Otters are small marine mammals that play an important role in any ecosystem that they belong to. There are many species of otters around the world with some preferring to live near rivers while others prefer saltwater. These animals can be found in almost every continent in the world except for the Australian and Antarctic continents. Many people think of otters as cute animals but they also have various characteristics that make them stand out. The following are some interesting facts about otters:
Fact 1: Otters eat a lot all day. Many of them basically fill their days finding for food. These animals may be small but they can consume food up to a quarter equivalent of their total body weight. Many of them feed on a variety of marine species including fish, clams, and crabs.
Fact 2: Otters are highly active animals. When they are found in the wild, otters are seemingly always busy moving around and hunting for food. The extra energy they spend every day is supported by their love for food.
Fact 3: Otter fur is one of the thickest in the entire animal kingdom. Up to 1 million hairs can be found in only a square inch of otter skin. The thick hair in otters basically helps them regulate body temperature as they spend most of the time swimming in rivers and seas.
Fact 4: Otters are noisy animals. This characteristic is very much evident when they are found in groups. Besides their very active lifestyle, otters are very noisy when communicating with other otters.
Fact 5: All otters are great swimmers. Most of their time is spent on this activity and their bodies are designed so well that they can swim smoothly and swiftly looking for food. Some of them can even dive to a depth of more than 300 feet just to look for food.
Fact 6: Otters are gifted with great lung power. With most of them swimming almost the entire day, otters can also dive below water and hold their breath for as long as 8 minutes. This ability can basically help otters look for the food they want to eat.
Fact 7: Otters are also good with their hands similar to other primates. Otters have been found to use rocks to help them open clams and shellfish for example.
Fact 8: Both river and sea otters are found to wash up after every meal. These animals are known to clean themselves up every time they finish a meal.
Fact 9: Otters can live longer while in captivity. In the wild, an otter may live to about 10 years but this can be extended to about 5 years more while in a restricted area for example.
Fact 10: Otters are intelligent animals. Those that prefer to live in saltwater for example are basically aware of the dangers of strong water currents. Many of them strategically stay safe near areas where there is a lot of kelp which they sometimes wrap around their bodies to avoid drifting away into the open sea.