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Eurasian River Otter

Common name for the most widely distributed species of otter in the world. It is brown on the back, shading to beige on the belly and throat, and is about one meter in length. It weighs around 8 kilograms, with males being somewhat larger and heavier than females. The paws are webbed and the claws are well-developed. With rather poor eyesight, it uses its strong whiskers as an aid in locating prey, which consists of mostly fish, but also crayfish, frogs and even water birds. The Eurasian River Otter is found in a variety of aquatic habitats, both in highlands and lowlands, from sea level to the Himalayas. Besides dwelling near and in fresh water, its may also swim in brackish and salt water, provided that fresh water is available to wash off the salt. The Eurasian River Otter is also known Eurasian Otter and the European Otter. It belongs to the Mustelidae family and has the scientific name Lutra lutra. In Thai, it is called naag yai thammada, i.e. ‘large common otter’. See also Asian Small-clawed Otter.