The Otter-Facts That Prove They’re The World’s Best Animal
Facts about the Otter-
Otters are playful animal animals. They belong to the Weasel family and live near freshwater and marine ecosystems. We can find otters on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.
Characteristics of the Otter.
The average weight of the Otter ranges from 3kg to -45kg. Otters have fur color that is brown and they have lighter underparts. The shades of brown vary from dark to cinnamon brown on the otters. Otter’s fur is fine, dense and velvety.
There are two types of fur that otters have. One type of fur is long, with stout guars hairs. The other type is a more dense arrangement of short with fine under hairs. The fur of otters varies differs with the species and Sea Otters, which have the longest fur out of all the species of otters.
Otters like to keep their coats clean and they have valid reasons to do so. The Otter’s furry coat helps them remain waterproof and insulated against the cold. Otter’s coats help them keep buoyancy and provide their fur with thick insulation.
The thick fur helps protect the otters from the chilly waters and cold weather. In addition, their webbed feet and large lungs assist them in floating on water. Otters do not have blubber, unlike other mammals. They can hold their breath underwater for 5-8 minutes.
Otters give birth in the water and the mothers look after their young when they float on their backs. Pups depend on their mothers for 6-8 months before they become independent and within that period, they learn how to swim.
Newborn pups require lots of attention and they stay close to their mum before they become confident enough to venture alone. The Pup’s fur is too dense, which means it cannot swim underwater.
So, that’s why the mother leaves the pup floating, while she goes searching for food until the pup develops adult fur.
Food, diet, habitat, and predators.
An Otter’s diet includes fish, crayfish, crabs, mussels, frogs, clams, octopus, and sea urchins. Otters also eat snails, fat innkeeper worms and crustaceans.
Otter predation on the herbivorous urchins enables helps keep the ecosystem stable. Fish and forest systems flourish because of Otters. Habitat-wise, Otters live in coastal habitats within range of the shoreline, barrier reefs. Predators include sharks, killer whales, and crocodiles and alligators.
Otters, in particular, Sea Otters are a keystone species. Keystone species are those species of animals that are so valuable to the ecosystem, that if they become extinct or go close to extinction, the ecosystem most likely collapses.
That is why the otters play a key role in maintaining environmental health. Otters maintain the balance of ecosystems wherever they live. Sea urchins would devour the Kelp Forests if there were no otters to keep the Sea Urchins population in check.
The kelp forests off the coast give many marine species sources of food. Wipe out the Kelp Forests, and most marine species living near Kelp forests would disappear. Hence, why the Otters are so valuable to the ecosystems.