Sea Otters tended to haul out in the same general area often within touching distance or less than 1 body length apart.
We believe the reason for this day-night difference was the presence of human disturbance during daytime, which caused Sea Otters to remain in the water, and that this disturbance mimicked the effects of predation by making it more costly to haul out than to spend time in the water.
Our results support the expectation that a larger proportion of Sea Otters would haul out when temperatures are lower both seasonally and daily, by showing an increase in the proportion of Sea Otters hauled out with decreasing air and water temperatures.
Conversely, too high a tide decreased available haul-out space on the beach (the beach is narrow and abutted by a low cliff), limiting the number of animals that could haul out.
However, the walruses did not haul out randomly (Fig.
Diurnal patterns in haul-out behaviour in pinnipeds are often linked to day versus night variations in temperature, light regimes, or other environmental variables such as tides, which make it more profitable to haul out under certain conditions.
Walruses are gregarious mammals that haul out together, so this was not unexpected.
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