Otter are members of the weasel family. Otters
are semiaquatic or aquatic mammals which feed
on fish and shellfish, and also other invertebrates,
amphibians, birds and small mammals.
Other Names: Kelp Grizzly,
Otter in Foreign Languages:
Dutch: Otter /Otterbont
Gaelic: Dobhar-chù / Madadh Donn
Galician: Lontra / Londra
Irish: Dobharchú / Madra Uisce
/ Dobhrán / Dobhráin
Old English: Oter
Old Irish: Doburchú
Romanian: Lutra / Vidra
Spanish: Nutria / Lutria
Turkish: Su Samuru / Lutr
Species: There are currently 13 species of
Size: River otters measure 35 to 53 inches in
length. The largest of the 13 species of otter is the
giant otter, reaching a length of up to 1.8 m and known
as the river wolf in Peru. The smallest is the Asian
small-clawed otter, less than a meter long.
Habitat: Otters are widely distributed. They
are found on all continents except Australia and Antarctica.
River otters are found near inland waterway, as well
as estuaries and marine coves. Sea otters are found
along coastal, shallow waters.
Description: Otters have long, slender bodies
and relatively short limbs, with webbed paws that are
used for swimming. Otters have thick fur that has two
layers to insulate their bodies from the cold. An otters
tail is typically about one-third the animal's total
Diet: Sea otters will feed on sea urchins, crabs,
clams, mussels and octopuses. While river otters will
eat fish, shellfish, crayfish, frogs, salamanders, small
invertebrates, amphibians, birds and small mammals.
Communication: Otters communicate using
a variety of squeals, chirps, chatters, chuckles,
screams, and warning growls.
Did You Know?
An otter's den is called a holt or
Gestation: Otters carry their young for 60 to
Birth: An otter family including the mother,
father and siblings all participate in the care of the
Sexually Mature: Female otters reach sexual
maturity at approximately two years of age, while male
otters are sexually mature around three years of age.
Life Span: Otters live approximately
Did You Know?
A male otter is a dog, a female a bitch,
and a baby a whelp, kit, or pup.
Social Structure: Otters are highly social creatures.
Sea otters gather in groups of 10 to more than 100,