Spotted-Necked Otter


The Spotted-Necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis) is an African otter. It is found in freshwater lakes across Africa, particularly Lake Victoria.

The Spotted-Necked Otter has chocolate brown to reddish brown fur, with white spots on its chest, neck, and throat. It has a short nose, round ears, and a nose pad (like a dog). It has short legs with webbed feet for swimming, but also walks on land. This is called semi-aquatic. Their long, slender body is also streamlined for swimming.

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Pelage and Pelt

 What is pelage and pelt?

Pelage is the collective term for hair, fur, wool or other soft covering of a mammal. It is the complete coat.

Pelt is the skin of an animal, with the hair or wool or fur still attached, which has been processed into leather.

Kenyan Giraffes: What’s the difference between a Masai, a Reticulated and a Rothschild’s Giraffe?

What is the difference between Kenyan giraffes – a Masai, a Reticulated, and a Rothschild’s Giraffe?

A Masai Giraffe has irregular patterns.

A Reticulated Giraffe has regular patterns with a bright chestnut colour and white spaces.

A Rothschild’s Giraffe has brown patterns with cream spaces.


Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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Asian Small-Clawed Otter

The Asian Small-Clawed Otter (Amblonyx cinereus) is the smallest otter in the world. It is also called the Oriental Small-Clawed Otter. They are related to the weasel.

They have slender long and flexible bodies with dark grey-brown fur, with lighter patches on the face and neck. Otters have two types of fur: long, stout guard hairs and short, fine undercoat hairs, which looks velvety.

Asian Small-Clawed Otters have flat heads and thick necks. Their eyes are located at the front of their head. The ears are small and rounded and have a valve that enables them to be closed when the otters swim underwater.

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External Covering: from skin and scales to fur and feathers

External covering is the outside appearance of an animal. Animals can have fur, feathers, hair, short hair, long hair, smooth hair, bristles, skin, thick skin, moist skin, dry skin, scales, waterproof scales, small scales, overlapping scales, spikes, hard shells, soft shells, smooth shells, rough shells, wool, or no covering at all.

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