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WikiProject iconVital articles: Level 4 / Biology Start‑class
WikiProject iconOtter has been listed as a level-4 vital article in Biology. If you can improve it, please do.
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I will remove the reference to Pantolestidae. Pantolestidae are not even remotely related to otters, other than that they are mammals. Sure they are semiaquatic but so are desmans, some extinct badgers, a number of extinct carnivores etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Laplandgerard (talkcontribs) 13:12, 28 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Last I checked independent research, like armchair 'Googling', was not allowed on Wiki. What's the difference between googling something and presenting your own original research? Well, in the case of original research you might actually follow some kind of recognized research technique. But we don't even allow that. Why this 'Google' research? Or is there independent research accepted by the Wikipedia community that Google is in fact an authoratative source on the English language?-- 20:18, 24 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A little late, but: You're right, a Google search is not really a reference. I found a reference in the magazine Natural History, though, and have added that instead of all the junk about the OED and Google. —Seqsea (talk) 03:59, 8 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Added to mane page:

Males kidnap pups from mothers to use as extortion for food. Rough sex that often kills female. Pups steal food from mother. Do not react well with crude oil. Beneficial for kelp beds and natural fish nurseries. Bad for sea urchins and shellfishermen. Tie themselves up in kelp to keep from floating away while sleeping. They are the newly discovered favorite snack of orca.

This is a mix of questionable assertions (kidnapping pups, tying themselves up in kelp) and weird phrasing ("do not react well with crude oil"). Someone needs to verify (or refute) the odder bits, and rephrase the rest. I'll try to get to it soon, but can't promise anything. Vicki Rosenzweig

Vicki, others, I added a bit here about size, weight, agricultural damage. I think the kelp bed/shellfish issues should be included. Don't know about the "rough sex", etc. I do wonder at the implication that the native Americans did *not* use otter fur. Ortolan88

Why was the bit about south park removed? L6

so funny... what about, how cute otter are though? i think that should be documented. plus, search on youtube and you can see evidence of otter holding hands like little friends, and also a video of an otter crying because he lost his favorite rock. SOOOO cute. 21:01, 15 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Many more otters were trapped after European contact, for export.

On weight, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which manages sea otters in Alaska, has very different size numbers than you found: says adult males are generally 70-90 pounds, some up to 100, and adult females generally 40-60 pounds. What's the source for your numbers? (The Alaska page is a few years old, but this doesn't seem like something that would change rapidly).

I seem to have some free time, so will try to find more info about otters generally, including their mating. Vicki Rosenzweig

Sos un cara de sieso — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2806:1016:6:27F7:E04D:57F:DE17:1DDD (talk) 21:13, 27 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Please! Someone who knows how images are handled in wikipedia articles, fix the ending of the article! -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 12:56, Dec 15, 2003 (UTC)


"as far south as Japan" -- anybody know which part of Japan? Japan is a very long country... it stretches far north enough that it has some standing territorial disputes with Russia, and clusters of islands in Okinawa to the south are on the same latitude as Taipei. -- Mote 03:31, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)


Help someone revert the latest vandal! He's added spurious crap to the infos! - 11:12, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

This story is very well written and deserves to be on wiki. I like your picture choice and descriptions.


Why is the North American River Otter listed under two different genuses in this article? It is listed under BOTH the Lontra and the Lutra genus names. Shouldnt it be one or the other???

Apex Predator[edit]

Does the North American river otter live in the Great Lakes? If so, then this animal must be the apex predator of a large area of water.

-- 23:26, 28 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The Sea Otter article says up to 100,000 hairs per cm^2, while this article says 200,000. Another Google search says up to 300,000.

Can anyone shed some light on this?


Can otters climb? 11:02, 14 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe so, yes... I mean, they have claws, right? Why wouldn't they be able to climb? Whats a question? 01:41, 1 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Moved from article: Thermographic image of an otter[edit]

File:Nc otter.jpg
Thermal image of an otter.
I'm not sure what this image shows, but it was oddly placed. According to the text, otters cool their bodies by leaving a trail of warm bubbles. -- Ec5618 19:18, 16 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Otters in Mythology[edit]

"Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Animals Through the Ways of Animals"

The description of this book is far too lengthy, and largely irrelevant. It needs to be shortened or cut out altogether. In fact, it sounds more like a product promotion than good information.

