The Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) is a semi-aquatic mammal in the Mustelidae family of weasels and otters. It is also known as the European Otter, Common Otter, Old World Otter, and Eurasian River Otter.
The Eurasian Otter has a streamlined, elongated body, and a long, strong, flat tail. It has two layers of dense brown water-repellent fur, and a cream underbelly. It has a short neck, small dark eyes, a black nose, long white whiskers, and small rounded ears. It has five long toes and webbed feet to swim in water, but it needs air to breathe.
It grows to about 130 centimetres (51 inches) in length, including its tail. Its tail is about 34-45 centimetres (14-18 inches) long. The female is shorter than the male.
It is native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. It is found in wetlands, such as lakes, streams, ponds, rivers, waterways and coastlines.
It is territorial, and will chase other otters out of its territory, and use its spraints (poop) to mark its territory. Its territory can be up to 40 kilometres (25 miles) long and 18 kilometres (11 miles) wide, depending on food sources. It is mostly solitary, but male and female territories may overlap.
The Eurasian Otter has a diet mainly of fish, so it is piscivorous. During winter, it also feeds on amphibians (such as frogs and toads), crustaceans (such as crabs and shrimp), insects, and birds.
The female has 1-4 young, called pups, after a pregnancy of 60-64 days. Only the mother looks after the pups for about 12 months.
Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM