Slow and rather clumsy on land, they build burrows in banks near water, allowing for easier food access and a quick escape from predators. size: 110-150 cm (body 79-95 cm, tail 50-56 cm) weight: 12-17 kg. More aquatic than other otters from Africa, its fully webbed paws have sharp, well-developed claws. Females give birth to litters containing two to five young around early spring. Silver tips to the end of hairs on the neck and head and dark patches of fur between the eyes and nostrils. Adults are 113–163 cm (45–64 in) in length, including their tails that comprised about a third of their length. Groups of 4 to 6, consisting of 2 to 3 adults with 2 to 3 young, are sometimes seen, and larger groups sometimes form to forage. Otters are the only serious swimmers in the weasel family. African (Cape) clawless otter (Aonyx capensis): The African clawless otter is one of four species of otters found in Africa. They return to burrows (holts) for safety, cooling or a rubdown using grasses and leaves. Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis), captive. Each still having its own range within that territory, they mostly keep to themselves unless seeking a mate. Extremely sensitive whiskers (vibrissae) are used as sensors in the water to pick up the movements of potential prey. Male otters are slightly larger than females on average. African clawless otters have thick, smooth fur with almost silky underbellies. These animals are acrobatic, curious and clever, and are perfectly adapted to the aquatic environment in which they live. Since the otter lacks an insulating layer of body fat, its only means of warmth is provided by its thick coat of fur. It is widely-distributed across South Africa and the second largest freshwater otter species in the world, reaching between 113 and 163 cm in length and weighing between 12 and 21 kg. African clawless otters are found near permanent bodies of water in savannah and lowland forest areas. Bronx Zoo zoologist observing Sam, the African clawless otter, soaking in ice water, Wayne, New Jersey, April 1971 Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images African clawless otter (Aonyx capensis)Altitude range: 1900 m Main habitats: Water and water-edge vegetation. These animals are acrobatic, curious and clever, and are perfectly adapted to the aquatic environment in which they live. Mating takes place in short periods throughout the rainy season in December. 1990). As the name suggests, these Otters don’t have claws. The African Clawless Otter is the second largest of all freshwater species. Their fore paws come in handy as searching devices and are great tools for digging on the muddy bottoms of ponds and rivers, picking up rocks and looking under logs. Tshepiso L Majelantle, Andre Ganswindt, Rowan K Jordaan, David J Slip, Robert Harcourt, Trevor McIntyre, Increased population density and behavioural flexibility of African clawless otters (Aonyx capensis) in specific anthropogenic environments, Urban … Otters also have long, slightly flattened tails that move sideways to propel them through the water while their back feet act like rudders to steer. Exclusions Apply. Group of three camera trapped. The largest otter is the giant otter. Weight: Males +/- 15 kg (33 lbs), females +/- 15 kg (33 lbs) Gestation: 2 months Young: Litters of 2-3 Habitat: Rivers, marshes, dams and lakes; also, dry stream beds if pools of water exist. Dark-brown coat (appears black when wet). The ears are small and rounded. LENGTH. Their head and body length ranges from 762 mm to 880 mm. They spend most of their lives in the water, and they are made for it! Aonyx capensis is a member of the weasel family (Mustelidae) and of the order Carnivora. Adults range in size from 1.15-1.5m (3.8-5ft), and weigh from 16-20kg (35.3-44.1lbs) (Foster-Turley et al. The second largest out of all freshwater species, the African clawless otter is well known for its luxurious hair, very silky in appearance and to the touch. It is the third largest species of otter. Gestation lasts around two months (63 days). Ad… The diet of Aonyx capensis primarily includes water-dwelling animals, such as crabs, fish, frogs and worms. These otters have a bigger body-to-brain ratio than all other carnivores in southern Africa, which could be the reason for their cleverness and dexterity. Currently this species is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing. The otter, Siamogale melilutra, weighed about 110 pounds — bigger than any living otter. In some areas within its large range, these otters are killed for their sleek fur, or for the use of other body parts in traditional medicines. They dive after prey to catch it, then swim to shore again, where they eat. A summary of the interesting facts about the Cape Clawless Otter Aonyx capensis found in Southern Africa - amazing information about: habitat, gestation, size, age, longevity, lifespan, color, distribution It is very silky in appearance as well as to the touch. Young are raised solely by the females. size: 115-160 cm (body 72-95 cm, tail 40-60 cm) weight: 12-19 kg The third largest species in the world, the African clawless otter ( Aonyx capensis ) is highly versatile and can be found in unpolluted rivers, lakes, dams, swamps and marshes: wherever freshwater crabs, its main food, are present. Their sensitive whiskers help them to find food in the water by detecting the movement of aquatic animals. The earliest known species of otter, Potamotherium valetoni, occurred in the upper Oligocene of Europe: A. capensis first appears in the fossil record during the Pleistocene. Size: 130 cm: Mass: 10 -18kg: Lifespan: 20 years: Conservation Status: Least Concern: Description. Lots of different size and color combinations to choose from. 73-95 cm. African clawless otters can be found anywhere from open coastal plains, to semiarid regions, to densely forested areas. This species is named for its webless front feet. An African clawless otter is a solitary animal. congicus.