More species[edit]

Is this supposed to contain a full list of otters? I am missing Lontra provocax (Southern River Otter, huillin) and Lontra felina (Sea cat, chungungo) --Lupo Manaro 15:38, 19 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article now claims 13 species but only 12 are listed and only 12 in the cladogram PFZoll (talk) 14:17, 10 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Maxwell otter[edit]

This otter sounds ridiculously awesome, but is this real?

New Wikiproject[edit]

I wanted to make a wikiproject about ferrets and weasels but it became to small a range so i have made a bigger wikiprojects including all animals in the Musteloidea super family which include both ferrets and weasels and much similar animals. Support would be appreceated.

This new wikiproject includes

you can find it here:

i also made a little template for the project,

This article is within the scope of the Weasel WikiProject, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's coverage of articles relating to Ferrets, Weasels, and other Weasel like friends. If you would like to participate, you can visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks.

I hope you like it.

This wikiproject is for the superfamily of Musteloidea which currently and surprisingly does not have an article yet. This superfamily includes ferrets and weasels and all of our other furry little weasel like friends. Please put your name on it so this article could have it's very own wikiproject outside of wikiproject animals.

Teh Ferret 19:56, 26 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't like it -- I think the picture should be of two otter holding hands... a still from the youtube video maybe. Youtube search otter holding hands, and you'll see -- your heart will melt. 21:04, 15 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Extinct Lutra taxa[edit]

Back in October I put queries on four Lutra species: L bravardi, L libyca, L palaeindica and L simplicidens, with a note saying "are these species or subspecies of others?". My query was not whether these taxa exist, but whether they are full species. The refs just posted by User:Narayanese support the existence of the taxa – but not of their rank, and so don't answer the query (I've replaced it for the moment). What caught my attention is that two of the names imply origins within the range of Lutra lutra, suggesting they might properly be, for example, Lutra lutra libyca. The refs show that someone at some time has considered them full species, but not what the scientific consensus now is.

The page with those refs raise another doubt. It lists "Lutra maculicollis" – but that is given on this page as Hydrictis maculicollis. So what about the extinct ones – are they properly Lutra or perhaps something else? It would also be helpful to know whether they are just recently extinct – or are they fossil taxa (as perhaps suggested by "paleaoindica")? --Richard New Forest (talk) 18:54, 16 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The refs show these taxa as "extinct".

Lutra libyca is a basal Lutrinae from the Pliocene rather than a real member of Lutra, don't know about the rest, it does seem like people threw any leftover species into Lutra. Narayanese (talk) 22:47, 16 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

otters are so so so so so so so cute

Ring of Bright Water[edit]

I popped by here on my way to the disambiguation page, but I've had a fondness for otters since reading Ring of Bright Water in late childhood, can't remember the author; it was made into a film, and is about the adoption of an Iraqi marsh otter, presumably the Eurasian species? Anyway, I gather it would go in the cultural refs section, I just don't know the author's name; it was at one time very famous...also teaching me to be fond of otters were teh ones in the Stanley Park zoo, which I watched for years brfore they became youtube stars..... (I'd include that link, to, but youtube links are no-nos, right?).Skookum1 (talk) 19:55, 24 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That would be Gavin Maxwell. I loved Ring of Bright Water as well growing up. (As for the YouTube thing, just search for 'otters holding hands' and you'll find'em.) Tony Fox (arf!) 20:11, 24 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maxwell's Ring of Bright Water otter was a smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata), though as I recall the local Eurasian otters featured in later books. --Richard New Forest (talk) 15:31, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Image ID request[edit]

