Prey-dependence leaves otters very vulnerable to prey depletion. Sea otters are hunters of clams , sea urchins and other shelled creatures.
Otters, facts and information
They are notable for their ability to use stones to break open shellfish on their stomachs. This skill must be learned by the young. Otters are active hunters, chasing prey in the water or searching the beds of rivers, lakes or the seas. Most species live beside water, but river otters usually enter it only to hunt or travel, otherwise spending much of their time on land to prevent their fur becoming waterlogged. Sea otters are considerably more aquatic and live in the ocean for most of their lives.
Otters are playful animals and appear to engage in various behaviors for sheer enjoyment, such as making waterslides and then sliding on them into the water. They may also find and play with small stones. North American river otter Lontra canadensis. Southern river otter Lontra provocax.
Neotropical river otter Lontra longicaudis. Spotted-necked otter Hydrictis maculicollis. Hairy-nosed otter Lutra sumatrana. African clawless otter Aonyx capensis. Asian small-clawed otter Aonyx cinerea. Smooth-coated otter Lutrogale perspicillata. In the British Isles , they were common as recently as the s, but became rare in many areas due to the use of chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides , habitat loss and water pollution they remained relatively common in parts of Scotland and Ireland.
Population levels reached a low point in the s, but are now recovering strongly. The UK Biodiversity Action Plan envisages the re-establishment of otters by in all the UK rivers and coastal areas they inhabited in Roadkill deaths have become one of the significant threats to the success of their re-establishment. The North American river otter Lontra canadensis became one of the major animals hunted and trapped for fur in North America after European contact.
weasel subfamily (Mustelinae)
River otters eat a variety of fish and shellfish, as well as small land mammals and birds. In some areas, this is a protected species, and some places have otter sanctuaries that help sick and injured otters to recover. Sea otters Enhydra lutris are classified as marine mammals and live along the Pacific coast of North America. Their historic range included shallow waters of the Bering Strait and Kamchatka , and as far south as Japan. Sea otters have about 26, to , hairs per square centimeters of skin,  a rich fur for which humans hunted them almost to extinction.
By the time the Fur Seal Treaty gave them protection, so few sea otters remained that the fur trade had become unprofitable. Sea otters eat shellfish and other invertebrates especially clams , abalone , and sea urchins. Because the otter food source is easier to excavate from rocky-bottom habitats, as opposed to soft-bottom habitats, more otters tend to live in waters with rocky bottoms with access to shallow-burrowing prey. They grow to 1. Although once near extinction, they have begun to spread again, from remnant populations in California and Alaska.
Unlike most marine mammals such as seals or whales , sea otters do not have a layer of insulating blubber. They spend most of their time in the water, whereas other otters spend much of their time on land. The giant otter Pteronura brasiliensis inhabits South America, especially the Amazon river basin, but is becoming increasingly rare due to poaching, habitat loss, and the use of mercury and other toxins in illegal alluvial gold mining. This gregarious animal grows to a length of up to 1.
Otters have been hunted for their pelts from at least the s, although it may have begun well before then. Early hunting methods included darts, arrows, nets and snares but later, traps were set on land and guns used. There has been a long history of otter pelts being worn around the world. In China it was standard for the royalty to wear robes made from them.
People that were financially high in status also wore them. The tails of otters were often made into items for men to wear. These included hats and belts. Even some types of mittens for children have been made from the fur of otters. Otters have also been hunted using dogs, specifically the otterhound. In such hunts, the hunters notched their poles after every kill. The prized trophy that hunters would take from the otters was the penis bone , which would be worn as a tie-pin.
Traffic the wildlife trade monitoring network reported that otters are at serious risk in Southeast Asia and have disappeared from parts of their former range. This decline in populations is due to hunting to supply the demand for skins. For many generations, fishermen in southern Bangladesh have bred smooth-coated otters and used them to chase fish into their nets.
Once a widespread practice, passed down from father to son throughout many communities in Asia, this traditional use of domesticated wild animals is still in practice in the district of Narail , Bangladesh. The myth of "Otter's Ransom"  is the starting point of the Volsunga saga. In some Native American cultures, otters are considered totem animals.
The otter is held to be a clean animal belonging to Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrian belief, and taboo to kill. In popular Korean mythology, it is told that people who see an otter soodal will attract 'rain clouds' for the rest of their lives. In Japanese folklore, they fool humans in the same way as foxes kitsune and tanuki. In the Noto region , Ishikawa Prefecture , there are stories where they shapeshift into beautiful women or children wearing checker-patterned clothing. If a human attempts to speak to one, they will answer "oraya" and then answer "araya," and if anybody asks them anything, they say cryptic things like "kawai.
In the Tsugaru region, Aomori Prefecture , they are said to possess humans. It is said that those possessed by otters lose their stamina as if their soul has been extracted. They perform pranks like extinguishing the fire of the paper lanterns of people who walk on roads at night, shapeshifting into a beautiful woman of 18 or 19 years of age and fooling people, or tricking people and making them try to engage in sumo against a rock or a tree stump.
In the Ishikawa and Kochi Prefectures, they are said to be a type of kappa, and there are stories told about how they engage in sumo with otters. In an Ainu folktale, in Urashibetsu in Abashiri , Hokkaido , there are stories where monster otters shapeshift into humans, go into homes where there are beautiful girls, and try to kill the girl and make her its wife. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article is about the animal. For other uses, see Otter disambiguation. Temporal range: Middle Miocene to present . Main article: European otter. Main article: North American river otter. Main article: Sea otter. Main article: Giant otter. Main article: Otter fishing. BMC Biol. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Merriam Webster's online dictionary.
Retrieved 16 September Online Etymology Dictionary. Otters: ecology, behaviour and conservation. Oxford Biology.
Otter World. Retrieved 1 January Archived from the original on 8 September Retrieved 28 September What Shat That? Otters: ecology, behavior and conservation. Archived from the original on 4 November Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc. Archived from the original on 2 November Retrieved 17 November Defenders of Wildlife. Marine Mammal Science. Retrieved 4 November Retrieved 19 September Traffic conservation programme. Retrieved 17 January Group Bull. Archived from the original on 9 September Retrieved 5 July The charismatic otter, a member of the weasel family, is found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.
Most are small, with short ears and noses, elongated bodies, long tails, and soft, dense fur. There are 13 species in total, ranging from the small-clawed otter to the giant otter. Though most live in freshwater rivers , lakes, and wetlands, the sea otter and the smaller marine otter are found in the Pacific Ocean. Webbed feet and powerful tails, which act like rudders, make otters strong swimmers. Their nostrils and ears close to keep water out, and waterproof fur keeps them warm. Otters have the densest fur of any animal— as many as a million hairs per square inch in places. The Magical World of Disney — Rate This.
Season 11 Episode All Episodes Walt Disney Productions. Photos Add Image Add an image Do you have any images for this title? Edit Cast Episode credited cast: Walt Disney Himself - Host Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Rex Allen Himself - Narrator Gary Beecham Gary Blaine Mabel Beecham Martha Blaine Tom Beecham Howard Blaine Donald Cyr Edit Storyline The story tells of a young boy who finds an orphaned baby otter and decides to adopt him into the family, but as the otter grows it wreaks all kinds of havoc, including raiding the neighbor's chicken coop.
Language: English. Color: Color Technicolor. Add the first question.