The Charismatic Otters

Otters are carnivorous mammals in the subfamily Lutrinae.

[Photo Credit: National Geographic]

Otters (Mustedilae) are a member of the weasel family, usually found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Otters are small, playful animals with short ears and noses, elongated bodies, long tails and soft, thick fur. Otters have sharp claws, and webbed feet used for swimming. The sea Otter however has long and muscular tails.

There are 13 spices of otter who are semiaquatic, aquatic or marine whose diet is based on fish. Otters live in what is called a HOLT or COUCH. Male Otters are called DOGS or BOARS, while female are called BITCHES or SOWS and their offspring called PUPS or CUBS.

The gestation period for Otters is between 60 to 85 days and the pup is usually cared for by the bitch, dog and older pups. The pups are allowed to leave the Holt after one month and are able to swim after two months.

Naturally, otters are playful and romp in the water with their pups. They have been observed to engage in activities like making waterslides and the sliding on them into the water. They also find and play with stones.

They can live for about 16 years and feed on fish, frogs, crayfish, clams, birds and eels. They hunt for food for close to five hours a day while nursing bitches hunt for almost eight hours.


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Written by Monsurat

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