European Otter
European otter
General Information
Universe Real Life
Aliases Eurasian otter, Eurasian river otter, Common otter, and Old world otter.
Classification Lutra lutra
Species Type Otter
Homeworld Earth
Environment Freshwater bodies
Intelligence Non-sapient
Biochemistry Carbon-based lifeform
Biological Information
Lifespan 10-12 years
Average Weight 15.4-37 lbs.
Average Length 23-27 inches
Locomotion Quadrupedal
Feeding Behavior Carnivore
Prey Fish, frogs, crustaceans, small mammals, insects.
Predators Birds of prey, wolves, lynxes, and humans
Lineage Information
Cultural Information
Alignment Neutral
Personality Passive
Sociocultral characteristics
Scientific Taxonomy
Planet Earth
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Eumetazoa
Infrakingdom Bilateria
Superphylum Deuterostomia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Infraphylum Gnathostoma
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Mammalia
Subclass Theria
Infraclass Placentalia
Superorder Laurasiatheria
Order Carnivora
Suborder Caniformia
Superfamily Musteloidea
Family Mustelidae
Subfamily Lutrinae
Genus Lutra
Species lutra
Other Information
Status Near Threatened

The European otter (Lutra lutra) is a European-Asian member of the freshwater otters. Its aliases include Eurasian otter, Eurasian river otter, Common otter, and Old world otter.

Appearance Edit

These elegant creature's fur is brown above and cream on its underparts. They are long and fully suited to their habitat being able to propel itself fast through the water with their long tail. It is usually 23-27 inches long with its tail being 14-18 inches in length. Strangely, the female is shorter than the male. They usually weigh in at 15.4-37 lbs. By an anonymous and un-verified source, the largest specimen in captivity was 53 lbs.

Behavior Edit

European otters live alone due to their highly territorial behavior. An individual's territory varies based on the source of water and food, but is usually 11 miles. The minimum and maximum are ½ to 25 miles. Mating takes place in water like most otters. Afterwards, gestation is typically 60-64 days. When the time comes, 1-4 pups are born who will remain in the safety of their mother for 13 months. Like many other carnivores, males have no role in rearing the young. Strangely, a mother otter's territory is within a male's. Hunting takes place at night while the rest of the day is usually spent in the den. Their den could be a hollow tree trunk or a structure similar in ways to a beaver's dam. Smell is a main sense in hunting.

Diet Edit

Their diet mainly consists of fish as all otters. But they will eat birds, frogs, insects, crustaceans, small mammals, and even young beavers!

Lifespan Edit

Up to 10-12 years, but an average lifespan is shorter.

Distribution Edit

The European otter has a wide distribution consisting of 3 continents, Europe, Asia, and even Northern-most parts of Africa. Their most common areas are Latvia, along the coast of Norway, Great BritainIreland, and Shetland. Shetland happens to be where 12% of the United Kingdom breeding population is. European otters have been found in Italy, but only in the Southern peninsular areas. They even live in South Korea; sadly though, they are endangered there. They are believed to have gone extinct in Liechtenstein and Switzerland sadly.

They live mostly in lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, or any other body of freshwater. But, they will also live along coastlines and in saltwater.

Conservation Edit

In the 2nd half of the 20th century, the European otter's range declined due to extreme pollution, pesticides, habitat loss, and illegal and legal hunting. Now, their population is returning. Between 1994 and 2002, their population increased by nearly 55%. In Hong Kong, it is a protected species under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance Cap 170. It is also listed as a Near Threatened species by the IUCN Red list.

Gallery Edit

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