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Encyclopedia > Marine Otter
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Marine Otter
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Subfamily: Lutrinae
Genus: Lontra
Gray, 1843
Species: L. felina
Binomial name
Lontra felina
(Molina, 1782)

Marine Otters (Lontra felina) are rare and poorly-understood marine mammals of the weasel family (Family Mustelidae). They are the only marine species of the otters of South America, and rarely even venture into freshwater or estuarine habitats. The Latin name means "Otter Cat," and in Spanish, Marine Otters are often referred to as "Gato Marino." The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive either in the present day or the future. ... Image File history File links Status_iucn3. ... The Siberian Tiger, a subspecies of tiger. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. ... “Animalia” redirects here. ... Typical Classes Subphylum Urochordata - Tunicates Ascidiacea Thaliacea Larvacea Subphylum Cephalochordata - Lancelets Subphylum Myxini - Hagfishes Subphylum Vertebrata - Vertebrates Petromyzontida - Lampreys Placodermi (extinct) Chondrichthyes - Cartilaginous fishes Acanthodii (extinct) Actinopterygii - Ray-finned fishes Actinistia - Coelacanths Dipnoi - Lungfishes Amphibia - Amphibians Reptilia - Reptiles Aves - Birds Mammalia - Mammals Chordates (phylum Chordata) include the vertebrates, together with... Subclasses Subclass Allotheria* Order Docodonta (extinct) Order Multituberculata (extinct) Order Palaeoryctoides (extinct) Order Triconodonta (extinct) Order Volaticotheria (extinct) Subclass Prototheria Order Monotremata Subclass Theria Infraclass Trituberculata (extinct) Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria Mammals are a class of vertebrate animals characterized by the production of milk in females for the nourishment of... Families 17, See classification The diverse order Carnivora (IPA: or IPA: ; from Latin carō (stem carn-) flesh, + vorāre to devour) includes over 260 placental mammals. ... Subfamilies Lutrinae Melinae Mellivorinae Taxidiinae Mustelinae Mustelidae is a family of carnivorous mammals. ... Genera Amblonyx Aonyx Enhydra Lontra Lutra Lutrogale Pteronura Otters are aquatic or marine carnivorous mammals, members of the large and diverse family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, polecats, badgers and others. ... John Edward Gray. ... In biology, binomial nomenclature is the formal system of naming species. ... Father Juan Ignacio Molina (June 24, 1740 - September 12, 1829) was a Chilean priest and naturalist. ... A Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), a member of Order Cetacea A Leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), a member of infrafamily Pinnipedia A West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus), a member of Order Sirenia A pair of Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris), a member of family Mustelidae yeahh boii ♥ A marine mammal is a... Subfamilies Lutrinae Melinae Mellivorinae Taxidiinae Mustelinae Mustelidae is a family of carnivorous mammals. ...


Geographic Range

Marine Otters are found in littoral areas of southwestern South America. They are found close to shore and in the intertidal areas of southern Peru, the entire coast of Chile, and the extreme southern reaches of Argentina. Occasional vagrant sightings still occur as far a field as the Falkland Islands. A littoral is the region near the shoreline of a body of fresh or salt water. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... It has been suggested that Intertidal ecology, Foreshore and Littoral be merged into this article or section. ...

Physical description

Marine Otters are small mammals, rarely exceeding 1 m (about 3 ft) in length and 4.5 kg (10 pounds) in weight. The fur of Marine Otters is dark brown on the dorsal surface (back) and light brown on the ventral surface (belly). The guard hairs cover short insulating fur with a grayish tone. The fur is more coarse and tough than in Sea Otters. Many think their fur is tougher than other otters because they live frequently in the surf where they can be slamed against the rocks. Guard hairs are the longest, thickest hairs in a mammals coat, forming the topcoat (or outer coat). ... Binomial name Enhydra lutris (Linnaeus, 1758) The Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris) is a large otter native to the North Pacific, from northern Japan and Kamchatka west across the Aleutian Islands south to California. ...

