Giant otter

Giant otterAs its name indicates, the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is the largest otter in the world. Its body length can reach up to 1.4 m while its tail alone can grow to be 30 cm to 100 cm. The average weight of an adult giant otter can reach up to 34 kgs. The males are larger than the females.

The giant otter's feet have been adapted for their amphibious life. They have strong claws and big webbed feet, and its under-fur is water-repellent. The giant otter is extremely dark brown, almost black in color, except for a distinctive white spot at the throat's area. The giant otter lives in the larger rivers of the tropical rainforests in South America, preferring the slower rivers where vegetation is thick at the banks. To avoid their predators, the puma and jaguar, giant otters avoid bare ground, when possible, and prefer to live in areas with a large amount of vegetation.

In the past, the giant otter’s range was from Venezuela to northern Argentina; however, currently they are found only in Guyana and Brazil. Giant otters are social and live in groups, called holts. The holts are territorial. A giant otter holt consists of family members, typically siblings. The entire holt will help to rear the young and defend their territory.

Giant otters subsist primarily on fish, particularly catfish and perch.
However, on occasions when fish is scarce, they will eat crustaceans, caiman and even snakes.

Interesting fact: This otter is able to eat six to nine pounds of food in a single day.

Picture of the Giant otter by Renaud d'Avout d'Auerstaedt (, licensed under Attribution ShareAlike 2.5

Keywords: diurnal , tail

The Giant brazilian otter, giant otter is listed as Endangered (EN), considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

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

Adult weight : 24 kg (52.8 lbs)

Maximum longevity : 17 years

Female maturity :730 days

Gestation : 68 days

Weaning : 122 days

Litter size : 2

Litters per year : 1

Weight at birth : 0.204 kg (0.4488 lbs)

Source: AnAge, licensed under CC

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