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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.


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.

Otter Classification:

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora

Other Names: Kelp Grizzly,

Otter in Foreign Languages:

Czech: Vydra
Danish: Odder
Dutch: Otter /Otterbont
Estonian: Saarmas
Finnish: Saukko
French: Loutre
Gaelic: Dobhar-chù / Madadh Donn / Dòbhran
Galician: Lontra / Londra
German: Otter
Hungarian: Vidra
Icelandic: Otur
Indonesian: Linsang
Irish: Dobharchú / Madra Uisce / Dobhrán / Dobhráin
Italian: Lontra
Latvian: Udrs
Malay: Memerang
Navajo: Tábaastíín
Norwegian: Oter
Old English: Oter
Old Irish: Doburchú
Polish: Wydra
Portuguese: Lontra
Romanian: Lutra / Vidra
Sardinian: Lontra
Slovak: Vydra
Slovenian: Vidra
Spanish: Nutria / Lutria
Swedish: Utter
Turkish: Su Samuru / Lutr
Welsh: Dyfrgi

There are currently 13 species of otters.


Conservation Status:

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 length.

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 couch.

Gestation: Otters carry their young for 60 to 86 days.

Birth: An otter family including the mother, father and siblings all participate in the care of the young.

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 16 years.

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, called rafts.


Otter Gifts




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