Name: the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) – also known as the European or common otter – is the most widely distributed member of the otter family.
Appearance: they are well equipped for life in the water with long, slender bodies and tails. They are typically a brown colour on top and cream below.
Size: they normally measure around 0.9 to 1.4 metres long and weigh between 7 to 12 kg. Older males can be considerably larger – with the largest reported to weigh over 24 kg!
Diet: the Eurasian otter’s diet mainly consists of fish although they can sometimes eat frogs, insects, birds, and even small mammals such as young beavers.
Did you know: Eurasian otters are strongly territorial, living alone for most of their lives. They use feaces and spraying to mark their territories and provide a warning to other otters. Most of their day is spent in burrows in hollow trees or riverbanks, before coming out to hunt at night. While it was traditionally thought that otters only hunted by sight and touch, new evidence suggests they may also be able to smell underwater!
Location: they can be found in lakes, streams, and rivers in parts of Asia and Africa, as well as across Europe as far down as Israel.
Where TO SEE otters
According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see otters in the following places:
|Place||Chance to see||User rating||No. reports|
|Isle of Mull
|Isle of Harris
Photo credit: garygray under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay