https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/g/giant-otter.html. Sea otters live in the Pacific Ocean while giant otters live in the tropical rain forests of South America. [57], The species is amphibious, although primarily terrestrial. The animal's well-muscled tail can add a further 70 cm (28 in) to the total body length. Form and function. The territories would never coincide or overlap with territories that belong to the other groups. The otter can attack from both above and below, swiveling at the last instant to clamp the prey in its jaws. [25] Its velvety feel makes the animal highly sought after by fur traders and has contributed to its decline. In captivity, this may increase to 17, with an unconfirmed record of 19. They noted that the species may be the basal divergence among the otters or fall outside of them altogether, having split even before other mustelids, such as the ermine, polecat, and mink. [84] A Maxacali creation story suggests that the practice of otter fishing may have been prevalent in the past. [34] Each family of otters was shown to have its own unique audio signature.[35]. Do giant otters live in a group? Giant otters live in tight knit family groups that are dominated by a breeding pair, the rest of the group consists of their offspring up until the age of reproduction. The implementation of CITES in 1973 finally brought about significant hunting reductions,[12] although demand did not disappear entirely: in the 1980s, pelt prices were as high as US$250 on the European market. The giant otter is a highly social animal and lives in extended family groups. The main difference between the giant otter and the other relatives is its flattened tail. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). Hums and coos are more reassuring within the group. The Giant otter, living in South America, and the largest of the otters in its total length, is the cousin of the sea and river otters in North America, Europe and Africa. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Giant otters have been hunted extensively and wild populations are at-risk. Further Information on the Giant Otter: E-mail to add your Giant Otter related website. [16] (The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) is the fourth Lontra member.) Cape clawless otters and Asian small clawed otters love frogs, crustaceans, crabs and mollusks. Being carnivorous, otters feast on a variety of meats from the fish they catch, to crustaceans, mollusks, sea urchins, and amphibians. The most famous and common otter is the European, or ordinary river otter, inhabits North Africa, Europe (besides Switzerland and the Netherlands) also Asia, not meeting only on the Arabian Peninsula. [12], Adult giant otters living in family groups have no known serious natural predators, however there are some accounts of black caimans in Peru and yacare caimans in the Pantanal preying on giant otters. Trees surround them in the tropical forest, providing shade in the heat of the midday sun. Otters are real carnivores. The Guianas are one of the last real strongholds for the species, which also enjoys modest numbers — and significant protection — in the Peruvian Amazonian basin. Utreras[60] presumed habitat requirements and availability would differ dramatically in the rainy season: estimating range sizes of 1.98 to as much as 19.55 square kilometres (0.76 to 7.55 sq miles) for the groups. They tend to set up their nests in the banks of slow moving rivers and lakes as this is safer for their young. It can grow up to 2.4m (8ft) long from nose to tail. The giant otter has a handful of other names. They live in still or slow moving fresh water rivers, lakes and creeks. An analysis of dry season range size for three otter groups in Ecuador found areas between 0.45 and 2.79 square kilometres (0.17 and 1.08 sq mi). They are extremely easy to hunt, being active through the day and highly inquisitive. [64], The species has also appeared in the folklore of the region. [81], In Suriname, the giant otter is not a traditional prey species for human hunters, which affords some protection. [56] Carter and Rosas have found captive adult animals consume around 10% of their body weight daily—about 3 kilograms (7 lb), in keeping with findings in the wild. [82] A Ticuna legend has it that the giant otter exchanged places with the jaguar: the story says jaguar formerly lived in the water and the giant otter came to the land only to eat. The animal is susceptible to a variety of diseases, including canine parvovirus. Giant otters live in South America, throughout the Orinoco, Amazon and La Plata River systems (mostly in the northern half of South America). They enjoy the freshwater but they are also known to live in the saltwater of the oceans as well. [66] Its smaller prey, different denning habits, and different preferred water types also reduce interaction.[57]. Other places you will find them lingering include around rivers, streams, and lakes. The giant otter is the largest of all the otter species. [38] One fight was directly observed in the Brazilian Pantanal in which three animals violently engaged a single individual near a range boundary. Known throughout much of their range as 'river wolf', they are amongst South America's top carnivores. Females appear to give birth year round, although in the wild, births may peak during the dry season. [38] Duplaix suggests a division between "residents", who are established within groups and territories, and nomadic and solitary "transients"; the categories do not seem rigid, and both may be a normal part of the giant otter life cycle. Giant otters live in the tropical Amazonian region of South America, where the weather is invariably hot and humid, with frequent rain showers. Basin and arid areas to semiarid regions, to semiarid regions, to semiarid regions, to forested. It is one of the most endangered mammal species in the neotropics. Otters are well suited to a life on the water as