Asian Short-Clawed Otter
These otters, also known as oriental small-clawed otters, are the smallest species of otter in the world. Otters are a member of the weasel family, with a similar long body shape. They are diurnal, active in the daytime, and in the wild they eat a variety of fish, crabs, invertebrates, reptiles, birds and small mammals. They use their sensitive webbed feet to find food under rocks on the river bed, their whiskers to detect prey in the water and their strong rudder-like tail to help them swim.
Otters also have two layers of fur – one acts as a waterproof coat, the other as a thermal layer.
This species of otter uses special calls to communicate with each other and can vocalise 14 different sounds.
Latin name - Aonyx cinerea
Class - Mammalia
Order - Carnivora
Family - Mustelidae
IUCN Status - Vulnerable
Habitat - Freshwater wetland and mangrove swamps
Distribution - Indonesia, S India, S China, SE Asia and the Philippines
Habitat destruction, pollution, the illegal pet trade, fur trade and hunting.
Up to 21 years in captivity
They are incredibly dexterous creatures. With the very short claw, they use their paws to search in the shallows for tasty morsels. This skill is often used to practice juggling with stones, shells, grapes or cherry tomatoes!
Little John, Bubble, Rishi and Whitty
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