Southeast Asia from northern India to southeastern China, the Malay Peninsula and parts of Indonesia.
Small-clawed otters adapt to a variety of aquatic habitats from tropical coastal wetlands to freshwater rivers and creeks as well as mountain streams and even rice paddies.
- Small-clawed otters have a head-body length of 18-24 inches (45-61 cm) with a 10-14 inch (25-35 cm) tail.
- They weigh six to 12 pounds (2.7-5.4 kg).
- They have long, slender bodies with dark gray-brown fur on their body and lighter creamcolored fur on the face and throat.
- They have partially webbed toes and very short claws that do not extend past the fleshy pads of the toes.
- They have broad cheek teeth, small ears and stiff whiskers.
What Does It Eat?
In the wild: Fish, frogs, crabs, mussels, snails, crayfish, insects, snakes.
At the zoo:
What Eats It?
Aquatic predators such as crocodiles and large snakes.
Oriental small-clawed otters are the most social of the otter species living in extended family groups of 12-20 individuals. Only the alpha pair breeds and previous offspring help raise the young.
These otters form monogamous pairs for life. Breeding can occur throughout the year and mated pairs can have two litters per year. After a gestation of 60 days a litter of 1-6 (usually 2) pups are born in a nesting burrow dug into the muddy riverbank. Males help build the nest burrow and provide food after the pups are born. Otter pups are born relatively undeveloped with eyes closed weighing only two ounces (50 gm). They spend the first few weeks nursing every 3-4 hours. They open their eyes at about 40 days and begin venturing outside the den after about 10 weeks. They begin taking solid food at about 80 days, are weaned at about 14 weeks and can swim at about 3 months. They reach adult size in about 6 months. Lifespan in the wild is 11-16 years.