they have webbed feet, dense fur to keep them warm, and can close their ears and nose when underwater. Check this one out: Giant otter with fish. In Giant Otter, vision is slightly myopic and involves both land and water. Giant otters are listed as Endangered by the IUCN. [11], The otters form the subfamily Lutrinae within the mustelids and the giant otter is the only member of the genus Pteronura. [32] Duplaix identified nine distinct sounds, with further subdivisions possible, depending on context. An adult otter may consume up to ten pounds (4.5 kg) of fish a day. These mammals have whiskers, which they use to spot their prey by detecting vibrations in the water. [23] Giant otters use these marks to recognize one another, and upon meeting other otters, they engage in a behavior known as "periscoping", displaying their throats and upper chests to each other. Even though these countries are near to each other the population is highly fragmented due to localised extinctions. [23] The fur is extremely dense, so much so that water cannot penetrate to the skin. [46] Study of captive specimens has found only males initiate copulation. [46] Pups open their eyes in their fourth week, begin walking in their fifth, and are able to swim confidently between 12 and 14 weeks old. The giant otter is an especially noisy animal, with a complex repertoire of vocalizations. In the wild, they normally live about 8 to 9 years, but are capable of living up to 13 years of age. [71] A number of restrictions on land use and human intrusion are required to properly maintain wild populations. The behavior of the otter. The giant river otters are excellent predators. Social animals: Giant Otters live in extended family groups that can number from three to even twenty individuals. Giant Otter has 2n = … Parasites, such as the larvae of flies and a variety of intestinal worms, also afflict the giant otter. Schenck et al., who undertook extensive fieldwork in Peru in the 1990s, suggest specific "no-go" zones where the species is most frequently observed, offset by observation towers and platforms to allow viewing. However, Giant Otters can be more resilient and powerful than your average species of Ott A study of five indigenous communities in Colombia suggests native attitudes toward the animal are a threat: the otters are often viewed as a nuisance that interferes with fishing, and are sometimes killed. Males and females do not vary in size, which is usually between 150 and 180 cm long, but they do vary in weight: while males weigh between 26 and 32 kg, females, somewhat lighter, range between 22 and 26 kg. https://www.savacations.com/giant-river-otters-amazon-rainforest The smaller neotropical otter is far more shy, less noisy, and less social; at about a third the weight of the giant otter, it is more vulnerable to predation, hence, a lack of conspicuousness is to its advantage. [64], Even if without direct predation, the giant otter must still compete with other predators for food resources. Distribution of … [41] While not rare among large predators in general, intraspecific aggression is uncommon among otter species; Ribas and Mourão suggest a correlation to the animal's sociability, which is also rare among other otters. [37] At least one case of a change in alpha relationship has been reported, with a new male taking over the role; the mechanics of the transition were not determined. [18], Phylogenetic analysis by Koepfli and Wayne in 1998 found the giant otter has the highest divergence sequences within the otter subfamily, forming a distinct clade that split away 10 to 14 million years ago. [8][9] The genus name, Pteronura, is derived from the Ancient Greek words pteron/πτερόν (feather or wing) and oura/οὐρά (tail),[10] a reference to its distinctive, wing-like tail. They are perfectly adapted to their watery environment, with large, webbed feet and stout tails to guide them through submerged vegetation, and ears and noses that close when they dive in search of prey. As human activity expands, giant otter home ranges become increasingly isolated. Poaching has long been a problem. They … [67], The animal faces a variety of critical threats. In terms of otters, the giant one has the shortest coat and its … All otters produce vocalizations, but by frequency and volume, the giant otter may be the most vocal. Males are between 1.5 and 1.7 m (4.9 and 5.6 ft) in length from head to tail and females between 1 and 1.5 m (3.3 and 4.9 ft). Do otters lay eggs or give live birth? They do live in large family groups. They live in family groups that consist of 4 - 10 members and they have a home range of around 12 x 12 kms The giant otter is the longest of the otter species but shares a similar weight with the sea otter. [59], Giant otters use areas beside rivers for building dens, campsites, and latrines. [54] If fish are unavailable, it will also take crabs, snakes, and even small caimans and anacondas. Incorrect descriptions of the species have led to multiple synonyms (the latter subspecies is often P. b. paranensis in the literature). Sea otters live in the Pacific Ocean while giant otters live in the tropical rain forests of South America. [6] All three names are in use in South America, with a number of regional variations. In South America, the giant otter resides among hundreds of hungry caimans (a type of crocodilian related to alligators) without any issue. The Brazilian otters live in small family groups in quiet rivers: the Amazon and the Orinoco. The species is territorial, with groups marking their ranges with latrines, gland secretions, and vocalizations. This is the smallest otter species being only about 11 lbs. They are also downright scary-looking. In summary: Cage should be outdoors. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent found in and along its waterways and coasts. Cohesive and cooperative a lead in designating protected areas in South America ). 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