10 characteristics of the "otter"

7 months ago

Otters, members of the Mustelidae family, are semi-aquatic mammals known for their playful nature, agility in the water, and soft, dense coats. These charming animals inhabit a variety of aquatic environments, from rivers and lakes to sea coasts, and are distributed in different regions of the world. Their presence is not only essential for aquatic ecosystems, but they also arouse admiration for their unique characteristics.

Characteristics of the Otter

Otters have a series of notable characteristics that distinguish them in the animal kingdom. Here are the top ten:

  1. Adaptation to Water: With their waterproof fur and webbed feet, otters are expert swimmers who spend most of their time in the water.
  2. Dense and Soft Fur: Their coat is exceptionally dense, with up to a million hairs per square inch, giving them excellent protection against the cold.
  3. Variety feeding: They are carnivorous and feed mainly on fish, but they also consume crustaceans, mollusks and small mammals.
  4. Social habits: Some otter species are solitary, while others live in cooperative family groups.
  5. Vocal Communication: They use a variety of sounds to communicate, from squeals to growls, which allows them to maintain social cohesion.

  6. Diverse Habitat: Otters can be found in a wide range of aquatic habitats, from freshwater rivers and lakes to estuaries and marine coasts.
  7. Skilled Hunting: They are excellent aquatic hunters, with a unique ability to catch prey using their legs and amazing dexterity underwater.
  8. Tools of Use: Some species of otters use tools, such as stones, to break the shells of mollusks and crustaceans.
  9. Reproduction and Parental Care: Otters are careful with their young and exhibit remarkable nurturing behavior, teaching their offspring survival skills.
  10. State of conservation: Although some otter species are at risk due to habitat loss and hunting, several conservation efforts have helped protect them.

These characteristics make otters a fascinating and vital species in the aquatic ecosystems in which they live.

Frequently Asked Questions about Otters

Below are eight frequently asked questions about otters, along with their answers:

  1. How many species of otters are there? There are 13 recognized species of otters worldwide, distributed in different regions from North and South America to Europe and Asia.
  2. Are otters nocturnal animals? Although they are usually most active during dawn and dusk, they are not exclusively nocturnal and can be seen during the day.
  3. Why do otters play so much? Play is a crucial part of their learning and development, as well as being an activity that fosters social bonds within their group.
  4. How do otters communicate with each other? They use a wide range of sounds, from high-pitched squeals to growls, to communicate with other otters in their group.
  5. Do otters build burrows? Yes, some species of otters build burrows to shelter, rest, or raise their young.
  6. Can otters live in both fresh and salt water? Yes, some otter species can inhabit both freshwater rivers and lakes and coastal marine environments.
  7. How important is the otter to the aquatic ecosystem? Otters are essential to maintaining ecological balance, as they regulate fish and crustacean populations.
  8. Why are some otters in danger of extinction? Habitat loss, poaching and pollution have contributed to the decline of some otter species, driving them to the risk of extinction.


Various sources were consulted in writing this article, including:

  • Kruuk, H. (1995). Wild Otters: Predation and Populations. Oxford University Press.
  • Larivière, S. (2002). Lutra lutra. Mammalian Species, 706, 1-9.
  • Melquist, W. E., & Dronkert, M. L. (1987). The Otter (Vol. 19). Chapman and Hall.
  • Koepfli, K.P., et al. (2008). Multigene phylogeny of the Mustelidae. Journal of Zoology, 276(2), 198-206.

This article is based on information gathered from these sources and seeks to provide an overview of otters and their characteristics, as well as answer common questions about these fascinating creatures.

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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2024) 10 characteristics of the "otter", en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-the-otter/ (Consultado el: 22-06-2024)

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