New Research Shows the Importance of Archaeology When Studying Sea Otters

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Much can be learned about sea otters from the remnants left behind by their species.

The field of archaeology has historically been associated with human civilization and its ventures into the animal kingdom have been restricted to primates like chimpanzees. Recently, however, attention has been drawn to the study of sea otters through archaeology, as several important revelations have emerged from the field, reports National Geographic.

The archeology of sea otters have been studied for decades, as scientists attempt to determine the origins of stone and tool use by sea otters.

Now, some of that study is bearing fruit, as observations like the consistency of cracks on one side of discarded mussels suggest that otters have a preferred hand. Likewise, the wear on the rocks and size of shell deposits can inform observers about the length of time otters have been present at a given site.

With the expansion of standard archaeology methods into marine life, the potential for greater understanding of different species is increased. Tool-using species like tusk fish and dolphins may be examined in greater detail, with facts about location and behavior open to investigation.

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