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The oriental small-clawed otter is an aquatic mammal covered in thick waterproof fur. Most otters swim at the surface of the water with their head in the air and only dive to feed. Some otter species are highly sociable and form close-knit social groups or may be faithful to their partner. Others are mostly solitary and only seek the company of fellow otters during the breeding period. Regardless of the species, however, females are often accompanied by their offspring.

Oriental small-clawed otters are found in the coastal regions from southern India to the Malay peninsula and southern China.

Otters are perfectly adapted to their aquatic environment. The oriental small-clawed otter’s fur coat is made waterproof by an oil in which they cover themselves constantly. Their pupils adapt to seeing underwater, and when they dive their nostrils and ears close, they hold their breath, their oxygen requirements decrease, and their heartbeat slows. They don’t usually dive for more than 30 seconds, but otters can remain underwater much longer (up to 8 minutes!).

  • Habitat

    Lakes, swamps and rivers.

  • Food

    Small animals, eggs, fish and insects.

Did you know ?

Of the 13 otter species found on Earth, the oriental small-clawed otter is the smallest (just 80 cm long) and the giant otter is the largest (up to 3 m).

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Oriental small-clawed otter

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