[2][4]. size: 115-160 cm (body 72-95 cm; tail 40-60 cm) weight: 12-19 kg The third largest species in the world, the African clawless otter is highly versatile and can be found from towns, cities and highly polluted rivers to natural freshwater and marine habitats, as long as there is freshwater close-by to wash off the salt. Living in Africa, environments can become very hot. On land, they either trot like a seal or walk slowly, sometimes travelling over 7 km between one body of water and another. Each otter is very territorial over its particular range. It is the third largest species of otter. Though mostly solitary animals, African clawless otters will live in neighboring territories of family groups of up to five individuals. Breeding occurs mostly during the dry season, though it may take place at any time of the year. If threatened, a high-pitched scream is emitted to warn neighboring otters and confuse a predator. 0.25 otter / km of disturbed river (Rowe-Rowe 1992a), 0.8 otter / km of less-disturbed river (Carugati & Perrin 2006) and 0.5 otter / km of coastline (Verwoerd 1987) yields an estimated population size of 30,276 individuals (16,552– 19,377 mature). This species inhabits a wide variety of freshwater habitats, such as streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries, as well as marine habitats, including rocky seashores, as long as freshwater can be accessed, which is essential for washing and drinking. Afterwards, both males and females go their separate ways and return to their solitary lives once more. They weigh be­tween 10 and 22 kg. This species may also be affected in some areas by loss or degradation of its habitat. African clawless otter. The African Clawless otters at the Metro Richmond Zoo have a new home! This and the fact that young are raised solely by the females may suggest that African clawless otters exhibit a polygynous mating system. They sometimes will eat ducks, geese, coots, swans, mollusks, dragonfly larvae, reptiles, shrews, and small birds. Cape clawless otters grow to a maximum of 2m (with the tail) in length and can weigh 18kg in weight. In 29 of the 35 countries where these otters are present, their populations are stable. Sometimes otters drown when they become tangled in fishing nets. Their sleek, streamlined bodies are perfect for diving and swimming. Aonyx specimens will often forage in man-made fisheries and may be hunted or become entangled in nets. Species: African Clawless, Congo Clawless and Spotted-necked Otter. Shop African Clawless Otter Dark T-Shirt designed by Wildlife Arts by Roger Hall. Their large skulls are broad and flat, with relatively small orbits and short rostra. Only the giant otter and sea otter are larger. Breeding Copulation may occur during December, but births have been reported in most months, with a … The exhibit is called Otter Cove and is five times the size of the previous home and features a 12,000-gallon pool. This species is most active at dawn and dusk (known as crepuscular). They dive for fish, with dives lasting 6 to 49 seconds, with an average of 18 seconds per dive. Named after their clawless feet, this otter is also known as the Cape Clawless Otter. They have very playful personalities, especially once they have eaten. Paws are partially webbed with five fingers, and no opposable thumbs. This may well be a far greater threat to otters than hunting. Although it is born with tiny claws it loses these on all toes except the middle three on the hind feet. Learn how and when to remove this template message, 10.1644/1545-1410(2001)671<0001:ac>2.0.co;2, Habitat selection by the Cape clawless otter (, http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=61069&fileId=S0952836900000236, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=African_clawless_otter&oldid=992321496, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles needing additional references from August 2010, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 4 December 2020, at 17:35. They are well known for the luxurious hair that they have. It occurs in any large area of suitable habitat to the south of the Sahara, except the Congo Basin. African Clawless Otter on The IUCN Red List site -, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_clawless_otter, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/1793/0. Logs, branches, and loose foliage greatly appeal to the otter as this provides shelter, shade, and great rolling opportunities. Its feet are webbed to enable the best swimming conditions. SIZE: 1.3 to 1.5m: WEIGHT: Up to 20kg: DIET: Earthworms, frogs, freshwater crabs, mud dwelling fish. Otters have been a favorite at the Zoo for years, and now they have new and upgraded habitat. Other predators would include the crocodile and fish eagles. Chestnut in color, they are characterized by white facial markings that extend downward towards their throat and chest areas. Male otters are slightly larger than females on average. SIZE: Length (including tail) 1,3 m, mass 14 kg. In the False Bay area of the Cape Peninsula, they have been observed scavenging along beaches and rocks and hunting in shallow surf for mullet. The Asian small-clawed otter groups with the African clawless otter and the