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Otter Gifts

Otters have long, slim bodies and relatively short limbs, with webbed paws. Most have sharp claws on their feet, and all except the sea otter have long muscular tails. They have a very soft, insulated underfur which is protected by their outer layer of long guard hair. This traps a layer of air, and keeps them dry and warm under water.

Overview of the Otter

Otter Facts

Otters are part of the Scientific order Carnivora which includes: bears, dogs and cats.

Otters are part of the Mustelidae family which includes badgers, skunks and weasels. There are 13 species of otter. Otter species include the European Otter, Cape Clawless Otter, Northern River Otter, American Clawless Otter, Oriental Small-Clawed Otter, Giant River Otter and Sea Otter.

Otters can be found in almost every habitat on Earth and may dwell above ground, below ground or in the water. Otters can be found on all continents except Australia and Antartica. Otters live in fresh water rivers, lakes, marshes and sea otters live in coastal ocean waters. Otters are usually found no more than a few hundred meters from water. Most otter species rely on aquatic habitats for food. With the exception of the sea otter most otters spend a good deal of time on land.

All otter species occupy a home range, the size of the range varies by species and location. Terrirtories are different from home ranges. They are smaller and otters mark their territories with scent. Same sex territories do not overlap and are defended by their owners.

Otters are highly active, intelligent and adaptable. Otters have long slim muscular bodies, with forepaws shorter than their hind legs. When Otters are on land, they are fairly nimble runners and leapers. They use a combination of running sliding, and bounding. Otters range from 26 - 94 inches long.

Otters have flattened heads and short thick necks. Otters have whiskers on their muzzle that are sensitive to touch and vibrations that occur underwater. They use their whiskers to detect movement of their prey. Otters have small ears that, like their noses close when they are in the water. Otters have a fine dense fur, the length of the fur varies with the species. Otters have very good hearing. Otters are excellent swimmers. They regularly groom their fur to maintain its insulating qualities. They can spend a significant amount of time each day grooming. Otters communicate vocally by producing different sounds.

Otters live 10-15 years but mortality can vary by species.

About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals an educational wildlife and animal website. Jacob also guest writes for Dog Pound

Otter Gifts




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