Otters of the World...
This is the smallest of the nineteen species of otter and is found in many parts of Southern Asia and Indonesia inhabiting paddy fields, lowland streams and marshes and estuaries. They feed on small crabs, molluscs, and small fish. Unlike our native European otter, which is a secretive shy and generally nocturnal animal, the Asian Short Clawed Otter is a particularly playful species, usually mating for life.
The British otter is also known as the European otter because of its vast geographical distribution. Lutra lutra has historically occupied a broad range from Ireland in the west to Japan in the east and the arctic north to the semi-desert of North Africa. Within this range there are 10 recognised subspecies. However today it is scarce or totally absent from many parts of this range as a result of the usual problems namely hunting, habitat loss and pollution.
Canadian River Otter
The Canadian or North American river otter could be described as the North American counterpart of the European otter. They do look essentially similar although you may notice that the Canadian otter appears a little larger than the European and also the hairless part of the nose is much larger and more rounded.
Historically this otter would range from arctic Alaska to the southern United States of Florida and Texas, inhabiting lakes, streams, coastal saltmarshes and even rocky sea coasts in some areas.
The Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a large otter native to the North Pacific. With long, streamlined bodies, sea otters are built for life at sea. They have exceptionally thick brown fur to assist in retaining heat. Underneath each powerful front paw is a pouch of skin used to temporarily store food collected during extended dives to the bottom. The front paws also have retractable claws, while the hind flippers are long & broadly flattened and webbed. They have specially adapted spinal columns and bone structures to allow great flexibility. Sometimes the bones will be dyed pale violet from eating purple sea urchins.
The Giant Otter,(also known as the river wolf) is the longest of the world’s otters, as well as the largest. It is native to South America but is endangered and is also very rare in captivity. The Giant Otter can reach up to 6 ft (1.8 m) in length, and weigh up to 76 lb (34 kg). It feeds mainly on fish, such as catfish, piranha, and perch, but will also feed on crabs, small caimans, and snakes, including small anacondas. The Giant Otter is a highly social animal and lives in extended family groups of between 4-8 members