|Asian Short Clawed Otter (Aonyx cinerea)|
So, for a special day I thought I would do a special animal. They're Otters. Sorry for the dodgy alliteration today but adjectives beginning with 'o' aren't very descriptive of otters! And they do kind of have little oars on the ends of their legs!
The first time I saw one of these (out of only 2), was at Leighton Moss. This one, was called Limpey. Mainly because he had a limp. He himself was shown on Autumnwatch last year so you might remember him but I can't find the couple of photos I took!
Anyway, I got some photos from WWT Washington which I'm using today. Here are the facts:
- Firstly, these particular ones are called Asian Short-Clawed Otters. I'll cover some facts about just these but I'll also be doing Otters in general.
|Having a good sniff about|
- Otters in general are seen all throughout the UK, not getting any less common depending on where you are.
- To tell them apart from the Mink, is very hard. They are quite similar. But nevertheless I shall tell you how to identify each.
- The Otter is the larger of the two, and the Otter has a black, not pink, nose.
- An Otter's tail is decidedly long. It's usually about a third of the length of the whole Otter.
- The Asian Short-Clawed Otter's body is, on average, 52cm long, while its tail is 30cm. That's a total length of 82cm.
- The Common Otter is much larger than the other, it is, on average, 110cm long. That's a 30cm difference!
- This means, then, the weight will be a huge difference as well. It's true! The Short Otter is between 1kg and 5kgs but the Common is 7kg for the Female but the Males is 10kg!
- They feed, pretty obviously, on fish. They won't learn fully how to find fish until they're about 18 months old. Their mother helps them with this.
- She has to do this as she only feeds them until they are around a year old so they have another 6 months learning to fish. She helps by releasing live fish she has caught for the year old cubs to re-catch.
- Otters have two to three cubs every year and give birth to them in their dens which are called holts.
- I did say they feed on fish but they do from time to time eat water birds and frogs.
- Otters live wherever there is clean water and fish. They will live in seawater but need to have some fresh water nearby to be able to clean their fur. If they don't clean their fur it won't insulate them from the cold water very well.
Here are some links to some more information:
Hope you enjoyed,