Otter – Lutra lutra

The species belongns to the subclass Eutheria, superorder Laurasiatheria, order Carnivora, Mustelidae family and Canoidea gender ans Lutrinae suborder.

Is an mustelid adapted to aquatic life.

The otter spreading both in Europe and in Romania depends on whether they purchase basic food : fish. In heavily polluted waters without fish, there are no otters. Everywhere in our country where there is water stocked with fish whe can find otter.

The trunk length with head is between 63-83 cm, the tail is between 37-55 cm, so is more than half the length of the body.

Height at the withers is 30 cm and weighs 6-15 kg. The female is smaller than male.

Senses: sight, smell and hearing are equally highly developed.

Hair color is dark brown on the back, head and the body sides and open on the neck, chest and abdomen.

The limbs are short in relation to the body, they have 5 fingers united by membrane and adapted to the functions they fulfill, previous ones serve to dig and swim, and the rear only to swim.

Locomotion. On land, otter moves heavy by jumps. Nevertheless manages to walk long distances when passing from one river basin to another in search of waters rich on fish.

For swimming uses both hind legs, which spreds fingers to have a larger support surface as well as the tail. Can last 6-7 minutes underwater without surfacing.

Ears and eyes: they are small, flattened nose.

Dental formula: is: I 3/3 C1 / 1 P4 / 3 M 1/2 = 36.


Tail is thick on the base more than the rest and is wearing thick hair.

The otter adult voice is a characteristic whistle, when it is attacked makes a grinding noise, mixed with a growl.

Traces are easy to identify, because of the 5 fingers of each foot that are connected by a membrane.
Fresh droppings have greenish color, dry ones are gray, they include bones and scales of fish, possibly strong scrap body of crayfish

Longevity: 15-18 years.

            Shelter. Usually does not builds gallery, but occupies a fox or badger gallery, or is content with natural depressions in shores, roots of trees on the shore, which it deepens and arranged them according to their needs.

Otter food consists mainly of fish and crayfish. Among the fish species prefers trout, grayling, carp but consume frogs, wild ducks, coots, aquatic rodents, including muskrat.Is animal of twilight and night. But sometimes can be seen the day light. It causes damage to fisheries staff.

            Reproduction. Sexual Maturity is reached at age 18-30 months, mating period is in February and gestation period is 60-63 days in April. It is the most sociable of mustelids. Often hunt in groups.

            Otters biotope is represented by wooded shores of rivers and lakes either of the mountain or plain. Lives also in brackish waters. He needs shelter (wood or cane).                                                                                                                              
            Enemies. In the water does not have enemis. On land, the enemies are large predators and man, when it passes by land, from a basin to another.The degradation of water throught spillage of waste, leads to the disappearance of fish and implicity of the otter.