Otters are carnivorous mammals in the subfamily Lutrinae.The 13 extant otter species are all semiaquatic, aquatic or marine, with diets based on fish and invertebrates.
Otters have long, slim bodies and relatively short limbs. 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. Males weigh up to 90 lbs (41 kilograms).The Oriental small-clawed otter is the smallest otter species, which grows up to 2.9 feet (90 centimeters) long and up to 11 lbs. (5 kg) and the giant otter and sea otter are the largest. They have very soft, insulated underfur, which is protected by an outer layer of long guard hairs. This traps a layer of air which keeps them dry, and warm.
For most otters, fish is the staple of their diet. This is often supplemented by frogs, crayfish and crabs. Some otters are expert at opening shellfish, and others will feed on available small mammals or birds.
Otters are found almost all over the world and in many wet habitats, such freshwater rivers, lakes, oceans, coastlines and marshes. Otters are active hunters, chasing prey in the water or searching the beds of rivers, lakes or the seas. Most species live beside water, but river otters usually enter it only to hunt or travel, otherwise spending much of their time on land to avoid their fur becoming waterlogged. Sea otters are considerably more aquatic and live in the ocean for most of their lives.
Otters are playful animals and appear to engage in various behaviors for sheer enjoyment, such as making waterslides and then sliding on them into the water. They may also find and play with small stones. They like to slide off embankments into the water, wrestle, chase their tails and participate in other fun games. They are also very curious and like to investigate new things.
Otters spend a good part of their day grooming themselves. They clean their fur by biting it and scratching it against rocks, or rubbing it on logs or grass. They actually have two layers of fur: a dense undercoat that traps air and a topcoat of long, waterproof hairs.
A female otter has a gestation period of two months for smaller species and five months for sea otters. She will give birth to one to five offspring, through usually only two babies are born at once. Sea otters are the only otters that give birth in water. Other otters give birth in dens. Otter babies are called pups. They are born weighing only 4.5 ounces (128 grams) for smaller species and 5 lbs. (2.3 kg) for sea otters.Pups have sealed eyes that open at around 1 month old. At 2 months, pups start to swim. At 1 year of age, pups leave their mother. By 2 to 5 years old they will be ready to make their own pups. Otter live to around 12 years old in the wild, and longer in captivity.
For many generations, fishermen in southern Bangladesh have bred smooth-coated otters and used them to chase fish into their nets. Once a widespread practice, passed down from father to son throughout many communities in Asia, this traditional use of domesticated wild animals is still in practice in the district of Narail, Bangladesh.
The European otter (Lutra lutra), also called the Eurasian otter, inhabits Europe, most of Asia and parts of North Africa. In the British Isles, they were common as recently as the 1950s, but became rare in many areas due to the use of chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides, habitatloss and water pollution (they remained relatively common in parts of Scotland and Ireland). Population levels reached a low point in the 1980s, but are now recovering strongly.
The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) became one of the major animals hunted and trapped for fur in North America after European contact. River otters eat a variety of fish and shellfish, as well as small land mammals and birds. They grow to one meter (3 to 4 ft) in length and weigh from five to 15 kilograms (10 to 30 lb). In some areas, this is a protected species, and some places have otter sanctuaries that help sick and injured otters to recover.
Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are classified as marine mammals and live along the Pacific coast of North America. Sea otters have about 26,000 to 165,000 hairs per square centimeters of skin, a rich fur for which humans hunted them almost to extinction. Sea otters eat shellfish and other invertebrates (especially clams, abalone, and sea urchins). They frequently carry a rock in a pouch under their forearm and use this to smash open shells, making them one of the relatively small number of animals that use tools. They grow to 1.0 to 1.5 m (3.3 to 4.9 ft) in length and weigh 30 kg (66 lb). Unlike most marine mammals (such as seals or whales), sea otters do not have a layer of insulating blubber.
1. Why sea otters unlike most marine mammals?
A. Because sea otters dont have a layer of insulating blubber
B. Because sea otters can give they birth in water
C. Because sea otters have about 26.000 to 165.000 per square of skin
D. Because sea otters eat shellfish and other invertebrates
E. Because sea otters frequently carry a rock to smash a shell
2. What kind of otters
A. The North American river otters
B. The European otters
C. Sea otters
D. Giant otters
C. The Oriental Small-clawed otters
3. How long is a sea otter?
A. 0,6 m to 1,8 m
B. 1 mC. 1,0 m to 1,5 m
D. 3 to 4 ft
E. 2,9 m
4. What is the main idea of the first paragraph?
A. Otters are carnivorous mammals
B. Otters are subfamily Lutrinae
C. The 13 extant otter species are all semiaquatic, aquatic or marine,
D. It traps a layer of air which keeps dry and warm
E. Otter have long, slim body, and relatively short limb
5. From the text we know that...
A. A female otter has a gestation period of three to four for normal species
B. Otters likes frog, crayfish and crabs very much
C.The European otters also called Eurasia otters
D. Sea otters have 15,000 to 165,000 hairs per square meter
E. Sea otter have a layer of insulating blubber