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oh my gosh the end of this video :3
August 29, 2012 7:59 PM   Subscribe

Nellie the Sea Otter stacks cups at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
posted by boo_radley (48 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
I had a choice of watching the RNC or this. I made the right choice. :)
posted by HuronBob at 8:01 PM on August 29, 2012 [18 favorites]


And in 3 million years, evolved super otters will have whole machine shops balanced on their tummies, turning bits of sea shell on tiny little lathes..etc...
posted by Chekhovian at 8:02 PM on August 29, 2012 [13 favorites]


Squeeeee!
posted by arcticseal at 8:12 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


All this and rafting too!
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:14 PM on August 29, 2012


I've made those exact same motions when cooking.
posted by The Whelk at 8:15 PM on August 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


I can do that!
posted by Mister_A at 8:19 PM on August 29, 2012


AHHHH SO FUCKIN' CUTE!!!!!!

watch out, cats, next I'm building an aquarium...
posted by notsnot at 8:21 PM on August 29, 2012


All these smart animal posts are making me think that we are the dumb ones. Those fuckers are trolling us, she is thinking, "look at this, They pay me food to stack these cups, can you believe it? They can't even stack cups. Don't say anything, let's see how much food they give us"

Likewise the crow from the other day was thinking, "All I got to do is make a hook out of this wire for them and I get free food? Dumbasses"
posted by Ad hominem at 8:24 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


If I may...

Man [has] always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much-the wheel, New York, wars and so on-while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man-for precisely the same reason.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:32 PM on August 29, 2012 [24 favorites]


"Chimps Have Geniuses, Too"
posted by Egg Shen at 8:34 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


So long, and gee thanks for all the fucking cups.
posted by howfar at 8:35 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


They all hold hands at the end.
posted by weston at 8:37 PM on August 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


True, they are very cute. If I was there I'd probably spend a few minutes tossing them cups to stack. I'd also want to rub their bellies, they are like sea cats. Goddamnit, they got me too!
posted by Ad hominem at 8:41 PM on August 29, 2012


' otters are' auto completes on google to ' the new cats'
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


You've probably got to tailor the challenge to make it like something they'd naturally be interested in. The cups with fish in them are a little like mussel and clam shells that they'd play with or crack open in the wild.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:48 PM on August 29, 2012


baby otter and baby cat are BFFs
posted by Ad hominem at 8:52 PM on August 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


Great. My job just got outsourced to a frikkin' OTTER. Three generations of cup stacking expertise down the tubes. NO THANKS NOBAMA
posted by sapere aude at 8:53 PM on August 29, 2012 [14 favorites]


Yes.
posted by The otter lady at 8:54 PM on August 29, 2012 [17 favorites]


Poor sea otter thinks it's getting a fishy treat, but it keeps getting plastic cups. :(
posted by mudpuppie at 8:58 PM on August 29, 2012


Whelk: I get "otters are evil" and then" otters are vicious". Huh.
posted by boo_radley at 8:58 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Radical anti-otter extremists
posted by The Whelk at 8:59 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this the same Nellie? She is an otter of many talents. I must meet her.
posted by lilac girl at 9:06 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


She got a couple of fish at the beginning, mudpuppie. If you don't pay, the otter don't play.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:08 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this the same Nellie? She is an otter of many talents. I must meet her.

That otter is saying Redrum, Redrum. I'd stay away.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:10 PM on August 29, 2012


Well, a sea otter confined to an aquarium is probably bored and desperate for any sort of excitement, just like my cats...
posted by ovvl at 9:13 PM on August 29, 2012


An otter stole my baby.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:37 PM on August 29, 2012


Charismatic Megalafauna perhaps.
posted by area45 at 9:50 PM on August 29, 2012


An otter stole my baby.

That's nothing. An otter stole my beer.
posted by revmitcz at 9:52 PM on August 29, 2012


The dawning of the sea otters ?
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 10:00 PM on August 29, 2012


An otter stole my baby.

Are you sure your baby wasn't actually an otter? They can be sneaky that way.
posted by homunculus at 10:41 PM on August 29, 2012


So cute! Except for the baby-voice the trainer uses.

I'm convinced the otter is just humoring us. "Oh god not this stupid cup-stacking again, let's get it over with, here you go, now stop breaking up your cup tower lady, I have better things to be doing."
posted by Joh at 11:48 PM on August 29, 2012


If you go kayaking at Elkhorn Slough, you are required, possibly by law, to kick out any sea otters that decide to climb onto your kayak.