smooth-coated otter into a sister clade to the genus Lutra. An African clawless otter does most of its hunting in water. [2] They are characterized by partly webbed and clawless feet, from which their name is derived. It is the third largest species of otter. Adults range in size from 1.15-1.5m (3.8-5ft), and weigh from 16 … African (Cape) clawless otter (Aonyx capensis): The African clawless otter is one of four species of otters found in Africa. As predators, they may have an influence on the numbers of their prey species: crabs, fish, frogs, and insects. Territories are marked using a pair of anal glands which secrete a particular scent. Percentage of Lolldaiga used: ca. Their tail mea­sures 465 mm to 515 mm long and is typ­i­cally stout and ta­pered. The African clawless otter is the most abundant otter species in Africa. In contrast, the much smaller clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) eats mainly fish, but also crab, abalone and Cape rock lobsters as well as birds, molluscs, amphibians and rodents. The young otters love playing and engage in play-fighting, swimming, playing with food and sliding on rocks, even fetching small pebbles tossed into the water as they sink to the bottom. Weaning takes place after 45 to 60 days old. Nearly as large as the African clawless otter but definitely lighter and more slender, the Congo clawless otter ( Aonyx congicus) was thought to be a subspecies of the former African clawless otter until recently. The African clawless otter has been reported as living in family Aonyx capensis - The African Clawless Otter. The Cape clawless otter, also known as the African clawless otter, is one of two otter species to occur in South Africa. Its long hairy tail ends in a point and is flattened horizontally. Quick in the water and burrowing on land, A. capensis does not have many predators. Chestnut in color, they are characterized by white facial markings that extend downward towards their throat and chest areas. Overfishing by humans may reduce the food supply available to otters. Their large skulls are broad and flat, with relatively small orbits and short rostra. Their dense, short fur insulates their bodies when they are swimming, their webbed back feet provide them with power, and their strong tails act as rudders. Otters along the trail are protected, as it falls within the Tsitsikamma National Park. The biggest threat to African clawless otters comes from humans. Weaning takes place between 45 and 60 days, with the young reaching full maturity around one year of age. The second largest out of all freshwater species, the African clawless otter is well known for its luxurious hair, very silky in appearance and to the touch. This exhibit, called Otter Cove, is more than 5 times the size of their previous home and it features a 12,000 gallon pool of water. It is widely-distributed across South Africa and the second largest freshwater otter species in the world, reaching between 113 and 163 cm in … Inside its short, broad muzzle are relatively small teeth, which are adapted for catching fish instead of the crustaceans that the clawless otters eat. African claw­less ot­ters are the largest Old World otter species and 3rd largest species of otter over­all. Hybridisation of Asian small-clawed otter females with smooth-coated otter males occurred in Singapore. Staying cool means spending time in the water, and using burrows as a way to escape the highest temperatures of the day. Mainly aquatic creatures, their tails are used for locomotion and propel them through the water. The African clawless otter spends its days swimming and catching food. Although usually found in water, these otters can also travel long distances overland. [4] Aonyx is closely related to the extinct giant Sardinian otter, Megalenhydris. They are also used for balance when walking or sitting upright. 1. Using the lowest density estimate for In freshwater habitats, they eat primarily crabs, and they also eat insects, frogs, and various species of fish. Fine art decal of an African Clawless Otter. Female African Clawless Otters have an average body mass of 12kg (Lariviere 2001). [5][6] Despite being closely related to the oriental small-clawed otter, the African clawless otter is often twice as massive as that relatively diminutive mustelid. The number of crabs in an area determines how many otters live there. See Details. Free Returns High Quality Printing Fast Shipping. Little is known about the mating system of African clawless otters. Such habits usually attract crocodiles. Its greatest threat comes from the python, which will often lie in wait near or in the water. The majority of their time awake is spent swimming, foraging, hunting, playing, and sunbathing. GESTATION: Unknown: OFFSPRING: Number of cubs born is unknown: HOME RANGE: Unknown: PHYSICAL FEATURES: Closely related to African Clawless Otter and very similar. Male African Clawless Otters have an average body mass of 13.4kg. 1% Group size: 1 – 3 Abundance as of May 2015: 3 individuals . The Cape clawless otter, also known as the African clawless otter, is one of two otter species to occur in South Africa. They have a head that is larger than the other species of Otters which is a distinguishing characteristic when you see them in photos or books. All lack claws except for digits 2, 3, and 4 of the hind feet. They are sometimes hunted for their thick, soft pelts, which humans use in forms of clothing. 