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29 October 2014
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Scotland The Wild

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Wildlife Map Mammals Mammal
The Eurasian otter is the only otter native to Britain. They're also found throughout Europe as far north as the Arctic Circle, and across most of Asia and northern Africa.

Latin Name: Lutra lutra

Gaelic Name: Biast Dhubh.

Statistics: Length 55-110cm, weight 5-12kg.

Physical Description: Although conforming to the basic mustelid body shape of a long, slim body and a skull with powerful jaws, otters show numerous adaptations to aquatic life. These include webbed toes and a powerful, rudder-like tail, used for propulsion under water. Otters are capable of closing their ears and nostrils while underwater. They have two types of fur: stout, waterproof guard hairs and a dense, fine underfur which provides insulation. Their fur is chestnut-brown and is slightly lighter on the belly.
Scottish Distribution: Widespread.

Habitat: In the British Isles, otters are found in fresh and salt water, although coastal otters like those in Scotland and the Shetlands need access to freshwater pools to clean their insulating fur.

Diet: Apart from fish, otters also feed on crustaceans, water birds, frogs and voles. They can use their whiskers as sensing organs underwater, to monitor the movements of prey.

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