This is why I have not been kayaking at Elkhorn Slough.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:59 PM on August 29, 2012


I refuse to believe that there's a law requiring you to kick otters. Cats? Yes. Otters? No way.
posted by 1adam12 at 12:34 AM on August 30, 2012


I live in a coastal city by the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. We had my prom at a venue right over the water of a major river. my friends and I were on the deck looking down at the boats, and several very large otters hopped up on this boat and just began playing around, diving in and out and splashing water everywhere. I still get amused thinking of the people coming out to their boats during the day, and finding puddles of water in their benches and decks when it hadn't rained, and then becoming confused, not knowing they had been visited by otters.
posted by FirstMateKate at 1:06 AM on August 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's the handing-it-back parts that melts me. Any time there is a moment of complete understanding and cooperation between humans and animals, such joy!
posted by likeso at 2:15 AM on August 30, 2012


When I was in NZ I had a the choice to swim with wild dolphins or wild otters. I chose dolphin, and I chose wrong.

Does anyone have a good explanation for the incredible amount of (unless I'm anthropomorphizing) "play" behavior otters exhibit?
posted by digitalprimate at 2:57 AM on August 30, 2012


I love the part that begins around :31 where Nellie can't get the cups to fit together and kind of looks up with this "What are you people trying to pull here? I don't have time for this. I'm an otter. I only have time to be awesome" expression. And then she tosses the cups into the water.

Nellie clearly knows how to live.
posted by darksong at 3:52 AM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here is a .gif from the relevant Reddit thread in regards to Nellie's :31 aggravation.
posted by rachaelfaith at 5:21 AM on August 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


"Does anyone have a good explanation for the incredible amount of (unless I'm anthropomorphizing) "play" behavior otters exhibit?"

Mammals, especially young mammals, learn through play. Baby wolves wrestle, baby elephants go mud-sliding, baby tigers chase balls. Some play behaviors seem to help prepare juveniles for adulthood (practicing hunting or fighting behavior), but some play seems like it's just good fun, and adult mammals keep doing it too (if less often).

We do know that baby humans, if you want them to succeed at Harvard, ought to be in play-based early childhood programs, not skills-based programs. Play in juvenile humans is crucially important for brain development -- in humans, play definitely helps us develop social skills that help us live as tribal creatures, and encourages the sorts of creative thinking and problem-solving that help students achieve higher levels of learning. But it also does good things for our brains even when we play by ourselves and play non-social games or just dork around; it's not totally clear why. It's not a stretch to imagine it might aid the brain development of other mammals.

Also, I totally own the same set of stacking cups as that otter.

/spends a lot of time defending kindergarteners at play to parents who want them drilling vocabulary on flashcards and insisting upon the intellectual utility of recess for K-2 students.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:34 AM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm convinced the otter is just humoring us. "Oh god not this stupid cup-stacking again, let's get it over with, here you go, now stop breaking up your cup tower lady, I have better things to be doing."

"Now, here's my answer to the halting problem..."
posted by tommasz at 5:35 AM on August 30, 2012


FACT: all animals with mustaches are cute.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:01 AM on August 30, 2012


Amazing. I LOVE OTTERS!

this was a good read
posted by molecicco at 7:29 AM on August 30, 2012


you ever feel the need to float in the water playfully, holding hands and eating oysters?

Well you otter.
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 AM on August 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


The otter believes it is performing a magic trick, with the aid of their human assistant.
posted by orme at 10:20 AM on August 30, 2012


I used to go to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium all the time -- usually at least once a week -- when I lived in Tacoma. It was cheap to get in ($6, I think) and the otters were like proto-Caturday.
posted by notashroom at 11:12 AM on August 30, 2012


The Whelk: otters are
Baited trap successful. I feel like I've been RickRoll'd. :)
posted by IAmBroom at 11:41 AM on August 30, 2012


I've always said that if I had to be reincarnated as any wild animal, I hope for sea otter. Everything I see of sea otters reinforces this idea, especially the end of this video where they all hold hands.
posted by VTX at 6:34 PM on August 30, 2012


Nellie the sea otter plays with her shape puzzle
posted by homunculus at 4:38 PM on September 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


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