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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

European Otter Facts You’ll Never Forget

Some fun European otter facts are that they belong to the class of mammals and their food comprises of fish, eels, salmonids, water birds, amphibians, and crustaceans

A Eurasian otter (Lutra) is also known as an 'old-world otter'. They are semiaquatic mammals who are native to Eurasia. The population of otters is widely spread across the whole of Europe, Asia, and North African regions as well. The otter is also commonly found throughout Scotland.

The otter diet comprises itself of fish, waterbirds, amphibians, and crustaceans. Where eels and salmonids are their favorite food. They have short dense fur which is used to trap air for the sole purpose of insulating the body. They also have extra sensitive whiskers that they use to detect the movement of their prey in water. Female otters are smaller than males. Their tail is made up of thick fur and is gray-brown in color. The average otter weighs around 13-17 lb (6-8 kg).

Once the mating season is over, a female otter (Lutra) gives birth to the younger ones. The gestation period is around two to three months or 60 to 65 days. A female otter usually gives birth once a year, but the breeding intervals may extend up to two years in some rare cases. The otter population is known to be monogamous, and they stay loyal to their partner for their entire lives. Therefore the mating is done between the same partners every year. Young otters are called cubs and holts.

According to research, it is estimated that about 1,500 otter (Lutra) species are left in the wild. The Eurasian otter is listed as Near Threatened under the Endangered Species Act and also under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Here on our page, we have lots of interesting facts on European otters that everyone will enjoy. Let's have a look at these interesting facts and if you do like these, then do read our Ethiopian wolf and zonkey facts.

European Otter Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a European otter?

Eurasian otters (Lutra) are also known as an 'old-world otter'. They are semiaquatic mammals who are native to Eurasia.

What class of animal does a European otter belong to?

Otters (European) belong to the class of mammals.

How many European otters are there in the world?

According to a study, it is estimated that only around 1,500 otter species are left in the wild. It is also believed that about 2,000 to 3,000 individuals of the otter (European) species are left in creeks, lakes streams, rivers and along the coast of Africa, the Massif Central, and the Atlantic side (Bretagne). The Eurasian river otter is listed as Near Threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Where do European otters live?

River otters are found in creeks, rivers, oceans, and other waterways. Their population is mostly spread throughout Europe, but they are found in many places in Asia and North Africa.

What is a European otter's habitat?

A European otter habitat is creeks, rivers, lakes, streams, along the coast of oceans, and any other water bodies. They are found widely spread across the whole of Europe, as well as Asia and North African regions. They are generally found in aquatic regions, such as rivers, where they can easily search for food to eat.

Who do European otters live with?

Otters live with their own kind. A group of otters is called a 'raft'. However, despite most of the population being friendly and sociable animals, many of them can also be spotted living on their own.

How long does a European otter live?

The average lifespan of an otter (European) is between five to ten years.

How do they reproduce?

After mating, a female otter gives birth to its young. The pregnancy of an otter can last around 60 to 64 days, or roughly two to three months. A common otter does not lay eggs, since it is an mammal, but instead they give birth to their young around early spring. A female otter usually gives birth once a year but in some rare cases the breeding intervals may also extend up to two years. The otter population are known to be monogamous, so if a male and female otter find a partner, they will mate for life.

What is their conservation status?

According to the Endangered Species Act and also under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the conservation status of an otter (Lutra) is officially declared as Near Threatened. This means they are under the threat of becoming Extinct or Vulnerable. According to research, it is estimated that around 1,500 otter species are left in the wild.

European Otter Fun Facts

What do European otters look like?

European river otters have sleek, dark brown fur and the color is often light and paler on the underside. They have long streamlined bodies, thick tails, and little webbed feet. They also have short fur, which is used to trap air for the sole purpose of insulating their body. They also have extra sensitive whiskers that they put into use to detect the movement of their prey underwater. Female otters are smaller than male ones. Their tail is made up of thick fur and is gray-brown in color. The average weight of an otter is 13-17 lb (6-8 kg).

A Eurasian otter is also known as an 'old-world otter' and they are semiaquatic mammals native to Eurasia.

How cute are they?

Whether otters are cute or not is subjective and it varies from person to person's choice. However, the general consensus is that they are quite cute animals.

How do they communicate?

Otters (Lutra) communicate by using vocal expressions such as whistles, birdlike twittering, and spitting. Spraints are another mode of communication for otters.

How big is a European otter?

The average size of a European otter is 23-21 in (60-80 cm) in length and the average weight of otters is 13-17 lb (6-8 kg). They have a streamlined body and the length of the otter's tail is 13-17 in (35–45 cm). Male otters are bigger in size when compared to female otters. Young otters are generally smaller than adult ones.

Otters are seven times bigger than an average rat.

How fast can a European otter swim?

Otters can swim at a speed of 9 mph (14.4 kmph). European otters can dive up to 60 ft (18 m).

How much does a European otter weigh?

The average weight of an otter is 13-17 lb (6-8 kg). The cubs weigh less than the adult ones.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for male or female otters, but their scientific name is Lutra lutra.

What would you call a baby European otter?

Baby European otters are called holts or cubs.

What do they eat?

The diet of an otter comprises of fish, eels, salmonids, waterbirds, amphibians, and crustaceans.

Are they friendly?

According to research conducted, otters are said to be friendly animals, but they like to maintain a distance from humans.

Would they make a good pet?

They could make great pets knowing that they are friendly animals, but they would need suitable surroundings and their preferred habitat to thrive, which is nearly impossible to provide.

Did you know...

The European otter conservation status is listed as Near Threatened.

An otters' favorite food is considered to be eels and salmonids.

Young otters are called cubs and holts.

Otters are monogamous in nature, meaning that mating takes place between the same partner every year.

What do a leopard, striped skunk, European otter, coyote, and a wolf all have in common?

Leopards, striped skunks, European otters, coyotes and wolves all belong to the same order of Carnivora.

How long can a European otter hold its breath?

The species of European otters can hold their breath for four minutes.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the pink fairy armadillo, or cuscus.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our European otters coloring pages.

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