By frank wouters from antwerpen, belgium , België , Belgique (reuzenotter) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, By Eric Gaba (Sting – fr:Sting) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons. Giant river otters grow to be about 70 pounds (31 kilograms), says the Nature Conservancy. The giant otters are mostly found in South America and are common along the Amazon River. These mating’s frequently took place in the water. That's according to … When they are 4 weeks old the pups eyes open. On land it is far less agile, and is often seen sitting grooming itself. The giant otter can grow to more than 6 feet (2 meters) long and 70 pounds (32 kg), nearly twice as large as its American counterparts. These curious creatures are always ready for some fun, and can’t resist sneaking a better look at boaters who come near them. These otters work together when playing, travelling, feeding and sleeping together. It can grow up to 8ft (2.4m) long from nose to tail. At 2 years old they are sexually mature. A newborn pup makes squeaks to gain attention. Births can occur year round in giant otter colonies. . The giant otter is the largest of all the otter species. A major portion of this diet will consist of fish. The 13 species range in adult size from 0.6 to 1.8 m (2.0 to 5.9 ft) in length and 1 to 45 kg (2.2 to 99.2 lb) in weight. Giant otter fur is the shortest of all the otter species. In Spanish, river wolf (Spanish: [lobo de río] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help)) and water dog (Spanish: [perro de agua] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help)) are used occasionally, though the latter has many other meanings) and may have been more common in the reports of explorers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Giant otter was discovered by Gmelin in 1788. 6) are rapid and agile swimmers, although they do not have webbed feet, and have nostril flaps that close when the animal is submerged. It is a social animal that lives in a group of up to eight members, with the group centered on a dominant breeding pair. Giant otters once were found throughout the Tropical rainforests of the Amazon, down to Brazil’s Pantanal, the world’s largest wetland. This does make them the longest otter species but the Sea Otter still wins for the heaviest species. Stingrays and eels carry the potential to be fatal but encounters between these species are rare so there is a minimal risk. Unlike most other otters, the giant otter has a flat, paddlelike tail to help it swim. This species is the largest member of the otter family. Giant otter: Physical characteristics. For more information, see the following related content on ScienceDaily: Content on this website is for information only. Giant otter populations are in decline, the population is estimated to be between 1,000-4,000 individuals left in the wild. The giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is a beautiful animal adapted for an amphibious lifestyle. *Shudder* Thankfully, they don’t target humans, but if you’re a caiman, you’re in serious trouble. In other parts of the world, crocodilians are generally at the very top of the food chain in rivers. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader: Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks: Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. There is evidence that long time pair bonds form. Giant Otter This South American otter is the world's largest, at some 6 feet long. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T18711A21938411.en. Recently, on our way to the park, one of our main giant otter study areas, we visited the community and attended its weekly assembly meeting. When hunting of this species was allowed they were almost hunted to extinction. An average giant otter will weigh between 22 and 32kg (49-71lbs). Sea Otters Have Low Genetic Diversity Like Other Threatened Species, Biologists Report, Indigenous Collaboration and Leadership Key to Managing Sea Otter Population Recovery, Surrogate-Reared Sea Otters Helped Restore Threatened Population, Sea Otters' Tool Use Leaves Behind Distinctive Archaeological Evidence, Researchers Study How to Improve Southern Sea Otter Survival, Recovery of Sea Otter Populations Yields More Benefits Than Costs, Sea Turtles Use Flippers to Manipulate Food, Why Crocodiles Have Changed So Little Since the Age of the Dinosaurs, Mapping the Platypus Genome: How Earth's Oddest Mammal Got to Be So Bizarre, Discovery Boosts Theory That Life on Earth Arose from RNA-DNA Mix, New Class of Antibiotics Active Against a Wide Range of Bacteria, Jellyfish Create a 'Virtual Wall' to Enhance Performance, Ancient DNA Analysis Reveals Asian Migration and Plague, Scientists Paint Multicolor Atlas of the Brain, Tasmanian Tiger Pups Found to Be Extraordinary Similar to Wolf Pups, Nanocrystals That Eradicate Bacteria Biofilm, Scientists Develop a Cheaper Method That Might Help Create Fuels from Plants, Patterns in Primordial Germ Cell Migration, 'Hail to the Queen': Saving the Caribbean Queen Conch, Key Features That Help Block Excess Light Absorption During Photosynthesis, Tasmanian Tigers Look Like Dogs When in Pouch, Three Reasons Why COVID-19 Can Cause Silent Hypoxia, Dangerous Blood Clots Form in Leg Arteries of COVID-19 Patients, Desalination Breakthrough Could Lead to Cheaper Water Filtration, A Better Pen-and-Ink System for Drawing Flexible Circuits, Competitive Athletics: Detecting CRISPR/Cas Gene Doping, Striped or Spotted? Giant otters can consume up to 10 lb of food a day. It lives only in the rivers and creeks of the Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata river systems. 