The clawed fore- and hindpaws are webbed, and the tail short.

The Marine Otter's lower jaws contain eight and upper jaws contain eight to nine pairs of teeth. The teeth are more developed for slicing than crushing.

There is no sexual dimorphism in this species, and the females have four teats. Female (left) and male Common Pheasant, illustrating the dramatic difference in both color and size between the sexes Sexual dimorphism is the systematic difference in form between individuals of different sex in the same species. ...

Habitat and diet

The otters mainly inhabit rocky shorelines with abundant seaweed and kelp, and infreqently visit estuaries and freshwater rivers. They appear to select habitats with surprising exposure to strong swells and winds, unlike many other otters, which prefer calmer waters. Caves and crevices in the rocky shorelines may provide them with the cover they need, and often a den will have no land access at high tide. Marine Otters avoid sandy beaches.

Little is known about the diet of Marine Otters, but their primary prey is believed to be crabs, shrimps, mollusks, and fish. Phthirus pubis Pubic lice (Phthirus pubis), also known as crabs , are one of the many varieties of lice (singular louse) specialized to live on different areas of different animals. ... Suborders Not necessary complete list: Aristeidae Penaeidae Sergestidae Sicyoniidae Solenoceridae Nematocarcinidae Atyidae Pasiphaeoidae Rhynocinetidae Campylonotidae Palaemonidae Alpheidae Ogyrididae Hippolytidae Proussidae Pandalidae Crangonidae True shrimp are small, swimming, decapod crustaceans usually classified in the suborder Natantia, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. ... Classes Caudofoveata Aplacophora Polyplacophora - Chitons Monoplacophora Bivalvia - Bivalves Scaphopoda - Tusk shells Gastropoda - Snails and Slugs Cephalopoda - Squids, Octopuses, etc. ... A giant grouper at the Georgia Aquarium Fish are aquatic vertebrates that are typically cold-blooded; covered with scales, and equipped with two sets of paired fins and several unpaired fins. ...

Behavior and reproduction

Marine Otters are most often seen individually or in small groups of up to three. They are difficult to spot, swimming low in the water, exposing only their heads and backs. It is not known whether they are territorial or not, as males are occasionally seen fighting, yet fights have also been observed even between mating pairs. Fighting takes place on prominent rocks above the water line used for resting, feeding, and grooming. Marine Otters have also been observed cooperatively feeding on large fish, but it is not known how common the practice is.

The otters are diurnal mammals, primarily active in the daytime. A diurnal animal (dī-ŭrnəl) is an animal that is active during the daytime and sleeps during the night. ...

Marine Otters may be monogamous or polygamous, and breeding occurs in December or January. Litters of two to five pups each are born after a gestation period of 60 to 70 days, in January, February, or March. The pups remain with their mother for about 10 months of parental care, and can sometimes be seen on the mother's belly as she swims on her back, a practice similar to that of Sea Otters. Parents bring food to the pups and teach them to hunt. Gestation is the carrying of an embryo or fetus inside a female viviparous animal. ... Binomial name Enhydra lutris (Linnaeus, 1758) The Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris) is a large otter native to the North Pacific, from northern Japan and Kamchatka west across the Aleutian Islands south to California. ...

Conservation Status

Marine Otters are rare and protected under Peruvian, Chilean, and Argentinean law. In the past, Marine Otters were extensively hunted both for their fur and due to perceived competition with fisheries. Hunting extirpated the Marine Otter from Argentina and the Falkland Islands. Poaching is still a problem, but one of unknown magnitude. It is unknown how many Marine Otters exist in the wild or what habitats should be preserved to encourage their recovery. Marine Otters were listed under CITES Appendix I in 1976, and are listed as endangered by the U.S. Department of the Interior. •!Shae iis Butterful!• The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between Governments, drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). ...


Reeves, R. R., Stewart, B. S., Clapham, P. J., and J. A. Powell. 2002. National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 47-48.

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Lontra felina



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