Asian small-clawed otter

The smallest of the otter species, small-clawed Asian otters get their name from their very short claws that do not extend beyond the fleshy pads of their webbed toes. They have broad cheek teeth for crushing hard-cased food such as mussels, shellfish and crabs and their dexterous forepaws help them to locate prey under mud and stones.

These otters form loose family groups of about 12 that keep in touch with each other through different noises and scents. They mark their territory with scent glands located under their tails, urine and droppings. Male and female Asian otters form very close bonds and will both help to rear their young.

Scientific name
Ambionyx cinereus
Family
Mustelidae
Order
Carnivora
Lifespan
About 21 years in captivity, less in the wild.
Fast facts
An individual otter maintains a territory that it patrols and defends.
They can close their ears and nostrils to keep water out.
Conservation status
Vulnerable