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« Back Mammals (UK)

Photo by Richard, Redcar, England


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The Otter is a member of the weasel family. Otters live close to water and spend much time in it. They are expert swimmers and divers and can stay underwater for three or four minutes. They move awkwardly on land.

Otters live on all the continents except Australia and Antarctica. Most otters weigh from 10 to 30 pounds (4.5 to 14 kilograms) and grow from 3 to 41/2 feet (0.9 to 1.4 meters) long, including the tail. The giant otter of South America may measure up to 7 feet (2 meters) long. Otters live along rivers, streams, lakes, and coastal waters, or in marshes.

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