6 inch / 15.24 cm 9 inch / 22.86 cm (+$3.00) 12 inch / 30.48 cm (+$7.00) 24 inch / 60.96 cm (+$12.00) 36 inch / 91.44 cm (+$17.00) An African clawless otter makes complex vocalizations, including grunts, low and high-pitched whistles, squeals, moans and mews, as well as “hah” sounds that are thought to express anxiety. The word aonyx means "clawless", derived from the prefix a- ("without") and onyx ("claw/hoof"). Up to 35% off T-shirts, Mugs, Tote bags and More! The African clawless otter (Aonyx capensis), also known as the Cape clawless otter or groot otter, is the second-largest freshwater species of otter. Other otters have fully webbed feet and strong, well-developed claws. After bouts of hunting they may leave the water to dry off or to play. Gestation lasts for about 63 days. African clawless otters are mainly carnivores. Finger-like digits. African clawless otters are found near permanent bodies of water in savannah and lowland forest areas. Guard hairs cover the body, acting as insulation. The African Clawless Otter is similar in appearance to the Congo Clawless otter. They are born altricial (in an undeveloped state and needing parental care) but after 16 to 30 days open their eyes and can leave their den. Litters can number 1 to 3 pups, but up to 5 per litter have been known for animals in captivity. The Otter Trail is a hiking trail in South Africa named after the African clawless otter, which is found in this area. According to the MPALA LIVE resource, the total number of African clawless otters in South Africa is around 21,500 individuals. Common Name: African Clawless Otter Binomial Name: Aonyx capensis Identification: Quite large size.Dark-brown coat (appears black when wet). Molars are large and flat, used for crushing of prey. 1. front feet are not. The Cape clawless otter is the second-largest freshwater species of otter. It is believed to spend much more time on land than other otters. Decal Size. White lips, chin, throat and upper chest. Straight after eating, an otter will clean its face with its forefeet. “We started our study with the idea that this otter was just a larger version of a sea otter or an African clawless otter in terms of chewing ability, that it would just be able to eat much larger things. African clawless otters dry and groom themselves by rolling in grass and rubbing themselves against rocks and soil and basking in the sun. South Africa, which has an abundant crab population, is home to an estimated 21,500 African clawless otters. Development, deforestation, overgrazing, wetlands being drained, and water extraction all impact negatively on the quality of the aquatic habitat and surrounding vegetation on which these animals depend. Sometimes they are killed because people believe that they compete with humans for fish, or because they get the blame for a raid on a fish farm or the death of domestic hens or ducks. They will use their front feet to extract food hidden under logs or rocks or in the mud. African clawless otters have thick, smooth fur with almost silky underbellies. They have light to dark brown fur on their backs with a white face, throat, belly and ears. However, what is known is that after mating, males and females go separate ways, returning to their solitary lives. It is a robust, strong animal; the second-largest freshwater otter species in Africa and the third-largest in the world. Paws are partially webbed with five fingers, and no opposable thumbs. All lack claws except for digits 2, 3, and 4 of the hind feet. Clawless otters have slender, serpentine bodies with dense, luxuriou… Using random encounter models, we estimated that the transformed area had the highest density of African clawless otters (8.2 ± 2.3 km−2), compared to otter densities at Verloren Vallei and Cobham Nature Reserve, South Africa, (natural areas) with estimated densities of 0.7 ± 0.2 km−2 and 2.1 ± 0.6 km−2 respectively. Mammal Species of the World lists six subspecies of Aonyx capensis:[1], Until recently the Congo clawless otter was considered a subspecies as well, but recent authorities treat it as a separate species A. Molars are large and flat, used for crushing of prey. African Clawless Otter Wikipedia article -, 2. The item is printed on a highly durable, reusable material and can be ordered in a variety of custom sizes. They are independent and reproductively mature from the age of 1 year. Surviving mostly in southern Africa, the otters live in areas surrounding permanent bodies of water, usually surrounded by some form of foliage. The African clawless otter is Africa’s most widely distributed otter, from Senegal, through most parts of West Africa as far as Ethiopia, and in the south to South Africa. The diet in marine habitats is mainly fish, but also crab, abalone and Cape rock lobsters. They range through most of sub-Saharan Africa, except for the Congo River basin and arid areas, where they are replaced by the related Congo clawless otter (Aonyx congicus). Adults range in size from 1.15-1.5m (3.8-5ft), and weigh from 16-20kg (35.3-44.1lbs) (Foster-Turley et al. In forested areas, logging may be a major threat, since erosion leads to greatly increased turbidity in rivers which can in turn greatly reduce the populations of fish on which the otters depend. During the day they sleep in burrows or dens. Disclaimer: The Animal Diversity Web is an educational resource written largely by and for college students.ADW doesn't cover all species in the world, nor does it include all the latest scientific information about organisms we describe. Congo clawless otters are characterized by only partial webbing (between the toes of their back feet and no webbing on their front feet), and small, blunt, peg-like claws.

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