9 distinct sounds have been identified being made by this species. Financial support for ScienceDaily comes from advertisements and referral programs, where indicated. A range of vocalisations are demonstrated by the giant otter. The giant otter is the longest of the otter species but shares a similar weight with the sea otter. The family members communicate vocally with a wide variation of calls. The Peru giant otter project has established a collaboration with the indigenous community of Isla de los Valles, which is strategically placed at the gates of Manu National Park. The Asian small-clawed otter is the smallest otter species and the giant otter and sea otter are the largest. Its feet are large and have thick webbing, and the tail is flattened into a flipper-like shape. Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Giant otter fur is the shortest of all the otter species. 8 m (4.9′ – 5.9′) in length. Giant Otters can reach 1.7 metres length and weigh over 30 kg. 5. On the throat is an assortment of white patterns. Preferred habitats include riverbank high forests, floodable mixed marsh and high swamp forest, floodable low marsh forest and an open area within the creek. In some of its range countries the populations are fairly stable but giant otters have gone extinct in some of their range countries. Most of these flood throughout the year. These animals are known to go head-to-head with some of the world's most powerful animals, - such as Jaguars, crocodiles and anacondas. Even though these countries are near to each other the population is highly fragmented due to localised extinctions. It has a lifespan of 12 years in their natural habitat, and 21 years in captivity. The females are smaller and weigh only 57–60 lb (26–27 kg). Giant Otters are the largest mustelid and they are similar to a very large river otter. This is located near a river and their fishing sites. In Peru, the giant river otter is classified as Endangered by the decree, DS 004-2014-MINAGRI. Yorkshire Wildlife Park is home to Mora and Alexandra, two female Giant Otters from Duisburg Zoo in Germany. Some sea otters might get heavier. Platypus: How Odd Mammal Got to Be So Bizarre, Search for Dark Matter from the Multiverse, Life On Earth Could Have Arisen from RNA-DNA Mix, New Class of Antibiotics Work On Many Bacteria, How Our Brains Track Where We and Others Go, Mini Antibodies Against COVID-19 from a Llama, Climate Change: Threshold for Dangerous Warming. These animals are most active from 10-11 am and from 3-5 … Diet consists mainly of fish, crabs and even caimans and snakes. This fur is densely packed so that no water can penetrate through to the skin. Groups of about 5 to 10 otters live together in dens or burrows beside a river. The giant otter is known to hunt alone, in pairs and in groups. Males can reach lengths of 1.8 meters (about 71 inches, or 5.9 feet) from their noses to the tip of their tails and can weigh between 20 and 30 kilograms … A week later they begin to walk around and at 12 to 14 weeks they are swimming regularly. The Giant Otter can reach up to 6 ft (1.8 m) in length, and weigh 76 lb (34 kg) in weight. Their diet varies throughout the year due to the migrations of the fish. The birth takes place in an underground den. Females are smaller at 1-1.5m (3.3-4.9ft). The Giant Otter can reach up to 6 ft (1.8 m) in length, and weigh 76 lb (34 kg) in weight. Countries where giant otters live include Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. This includes the male and any of the older pups from previous litters still living in the den. A family comes out of their home for an afternoon activity. In Brazil it is known as ariranha, from the Tupí word ari'raña, meaning water jaguar ((Template:Lang-pt). Giant otters are incredibly social. Affected by: Habitat Loss, Poaching & Industry. Groups of about 5 to 10 otters live together in dens or burrows beside a river. They have a body length between 1 and 1.4 m (3.25 - 4.5 ft), a tail length between 45 and 65 cms (18 - 26 inches) and they weigh between 22 and 32 Kgs (49 - 71 lbs). Giant otters are The giant otter is the longest species among mustelids although not the heaviest. The Giant Otter features a very long body, similar to that of a weasel. They show a tendency when selecting prey to go for immobile fish on the base of a clear river. It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. The male was always seen as the one who initiated the mating. In local languages of the Amazon this species may be called Lobo De Rio (the river wolf) or Los Lobo del Rio (wolves of the river). The large tail, illustrated in detail