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Common Otter

Common otter (Lutra lutra) has brown fur, paler on the underside, and a long lithe body with a thick tail and short legs. Webbed feet, the ability to close the ears and the nose when under water, and very dense, short fur, which traps a layer of air to insulate are the other features. Many sensitive hairs frame the snout and these help the otter to locate prey.

Common Otter is an aquatic fish-eating mammal and hunts mainly at night. It kills more fish than required. This is attributed to the excitement of the hunt. Females look-after the young until they are nearly fully young.

Head to body length is 55 to 70 cm and tail length is 35 to 40 cm. Weight Males weigh around 10 kg while the females around 7 kg. Vocalizations include a high-pitched whistle between a mother and her cubs, twittering noises produced during play-fighting and cat-like noises when fighting.

The animal can be spotted in the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary in Sikkim.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

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