The otter looks funny and cute. It has a flat head, round ears, small eyes, a mustachioed wide snout, short legs and a long tail. The Otter's body length varies from 55 cm to 1 meter, the tail length is 25 to 50 cm and the weight can be 6 to 10 kg. The sturdy, elongated body of the otter is streamlined and perfectly flexible, and its paws are equipped with swimming webs and claws. The otter looks rather inconspicuous due to its discreet brown coloration. However, the sides and lower body of the animal are somewhat lighter, and the abdomen often has a silvery hue. Otter fur is its pride, as the animal takes great care of its beautiful coat. The upper layer of its fur is coarser, but the undercoat is tender and very dense. Due to the thick undercoat, the otter fur is impermeable to water and perfectly protects the body from hypothermia.
The description of the otter says that it is an excellent swimmer, and it is hard to argue with this. Thanks to its special body structure, the river otter is very successful at it. The webbing on the paws and the long tail make it easy to speed up and maneuver under water, special flaps in the ears and nose block water penetration during diving, and the fur does not get wet in the water and protects otters from the cold. The otter is a very energetic and playful animal and is constantly on the move.
The description of the otter characterizes this animal as particularly vigilant and cautious. However, this does not prevent it from having fun, the otter loves to skate from ice slides in winter. Not far from its dwelling you can find small icy hills, with a trace that remains from sliding on the abdomen. Where does the otter live and how does it live? The otter lives over a fairly wide area, covering almost all of Europe and Asia (with the exception of Switzerland, the Netherlands and the Arabian Peninsula), it also inhabits North Africa. In Russia, the otter inhabits even the Far North. The common otter is the most widespread species. Altogether there are 5 genera and 17 species; among them the most famous, besides the river otter, are the Brazilian (giant) otter and the sea otter (sea otter). The otter lives a solitary and semi-aquatic lifestyle, it swims and dives well. Hunting for prey, the river otter can stay under water for almost 2 minutes and swim up to 300 meters.
It has an excellent sense of smell, sight and hearing. Otters live mostly in forest rivers, but they also live in lakes and ponds, and are often found even on the sea coast. The main condition is an abundance of fish. The river otter lives in burrows, choosing hard-to-reach places along the shore. The entrance to the shelter is under water, so the otter avoids completely frozen bodies of water. It digs its own burrows very rarely, taking up abandoned burrows of other animals, such as beavers. Sometimes otters use caves or bushes near water for denning. This small animal leaves developed territory either in case of danger or because of food shortage. Also, the otter always has several spare shelters where it can hide from enemies. The river otter, due to its rather secretive lifestyle, seems to be a completely silent animal, but it is not so. Otters make many different sounds, they hiss, whistle, chirp and squeak. The otter lives, being active mainly in the evening and at night, but you can see it quite often in the daytime as well. In summer, the otter often comes out of the shelter to bask in the sun.