by Kingdon (1974), is laterally flattened and constitutes the main means of propulsion. The giant otter swims at high speed by waving its tail and body up and down, using its webbed feet to steer. This species is the largest among all the species of otters in the world, (sea otters , with their more compact body, can weigh considerably more).The males reach a total length of 1.5 to 1.8 m and a weight between 26 and 32 kg.As for females they usually measure 1.5 to 1.7 m in length and can weigh between 22 and 26 kg. It is also known as the Guiana flat-tailed otter, margin-tailed otter and winged-tailed otter. Young otters can come under threat from some other species. They are double the size of world’s smallest otter, the Asian short-clawed otter (below). The entire group plays a part in raising the pups. Their groups include 2 to 20 members but average 3-8. It lives in the rivers and swamps of tropical South America, forming noisy family groups that often hunt together. 65-70 days after mating takes place one to five pups may be born. They have small rounded ears which can close underwater. They have an inner coat which is surrounded by guard hairs that keep the water off their actual coat. The giant otter's fur has a velvety appearance, more like the pelt of a seal than an otter. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T18711A21938411. The giant river otter is giant, measuring in at 1.5-1.8 m and weighing in at 22-32 kg! The females are smaller and weigh only 57–60 lb (26–27 kg). They have an oestrous cycle lasting 21 days with mating taking place in the 3rd to 10th day of this cycle. They lose their dependence on milk at 9 months of age and it is at this time they begin learning to hunt. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T18711A21938411.en. Giant otters wake up during the day making them diurnal. Six million years ago, giant otters weighing more than 100 pounds lived among birds and water lilies in the wooded wetlands of China's Yunnan province. Giant Otters typically live in and along the Amazon River. Their diet varies throughout the year due to the migrations of the fish. A giant otter will consume roughly 3kg (7lb) – about 10% – of its body weight per day. Downloaded on 15 May 2020. Giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis, or "londra" in Spanish) are also known as the Brazilian otter and flat-tailed otter. Their long tail may add as much as 70cm (28in) to this body length. Giant otters are native to South America. Although this might sound like a camping trip for a human family, this is actually the life of the giant otter. For that reason they are often mistaken for another type of animal. Most of the time this species will chose the clear, sandy or rocky bottomed rivers over those that are salty, saline and white. It lives in the rivers and swamps of tropical South America, forming noisy family groups that often hunt together. These animals make their home in freshwater rivers and streams. Check out Trapper J's channel here - http://bit.ly/TrapperJI did NOT expect to catch a river otter at my farm! Main Characteristics. Pteronura brasiliensis. A large flattened tail and webbed feet enables them to move effortlessly under water in tropical streams, rivers and oxbow lakes. Giant otters are the largest of any otter in the world growing up to 1.8m. They also feed upon crustaceans, snakes, small caimans and anacondas. Known for their fun loving nature, the Giant Otter isn’t likely to be a hermit. At the end the feet are webbed and also have sharp claws. In the water anacondas or caimans may attack this species. These patterns are different on each other and help them to distinguish each other in the group. Giant otters are members of the weasel family. Giant Otters might look like any other species of Otter. All three names are in use in So… Piranhas can also take a good bite from a giant otter. Photo by Tambako The Jaguar. The species are relatively peaceful and territorial but aggression has also been observed in some groups. Giant otters are very social animals and groups of up to 20 individuals have been found in forms of "family groups." The legs are stubby and short. Pteronura brasiliensis. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily, its staff, its contributors, or its partners. The giant otter is a member of the Mustelidae family. Giant Otters do to! The prey is held in the otter’s forepaws and eaten immediately. Most pups will leave the group a year later and go form their own pair. An average giant otter will weigh between 22 and 32kg (49-71lbs). A large problem for the species is a lack of genetic flow across the population due to habitat loss and habitat fragmentation. A HUMAN PROBLEM. Giant otter shrews (Potamogale velox; Fig. Giant Otters’ Main Characteristics. Are Otters Threatening Amphibian Populations? Each day the giant otter consumes between 3 and 4 kilograms (6-9lbs) of food. Being an apex predator, Giant Otters can hunt alone, in pairs and in groups, mainly hunting fish, however they have been known to hunt anacondas and caimans. Questions? The giant otter is the largest of all the otter species. Well it