African Clawless Otter

An African Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) is also called by the name "Groot otter" and has partly webbed and clawless feet (hence its name), and it is in fact the second biggest freshwater kind of otter. The Brazilian, or Giant, otter, is the largest freshwater otter and the sea otter is the largest otter of all (fresh and salt water). The African Clawless Otter could be found adjacent to bodies of water amidst forested areas, and that includes savannahs.

African Clawless Otters are members of the Mustelidae family, and they possess smooth, thick fur. Fur color is chestnut and they have white facial spots that go down to the throat and chest. The African Clawless Otter's paws are partially webbed, five digits.

In the way of shelter, logs and even foliage would entice this otter, and that includes rolling. They are clumsy on the ground and maybe recognizing their own limitations, they build their burrow near the water, as this would permit them an escape route when being pursued.

The newborns are raised only by the female, and gestation would go up to 2 months. The weaning occurs from 45 up to 60 days. Full maturity is said to come at 1 year. Their diet consists of fish, frogs, crabs. Whenever they see a prey, they dive, they catch it, then they return to ground to eat whatever it is they catch.
The paws of an African Clawless Otter act as searching tools, for digging on the unclear bottom of rivers, and even when looking underneath a log. It is an aquatic creature, and uses its tail as a propeller.

Basically a solitary animal, they could live with a set of up to 5 members. These otters do not have so many predators. Their number one nemesis so to speak is the python. The other predators are the fish eagles and crocodiles. Whenever it feels threatened, an individual would scream to give warning to its brethren, or to disorient the predator in front of it.

Interesting fact: Very sensitive whiskers serve as sensors when in water, getting signals of a possible prey/animal.

The African clawless otter, cape clawless otter is listed as Least Concern. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Namings for the African clawless otter
A young / baby of a African clawless otter is called a 'pup or whelp'. A African clawless otter group is called a 'romp, bevy, lodge, family or raft'.
Some facts about the
African clawless otter

Adult weight : 23.5 kg (51.7 lbs)

Maximum longevity : 14 years

Female maturity :365 days

Male maturity : 365 days

Gestation : 63 days

Weaning : 53 days

Litter size : 3

Weight at birth : 1.05 kg (2.31 lbs)

Weight at weaning : 3.36 kg (7.392 lbs)

Source: AnAge, licensed under CC

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