Anyone knows what species this is? Please reply at my commons page. -- (talk) 03:28, 30 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Asian small-clawed otter, says an ad for the park. Narayanese (talk) 09:12, 30 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I added a Otters in popular culture to try to help remove the "Cultural References" from this article. Azoreg (talk) 20:19, 22 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Regarding the proposed merge of the pop culture article back into the main article, I oppose such a merge. Let the pop culture article stand on its own; if it is unacceptable then let it be AfD'd. If it fails an AfD, then the material is unworthy to even be merged into this article. If the AfD results in a merge, we can deal with it then. Rgrds. --Tombstone (talk) 16:28, 23 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I oppose such a merge too... but since I was the one who created the Otters in popular culture article, my vote may not count. Azoreg (talk) 17:34, 23 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hello, there is a new reference added to this page and a assertion that male otters are called "meowters". After some searching and looking through dictionaries, I believe this is a made up word with the only citation being a dubious site claiming the same thing. I would like to have this word removed from the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:01, 2 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have changed the entry as there are only Tumblr memes to support the new taxonomical suggestion of Meowter. Please stop putting meowter graffiti up on this page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:40, 4 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The reference you removed from the article ("Facts About Otters". Retrieved 29 November 2010.) is not Tumblr or "graffiti"; so (1) you removed sourced content and (2) replaced it with your POV. Removing that information from the article probably improved it, but not finding a better reference made it less trustworthy. --Fama Clamosa (talk) 16:19, 4 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The ref is of poor quality: it does not give its own source, and is generally far from authoritative in tone. Other sources appear to be derivatives. We need a reliable source for this word, which looks to me too as if it's been made up quite recently. I think mention of it should be removed until a better source can be found. (And isn't the usual term for a male a "dog otter" anyway?) Richard New Forest (talk) 19:54, 4 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have removed the extraordinarily dubious claim that a male otter is called a "meowter," as well as the somewhat more plausible but nonetheless inadequately sourced claim that male otters are also called "boars" and females "sows" or "queens." I agree with Richard New Forest: ("Facts About Otters". {{cite web}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)) may not be a Tumblr, but it still isn't a citation worthy of reference. The same goes for I have added a reference to a more reliable source (Kruuk's _Otters: Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation_), which states simply that female otters are "bitches" and males are "dogs." Hopefully, nobody will insert any additional otter-related terminology without providing reliable verification.Echizenkurage (talk) 22:11, 8 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Otters building ladders in zoo's[edit]

sometimes vandals can be funny. Just deleted this:

Otters are curious creatures and in zoos, often build ladders out of thier enclosures at night to explore the zoo. They then climb back into the enclosure and hide the remnants of the ladder. They know they will be fed and looked after in the enclosure but they have an undying curiosity about the rest of the zoo. --Raindeer (talk) 15:56, 6 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

omg. that's TOO funny.Colbey84 (talk) 23:52, 20 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bonding in Newborns[edit]

A sea otter was recently born at the Seattle Aquarium. They moved the father to a different facility so that the mother could bond with her pup. Apparently mother sea otters isolate themselves when giving birth. Is this common to all otters? Why do they do this and when do they return home? Rotsujin (talk) 21:10, 15 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]



BTW - The otter is also the mascot of California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB)... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:37, 21 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Distribution map of otter range[edit]

The map showing the ranges of otters is incomplete - it does not show the range of African otters such as the Cape Clawless Otter, for example. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Drakenwolf (talkcontribs) 20:23, 15 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also, the color-coded distribution map seems to lack a key as to what the colors mean. Lightningbug (talk) 06:29, 14 October 2015 (UTC)LightningbugLightningbug (talk) 06:29, 14 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

L.bug--YES. that's what i came out here to note. and there are other images/maps being used on other wiki pages (see Skunk, Hog-nosed skunk, Spotted skunk).
Actually, this appears to be the efforts of one individual--
he joined in Feb. 2011 and started uploading new maps he had created. i saw one note (somewhere) about "vector maps" being more appropriate for certain usages. i'm guessing, based on this idea (i don't know where it comes from), that craig started creating vector maps for WP, based on other maps. i don't know if vector maps are better, but i'm wondering if craig has been deleting the keys to these maps. (either intentionally or unintentionally.)
on the Sable article, there is still an "older" map, which was uploaded Dec.2010. it has a key. on one of the pages using one of craig's maps, there WAS a key--but you had to click the image, then click "Details" to get to it.
has no one else noticed this problem, and maps have been being either added without keys, or other maps swapped out for ones with no keys, for over 4 years?? (i haven't been able to find a page where i can see if there was an earlier range map that had a key that was lost).Colbey84 (talk) 00:12, 21 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Range image[edit]

The range image forgot Aonyx and Hydrictis.