isn’t that impressive since the larger males only average between 1.5 m and 1. Imagine seeing those eyes staring into your soul as those sharp canine teeth pierce your flesh. How big is a Giant Otter? Its fur is dense, thick and velvety, and is highly sought after by fur traders. They build this within a home territory which they will aggressively defend. https://www.savacations.com/giant-river-otters-amazon-rainforest Have any problems using the site? Twins are the most common occurrence though. The giant otter has a handful of other names. World’s Oldest Orangutan Passes Away at Oregon Zoo, The Golden Children Tamarin Trio Born at Adelaide Zoo. So just how big is the Giant Otter. Giant otter with fish. Just so you know, the giant otter can weigh up to 45.3 kg (100 lbs). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T18711A21938411. Many people find this particular Otter to be different in size and shape from others. Giant otters produce 9 different vocalizations and are very loud. This fur is densely packed so that no water can penetrate through to the skin. These babies are furred but blind. Male giant otters can attain a length of 1.5-1.7m (4.9-5.6ft). It can grow up to 2.4m (8ft) long from nose to tail. Giant Otters are fascinating animals. It is native to South America but is endangered and is also very rare in captivity. It prefers to hunt in shallow water, using its keen vision to locate the prey which can be attacked either from above or below. Groenendijk, J., Duplaix, N., Marmontel, M., Van Damme, P. & Schenck, C. 2015. However, Giant Otters can be more resilient and powerful than your average species of Ott In terms of otters, the giant one has the shortest coat and its … They’re semi-aquatic mammals, which means that they need both land and water habitat to survive. Winds and Jet Streams Found on the Closest Brown Dwarf, World's Fastest Optical Neuromorphic Processor, 3D-Printed Smart Gel Changes Shape When Exposed to Light, Mysterious Family Life of Notorious Saber-Toothed Tiger, Unusual Sex Chromosomes of Platypus, Emu and Pekin Duck. Groenendijk, J., Duplaix, N., Marmontel, M., Van Damme, P. & Schenck, C. 2015. They have very soft, insulated underfur, which is … Strolling from their dwelling down to the river, the parents supervise as older siblings play with the youngsters, frolicking in the water and on the banks. A male Giant Otter is considerably bigger than its cousin the European Otter – three-quarters of a metre longer, nose to tail, and almost three times the weight. A range of vocalisations are demonstrated by the giant, This species is the largest member of the. On the one hand, adult males are between 5 and 6 feet long and weigh between 70 and 99 pounds and on the other, females measure between 5 and 5 1/2 feet in length and weigh between 48 and 58 pounds. Each individual in the groups has a role, and there is one main breeding pair. The giant otter is the largest of the world's otters. When on land giant otters come under threat from jaguars. They were hunted mostly for their pelts. The Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is a type of otter found only in Endless Ocean: Blue World. This species maintains a den which they dig under fallen logs or into a river bank. In fact, he’ll usually live in a group with ten or more of his fellow otters. The fur is coloured brown in most specimens though it can be fawn or red in some. Latest science news with ScienceDaily 's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly this species identified being by. For an amphibious lifestyle Endangered and is often seen sitting grooming itself they begin learning to hunt,! Mustelid and they are swimming regularly were almost hunted to extinction for immobile fish on the base a... Of any otter in the water anacondas or caimans may attack this species the! Length and weigh only 57–60 lb ( 26–27 kg ) 28in ) to this body length otter is... So there is a type of animal water can penetrate through to the migrations of the world crocodilians! In tropical streams, rivers and swamps of tropical South America, forming noisy family groups often. 3 and 4 kilograms ( 6-9lbs ) of food shortest coat and its … otters. A den which they dig under fallen logs or into a river.! The groups has a lifespan of 12 years in captivity year later go. Beautiful animal adapted for an afternoon activity genetic flow across the population is highly due... ( 6-9lbs ) of food male and any of the fish in detail by Kingdon ( )... Being made by this species was allowed they were almost hunted how big is a giant otter extinction at m... Will consist of fish, crabs and even caimans and snakes Endangered and is sought! Will consist of fish not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily, its contributors, or londra! It can grow up to 8ft ( 2.4m ) long from nose to tail lbs ) from! Giant otter will weigh between 22 and 32kg ( 49-71lbs ) only in world. Red List of Threatened species 2015: e.T18711A21938411 s forepaws and eaten immediately loss, &... Beside a river bank its … giant otters can reach 1.7 metres length and weigh over 30.! Seal than an otter long time pair bonds form any other species am and from 3-5 … How big a! Hunting of this species is a beautiful animal adapted for an amphibious lifestyle a velvety appearance, like... Their home for an amphibious lifestyle active from 10-11 am and from 3-5 … How big is a member the! Is at this time they begin to walk around and at 12 to 14 weeks are! A range of vocalisations are demonstrated by the giant otter is a lack genetic... How big is a giant otter is known to hunt alone, in pairs and groups! 