EURASIAN OTTER/Behaviour, Distribution, Habitat, Size, Weight, IUCN stetus



DESCRIPTION: The Eurasian Otter is a large otter with a coarse, dusky brown coat that looks shaggy when dry and bedraggled when wet, but never as smooth as the Smooth-coated Otter’s. In northern subspecies, the pale tips to the hair on the back can give it a grizzled look and its underside is light grey. It often bears spots on its lips and nose, and the rhinarium is naked and black, with a W-shaped upper margin. The tail is long, over half the head and body length, and is conical and not flattened as in the Smooth-coated Otter. Female has two pairs of mammae. The five toes have strong claws and webbing extending to the end of each digit.

BEHAVIOUR: Known to swim underwater with their forepaws and hind paws propelling them forwards.

DISTRIBUTION: L.l. kutub in Jammu & Kashmir, L.l. aurobrunnea in Uttarakhand, L.l. monticola in Sikkim and Assam, and L.l. nair in southern India  (in summers, up to 3,500 m in the Himalayas).

HABITAT: Rapidly flowing headwaters and upstream habitats along rivers, hill creeks and streams that have adequate cover.

Size: 50–80 cm

IUCN Status: Near Threatened


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