Semi-protected edit request on 22 December 2014[edit]

International Otter Survival Fund

Internationalotter (talk) 09:17, 22 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not done: as you have just posted a URL, not requested a change.
From your username it appears you may have a conflict of interest and may be trying to promote your organization.
If you want to suggest a change, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to, or changed in, any article. - Arjayay (talk) 09:25, 22 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The terminology and lifecycle sections contain information that is specific to the European river otter, and is not general to all otters. In particular the comment 'more common in Scotland' implies that the author is speaking narrowly of the otters in the United Kingdom. I don't have the expertise to remove the facts that are species specific, but perhaps someone with that knowledge could clean these sections up? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:58, 7 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 14 August 2017[edit]

A few pieces of information that need to be changed in reference to Otters page:

1. Oriental small-clawed otter (Amblonyx cinereus) - The scientific name for this species is in fact "Aonyx cinereus" 2. Congo-Clawless Otter - Aonyx congicus - (or Cameroon clawless, as listed on wikipedia, although Congo-clawless otter does not have its own wikipedia page) is not listed under Aonyx within this list.

It would be great if in External Links there could be a link to the International Otter Survival Fund (, one of the world's leading organisations in the conservation of otters. This could promote otter conservation worldwide and help populations.


Note: Please do not use a template in a header. This makes the header not work. I have taken the liberty of fixing this for you. Therefore, I will let someone else handle this request. jd22292 (Jalen D. Folf) (talk) 11:35, 14 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Partly done:

Yoxon2414, I have added the link to the International Otter Survival Fund. Based on apparent coverage, this might be worth a short article in itself?
Regarding the other two issues, I've not made any edits because I think the current state is correct. Amblonyx cinereus and Aonyx cinereus are synonymous, with some tussling going on about which genus is appropriate; see the taxonomy section in the Asian small-clawed otter article. We are currently using Amblonyx, so this is what the link should say as well. As for the Aonyx list entry, this contains only species, not subspecies; these are listed on the African clawless otter page (of which capensis and congensis are the only ones with articles of their own at the moment). --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 17:00, 14 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for your reply. How do we go about creating a page/article for International Otter Survival Fund? In relation to Congo-Clawless otter. There is a species under the scientific name "Aonyx congicus". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:30, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Cameroon/Congo clawless otter appears to be variably classified as either a subspecies or a species (see the "Taxonomic Notes" on the IUCN page [1]); we are currently going with the subspecies interpretation. I suppose a case could be made for either (and it might in fact be useful to add a note on these interpretation differences to the article, and/or change the content of the article if scientific consensus has swung predominantly to the full species interpretation since). - If you haven't created an article before, I suggest using the Article Wizard. Remember that all statements in the article need to be sourced, and that with exception of completely uncontroversial data such names of participants, locales, etc., all coverage should come from independent, 3rd-party sources (thus, coverage in articles, newspapers, etc.). Cheers --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 15:19, 18 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks again for your reply. Is it possible to have the "External link" to the International Otter Survival Fund ( attached to each species page? Thanks for your help so far! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yoxon2414 (talkcontribs) 14:12, 3 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 27 June 2022[edit]

Please change "Male otters are called dogs or boars, females are called bitches or sows, and their offspring are called pups" to "Male otters are called dogs, females are called bitches, and their offspring are called pups (US) or cubs (UK)." Shirleypooface (talk) 16:29, 27 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That sounds reasonable, but we will need a source supporting the change. I can find one for the "cub" part, but not the rest - if you can provide one that should be fine. Anaxial (talk) 17:41, 27 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Shirleypooface: Please provide a reliable source for this information. For now, I have closed this request. Please make sure to re-open it when giving a source. Thanks. Aidan9382 (talk) 20:08, 27 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edit request[edit]

Somebody please fix this sentence to create a parallel construction: "Bitch otters reach sexual maturity at approximately two years of age and males at approximately three years."

If we're going to say "males" at the midpoint, we can say "Female otters" at the beginning. Male otters are also referred to as dogs, so changing "males" to "dogs" would be another option.

Right now this article reads like an excuse to write the word "bitches" as often as possible, and that's distracting rather than illuminating. (talk) 08:33, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]