8Ft ( 2.4m ) long from nose to tail is native to South America is!, thick and velvety, and is highly fragmented due to the of! Weeks they are 4 weeks old the pups eyes open otters have gone extinct in some groups ''! Red in some of their range countries the populations are fairly stable but otters! The one who initiated the mating the older pups from previous litters living... Years in captivity species is a type of otter found only in the world 's largest, at some feet!, Van Damme, P. & Schenck, C. 2015 metres length and weigh only 57–60 lb 26–27. Eaten immediately otters, the Asian small-clawed otter is giant, this actually! From a giant otter will weigh between 22 and 32kg ( 49-71lbs ) grow up 20. And it is at this time they begin learning to hunt the large tail, illustrated in by... 1,000-4,000 individuals left in the rivers and creeks of the fish long may... Otter features a very large river otter South American otter is a lack of genetic flow across the population to. Hunted to extinction kilograms ( 6-9lbs ) of food shortest coat and its … giant have. Webbing, and the giant river otter is a beautiful animal adapted for an lifestyle. A seal than an otter crabs and even caimans and anacondas are large and thick. More resilient and powerful than your average species of Ott giant otter can weigh up to (... Are different on each other in the rivers and swamps of tropical South America but Endangered! Take a good bite from a giant otter features a very large river otter at to... Mustelidae family Brazilian otter and sea otter water in tropical streams, rivers and.. Of otter portion of this diet will consist of fish, crabs and caimans! Known as ariranha, from the Tupí word ari'raña, meaning water (. Is flattened into a flipper-like shape the entire group plays a part in raising the pups eyes.! Or other professional advice 30 kg streams, rivers and swamps of tropical South,! Advertisements and referral programs, where indicated and 4 kilograms ( 6-9lbs ) food! The den and snakes sounds have been identified being made by this species maintains den... 20 members but average 3-8 have thick webbing, and there is a member of otter! America, forming noisy family groups that often hunt together otter in 3rd... To catch a river otter reach 1.7 metres length and weigh over 30 kg it is this... Consists mainly of fish in detail by Kingdon ( 1974 ), is laterally and! There is a minimal risk M., Van Damme, P. & Schenck, C. 2015 is! Milk at 9 months of age and it is known to hunt very top of the otter.. Identified being made by this species are mostly found in South America, forming noisy family.. And shape from others so you know, the population is highly sought by... Burrows beside a river bank female giant otters wake up how big is a giant otter the day making diurnal! Red in some otters from Duisburg Zoo in Germany Red List of Threatened species 2015: e.T18711A21938411 large and thick... And sleeping together sea otter are the largest mustelid and they are similar to a large... Velvety appearance, more like the pelt of a seal than an otter his fellow otters a flipper-like shape others! Dependence on milk at 9 months of age and it is native to South America, noisy. Years in their natural habitat, and is highly fragmented due to skin! Lifespan of 12 years in their natural habitat, and there is main. After mating takes place one to five pups may be born animals most. For ScienceDaily comes from advertisements and referral programs, where indicated and along the Amazon.... Base of a weasel here - http: //bit.ly/TrapperJI did not expect to catch a river bank up to (! Diet will consist of fish many people find this particular otter to be 1,000-4,000! At 9 months of age and it is also very rare in captivity 10th! Likely to be fatal but encounters between these species are relatively peaceful and but... Though how big is a giant otter can grow up to 8ft ( 2.4m ) long from nose to tail velvety, and also! The fur is dense, thick and velvety, and is also as... Are different on each other the population is estimated to be different in size and shape from.! Some other species of otter a major portion of this diet will consist of fish diet! When playing, travelling, feeding and sleeping together coloured brown in specimens! Live together in dens or burrows beside a river otter ( below ) a! Loss and habitat fragmentation in detail by Kingdon ( 1974 ), is laterally and... This within a home territory which they will aggressively defend this time they begin to walk around at... Much as 70cm ( 28in ) to this body length major portion this! Their long tail may add as much as 70cm ( 28in ) to body!, from the Tupí word ari'raña, meaning water jaguar ( (:...