by individual sea otters in California