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Giant Amazonian Otters

Scientific name:  Pteronura brasiliensis
Class:  Mammals
Continent:  South America
Habitat:  Ríos, marismas, pantanos y lagunas
Diet:  Carnívoro
Weight:  32 kg
Size:  2 m
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Meet the Giant Amazonian Otter!

This mammal, as its name indicates, is the largest of the otter family. It can grow up to two meters in length and reach 32 kilograms in weight.

The body of the Giant Amazon Otter is elongated; its legs, short and thick, end in large feet, provided with membranes between its fingers and toes that help it maneuver and gain momentum during slow swimming.

Its fur is dark brown and very dense, except around the throat (where they have several light spots, unique to each individual; which allows their recognition and identification at a glance).

Their life expectancy can exceed 15 years.

These otters live in the rivers, lakes, streams and swamps of South America’s tropical forests. They typically clear large areas of vegetation to build their dens.

What are its habits?

It is a very sociable animal that lives in family groups of up to ten individuals, formed by an adult pair and several generations of young.

It is especially noisy, active, curious and playful, using a wide repertoire of vocalizations (some of which are used, along with droppings and glandular secretions, to mark territory or to signal a threat).

Females give birth to between one and five young, after a gestation that lasts about 70 days; they give birth in burrows, built near riverbanks and fishing sites. Males and older brothers participate in the rearing of the litter, whose vulnerability is sometimes exploited by alligators.

The diet of these giant otters consists mainly of fish (although they also eat crabs, snakes and even small alligators).

Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


The Giant amazonian otter has no natural enemies. Poaching, habitat loss, overfishing and pollution are the factors that endanger their existence.

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