Otter: There are gigantic otters that, like many people, are considered chatterboxes for their species. They have a repertoire of 22 identifiable sounds despite their inability to form words. Each noise is designed to handle a certain circumstance. This is how huge otters communicate successfully with one another.
Otter Scientific Classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Mustelidae
- Genus: Lutra
- Scientific Name: Lutra Canadensis
- Otter Conservation Status: Near Threatened
- Otter Locations: Africa, Asia, Central-America, Eurasia, Europe, North-America, Oceania, South-America
- Main Prey: Fish, Crabs, Frogs
- Habitat: Riverbanks, lakes, and streams
- Predators: Birds, Fox, Wolves
- Diet: Carnivore
- Average Litter Size: 3
- Lifestyle: Solitary
- Favorite Food: Fish
- Type: Mammal
- Slogan: There are 13 different species worldwide
Otter Physical Characteristics
- Colour: Brown, White, Tan, Skin Type, Fur
- Top Speed: 7 mph
- Lifespan: 15-25 years
- Weight: 5-15kg (10-30lbs)
5 Otter Facts
- Otters are aquatic creatures with thick hair that helps them float.
- Rocks are frequently used by otters to split open food.
- When they are reproducing, the male otter attacks the female.
- Otters frequently clasp hands when feeding and relaxing.
Otters Scientific Name
Otters are classified as the L Canadensis species in taxonomy. The scientific term for an otter is Carnivora, while the popular name is an otter. It is a member of the weasel family, with the Lutrinae as its subfamily. Mammalia is the classification it belongs to.
There are 13 different species of otters in all. The gigantic is the biggest, yet the small-clawed is the smallest. The sea otter and the marine otter are two kinds of otters that live in water. River otters make up the remaining 11 species.
In 1913, otters were given the name otters for the first time. They were classified as one of the wild creatures found in the state of California. Otters have been referred to as land otters rather than river otters for over a century.
Otters Appearance & Behavior
Otters are noted for being slender and small creatures. Their necks are strong, and their legs are short. Their four webbed feet and long flat tails help them swim faster. Their noses and ears are short, and their fur is dark, silky, and thick. Their exterior fur is a variety of dark shades, with lighter furbelow. The fact that they have two coats of fur keeps them warm and dry. They might have one million hairs on each square inch of their body.
Sea otters are the smallest of the kind, at six pounds (eight times more than the typical can of soup), and the biggest, weighing 99 pounds (or 10 times more than the average cat.) The average otter is around two to six feet long. A full-sized bed, by comparison, is 10 feet long.
Chungungos, the world’s tiniest otters, may be found in the Southern Pacific Ocean. The world’s largest otter was discovered in Maine’s Big Fish, a body of water. While most otters are 40 inches long (about half the height of Michael Jordan), this one was 76 inches long, making it nearly as tall as Michael Jordan.
Otters like being in a group. They live in families made up of a mother and her children. They may be observed playing when they are not feeding or sleeping, and they frequently select the bank of a river to transform into their own slide board.
A raft refers to a group of otters that are in the water. They are known to a bevy, romp, or lodge when they are in a group but not in the water. Adult otters may become aggressive if they believe their young are in danger.
Otters may be found in a variety of habitats across the world. They love moist environments and may be found around beaches, lakes, seas, and freshwater rivers. The majority of them prefer to dwell in dens built by beavers and other similar creatures. These underground caves include a variety of interior chambers that keep them dry.
When it comes to sea otters, they prefer to be in the water rather than on land. They live along the coasts of central California, Alaska, and Russia’s Pacific coasts. Otters frequently seek refuge in vast kelp forests far from the coast.
Otters are carnivores, meaning they consume meat. The diets of various kinds of otters vary. Sea otters prefer marine creatures overland ones. This implies they consume snails, mussels, crabs, and other marine creatures, among other things. A sea otter will consume around 25% of their body weight in marine creatures each day. River otters eat a distinct kind of food. Birds and small animals are their favorites. Fish, frogs, crayfish, and crabs make up the majority of their food.
Predators & Threats
People are the greatest threat to otters since hunting them is a popular pastime. Because it is so ubiquitous, several species have suffered significantly as a result. These creatures have been hunted for a long time. When they first started, they utilized handmade weapons and arrows. Hunters began to set traps and shot otters that fell into them as the practice of murdering them got more widespread. Most people nowadays exclusively use traps to catch otters.
This species has traditionally been hunted by commercial fishermen. The reason for this is that an otter’s natural diet implies fewer marine creatures for fishermen to catch. Because the otters become caught in their fishing nets, some fisherman unintentionally catches them.
Predators on land and in the sea pose a hazard. They are threatened by coyotes and eagles. Water lions are a hazard to otters in certain regions of the world. Killer whales and sharks are also a serious menace. Crocodiles and alligators are an additional hazard in swampy places. Bobcats frequently hunt those who live in the woods.
Several otter species are threatened with extinction as a result of their various predators. This is due to habitat loss and air/water pollution, both of which have a severe impact on them. Water-based otters are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The illegal trade in otters is threatening the species’ survival in Asia. The only otters who do not face extinction are those that dwell in North American waterways.
Reproduction, Babies, And Lifespan
An otter is old enough to reproduce when they are between the ages of two and three. People in different parts of the world marry for a variety of reasons. They can reproduce numerous times during their reproductive season under optimal conditions. Those requirements include a plentiful supply of food and a cozy environment in which to reproduce.
From late winter until the beginning of the spring season, North American otters mate. Otters do not all reproduce in the same way. Some breeds have a lengthier gestation period than others. When an egg is fertilized in a pregnant otter, a process known as delayed implantation occurs. This implies that the egg will not connect to the mother’s womb until the situation is appropriate for giving birth to an otter. These are the otters who are pregnant for a period of 63 to 65 days before giving birth.
A man will seek out a female companion when he is ready to breed. In most cases, men and girls do not grow up together. The only time a guy will stay with his mother is when they are newborns.
A female otter will roll about and play with a male otter if she wants to mate with him. When two or more people play together, the female hormone essential for reproduction is released. If a man wishes to reproduce with his female companion, he may bite her nose.
On land, the same behaviors take place, but otters mate in the water. After the kids are conceived, the mother otter is pregnant for varying lengths of time depending on her species. The shortest pregnancy lasts 60 days, while the longest lasts nine.
Puppies can start eating solid meals when they are four months old. This is the time when they begin to learn how to hunt. Puppies are so delicate that just 32% of them make it to their first birthday. Even adult female otters don’t always make it long enough to breed.
When kept in captivity, an otter can live to be between 15 and 20 years old. Those who live in the wild have a much shorter life expectancy. The typical lifespan of those who dwell in the water is between eight and nine years.
In addition to puppies, baby otters are known as whelps and kits.
The number of water otters has decreased. The population has shrunk to less than half of what it once was in the last 45 years. In South Dakota, however, the population has grown during the previous two decades. 34 otters were released into the Big Sioux between 1998 and 2000. South Dakota’s population was 100 in 2006, the last time it was counted.
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