10 facts about otters

Every year, otters are seen in the Lambrok right the way up into Southwick village. They hunt swan mussels in the stream in the reserve and fish in the moat at Southwick Court. Here are some things you may not have known about otters.

  • We know of 13 different species of otter in the world but only the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) is native to Britain.
  • Eurasian otters are extremely widespread: they can be found in 81 countries throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa.
  • Otters have the thickest fur of any mammal.
  • The fur does not just keep them warm but also helps them stay buoyant by trapping air close to their skin.
  • They can close their ears and nose when swimming.
  • Their closest relatives are weasels.
  • Otters are very vocal:
  • Otter droppings are called spraint; they are used to communicate and mark territories. Those who know say that spraint smells like jasmine tea!
  • This far south, otter pups can be born at any time of the year.
  • The pups have to be taught to swim, usually when they are about two months old.

All images: (CC0)

This post was first published in March 2020

More fascinating facts about our Lambrok Stream species:

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