Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Otter fishing in the River -thank you Brian and Anne
Janice and I were very honoured to be invited to view the otters at Brain and Anne's house. We saw a few deer across the river, plus their lovely cat Verti (check out the colour of her eyes), and the main attraction the otters. 3 beautiful otters fishing like mad.
Otters have long, slim bodies and relatively short limbs, with webbed paws. Most have sharp claws on their feet, and all except the sea otter have long muscular tails. The twelve species range in adult size from 0.7 to 1.8 metres (2 to 6 feet) in length and 5 to 45 kilograms (2.7 to 100 pounds) in weight.
They have a very soft, insulated underfur which is protected by their outer layer of long guard hair. This traps a layer of air, and keeps them dry and warm under water.
In water as warm as 10°C (50°F) an otter needs to catch 100 grams (3 oz) of fish per hour to survive. Most species hunt for 3 to 5 hours a day, and nursing mothers up to 8 hours a day.
For most otters, fish is the primary 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 very active, chasing prey in the water or searching the beds of rivers, lakes or the seas.
Otters are playful animals and appear to engage in various behaviors for sheer enjoyment. Different species vary in their social structure, with some being largely solitary, while others live in groups – in a few species these groups may be fairly large.
An otter's den is called a holt or couch. A male otter is a dog, a female a bitch, and a baby a whelp, kit, or pup. Otters family live in lodge or romp, being descriptive of their often playful nature, or when in water raft.