Coat of arms of the Russian Federation


Latin name: Lutra lutra
Family: Cunyi

The otter, or the common otter, or the river otter, or the pestle, is the species of predatory mammals of the family of cunts, leading a semi-aquatic life; One of the three species of the otter species (Lutra). In the literature, the word "otter" usually refers to this species. According to statistics in the territory of Russia in 2006, the otter population was about 15 thousand individuals. In America, in Alaska and the state of Washington, as well as Colombia, about 70 thousand, 2,5 thousand off the coast of California and about ten - in Japan. In total there are approximately 88 thousand otters in the world that is only a fifth of the mid-eighteenth century.


Otter is a large beast with an elongated, flexible body of a streamlined shape. The length of the body is 55-95 cm, the tail is 26-55 cm, the mass is 6-10 kg. Paws short, with swimming membranes. The tail is muscular, not fluffy. Coloring of fur: from above dark brown, from below light, silvery. The coarse hair is coarse, but the underarm is very thick and tender. The structure of her body is adapted for swimming under water: a flat head, short paws, a long tail and not wetting fur.


The most widespread representative of the subfamily Otter. It occurs in a vast area that covers almost the whole of Europe (except the Netherlands and Switzerland), Asia (except the Arabian Peninsula) and North Africa. In Russia there is no only in the Far North.


The otter leads a semi-aquatic life, swimming, swimming and diving in the water. It dwells mainly in forest rivers, rich in fish, less often - in lakes and ponds. Occurs on the seacoast. It prefers rivers with whirlpools, with non-freezing winters in the winter, with washed up water, cluttered beaches, where there are many reliable shelters and places for burrowing. Sometimes he arranges his lairs in caves or, like nests, in thickets near water. The entrance holes of its holes open under water. The hunting grounds of one otter in summer make up a section of the river from 2 to 18 km and about 100 m deep into the coastal zone. In winter, when the stocks of fish are depleted and the wormwood freezes, it is forced to wander, sometimes crossing the high watersheds. At the same time, the otter descends from the slopes, rolling down on the belly and leaving a characteristic trace in the form of a trough. On ice and snow it passes a day to 15-20 km. The otter feeds mainly on fish (carp, pike, trout, roach, gobies), and prefers small fish. In winter, it eats frogs, quite regularly - larvae of caddis flies. In the summer, besides fish, catches water vole and other rodents; In places systematically hunts waders and ducks.


It inhabits practically the entire territory of the former USSR. It inhabits freshwater reservoirs of all landscapes, and it is found in the Far East as well. coast. Prefers rivers with clear water, fast current, rocky channel and shores with a large number of shelters. Polygam. It leads a territorial way of life. Between the neighboring animals, relations of dominance-subordination are possible. IL. The habitat is from 4-12 to 300 ha. There are several permanent burrows and temporary shelters on the site. In communication, olfactory (smell marks) and acoustic signals are of great importance. Nora arranges in the basal cavities. Adapted to a semi-aquatic lifestyle. The basis of nutrition - freshwater fish, eats frogs, birds and small water mammals. It can reproduce throughout the year. In Russia, the gon is usually from February to August, pupping in May-October. Pregnancy about 60 days. The female can be licensed twice a year. In litter is usually 2-3 cub. Weight of newborn 77-133 g for body length 140-180 mm. Cubs are born blind, with closed auditory canals, without teeth. Seen on 30 day. Sexual maturity is reached at the age of about 2,5 years.


Otters are single animals. Mating, depending on climatic conditions, occurs in the spring (March-April) or almost all the year round (in England). The otters are mated in the water. Pregnancy - with a latency period of up to 270 days; The gestation period itself is only 63 days. In the brood, usually 2-4 blind cubs. Sexual maturity of otters occurs in the second to third year.


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