Otter Lifespan: Curious Facts That All Animal Lovers Should Know! | Kidadl


Otter Lifespan: Curious Facts That All Animal Lovers Should Know!

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Otters are carnivores who belong to the family of Mustelidae.

Most of the species of this animal are marine, aquatic, or semi-aquatic ones and largely depend upon fish and other invertebrates for their food consumption. Some of the other animals which belong to the Mustelidae family include the likes of weasels, wolverines, badgers, and minks.

Male otters are commonly referred to as boars or dogs, whereas female otters are commonly known as sows or bitches. This animal typically lives in dens which are known as couches or holts. Sea otters stay with their mother for around six months. The average life span of an otter varies depending upon the species and the place where it lives. For instance, on average, an otter will live for around 20 years in captivity but will probably die in around 10 years in the wild. At the same time, the species of the animal also has a huge impact on its lifespan. Otters prefer to live on the land areas near water bodies. For instance, the sea otter is largely found in the Pacific Ocean and has an average lifespan of around 10-15 years which is more than that of both the North American river otter and the giant otter.

How long do otters live as pets?

Generally, otters live both on land and in water but their requirements are quite specific due to which they aren't classified as domestic animals which can be kept as pets. Under specific conditions, they can be kept in captivity and their life cycle can continue from thereon.

Otters live for around 12 years when they are kept in wild but tend to live for 15-20 years in captivity. Otters cannot be kept as pets in homes due to their requirements; they can only be kept in specialized environments such as zoos and research centers where the living conditions are ideal. Interestingly, how long otters live in captivity as pets largely depends upon the species as well. For instance, the North American river otter lives for 21 years on an average when kept in captivity but these river otters can go on to live up to 25 years in a restricted environment under careful scrutiny. These river otters live only for around eight to nine years when in the wild leading to a drastic increase in their life expectancy when they are shifted to captivity. The primary reason due to which these animals live longer in captivity than in wild is because they have lesser threats from predators which hunt them down in the wild but cannot attack them in a protected environment. Even though it is difficult to hunt down adult otters, the young pups often fall prey to several kinds of predators including the likes of wolves, large birds, and reptiles. These pups tend to leave their mothers by the time they are about a year old. Moreover, it has been seen that the Alaskan sea otter is greatly hunted by killer whales.

How long do otters live in wild?

In the wild, otters live in a variety of environments depending upon whether they are sea otters, river otters or they live on land. The habitat includes the likes of oceans, rivers, lakes, marshes, and coastlines. When living on grounds in the wild, they generally live in burrows dug by other animals. The body size and length differ largely based on the species, thus, there are varying sizes of burrows as well.

When these otters live in the wild, they need to fight against a number of factors especially when they are small pups and their body hasn't developed completely. It has been recorded that otters live for 5-10 years on average in the wild. This age is significantly lesser than the age they potentially attain when they live in captivity. Varying species of otters lead to diversified age expectancies, for instance, the average life expectancy of North American river otters is around eight to nine years when they live in the wild. Researchers have concluded that it is humans who are largely responsible for the reduction in population, as well as the life expectancy of otters as human activities are leading to the reduction of the otter's habitat. At the same time, there are hunting incidents when these mammals have been chased for their beautiful pelt. Did you know, the longest age an otter ever attained was 28 years, and the otter eventually died at the famous Seattle Aquarium? A South American marine otter's lifespan is unknown, however, it is thought to be similar to other otters.

Male otters are commonly referred to as boars

What is the average lifespan of a giant otter?

The giant otter as the name suggests is significantly known for the length of its body and is one of the largest otters in terms of body length. It has a body length of around 6 ft (1.8 m) becoming the longest otter and weighing around 75 lb (34 kg).

The giant otter is typically found in South America, especially in its tropical rain forests. The giant otters have an average life span of around 10-12 years which is more than the average life expectancy of many other otter species. As a fact, the male giant otter weighs slightly more than the female ones as the male weighs at around 75 lb (34 kg) and the females on the other hand weigh at around 57 lb (26 kg). These giant otters have a pretty soft fur which is generally brown in color with large white patches found under their necks. The tail is another notable body part of the giant otter which is ventrally flattened and is pretty strong. When these giant otters are kept in captivity, irrespective of whether they are with their family or not, their life expectancy shoots up as they tend to live for around 21 years. Within the tropical forests, this mammal is largely found on banks that do not get flooded easily as it helps them in hunting and in the accumulation of food. The diet of an adult giant otter usually comprises crabs, piranhas, several kinds of snakes.

What is the average lifespan of an Asian small-clawed otter?

The major population of this mammal is largely found in Southeastern Asia especially in North India and in parts of Indonesia, and China. This Asian small-clawed otter is significantly known for its body length being one of the smallest otter species. On average, the males and females of this species have a body length of around 18-24 in (45-61 cm) along with a tail of 10-14 in (25-35 cm).

These animals have an average lifespan of around 11-16 years but there have been instances where some of these otter populations have lived for 20 long years. Did you know, a young Asian small-clawed otter can reach its adult size by the time it is merely six months old? Contrary to the practices undertaken by many other animals, the males of this otter species build the nests and provide to the young ones after their birth instead of the females. As a fun fact about otters, in general, these animals love to cuddle and kiss and spend time with others.

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<p>A dedicated and hardworking content writer currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Management Studies from St. Xavier's University, Kolkata. Aryan aims to gain corporate exposure and enhance his skills while creating well-researched and engaging content that is SEO-friendly. Aryan is a talented individual who puts in the effort to overcome any obstacle in his way.</p>

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