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Sea otters often float at the water's surface, lying on their backs in a posture of serene repose. They sleep this way, often gathered in groups. Otters sometimes float in forests of kelp, or giant seaweed, in which they entangle themselves to provide anchorage in the swirling sea. Sea otters have thick underfur that traps air to form an insulating layer against the chilly waters (they have no insulating fat). This coat is invaluable to otters, but it has worth to some humans as well. Sea otters were hunted for their fur to the point of near extinction. Early in the 20th century only 1,000 to 2,000 animals remained. Today, sea otters are protected by law.