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European Otter

European Otter

European Otter

European Otter

European Otter Range Map (Europe, Africa & Asia)
European Otter Range Map
(Europe, Africa & Asia)
Attribution: IUCN, species assessors & spatial data authors

Latin Name Lutra lutra
Conservation Status Near Threatened
Location Europe, Africa & Asia
Colour Brown
Length 57 - 70 cms (22.5 - 28 inches)
Tail 35 - 40 cms (10 - 16 inches)
Weight 7 - 10 Kgs (15 - 22 lbs)
Life Expectancy

Up to 22 Yrs (in Captivity)

Main Characteristics

European Otters have a body length between 57 and 70 cms (22.5 - 28 inches), a tail length between 35 and 40 cms (10 - 16 inches) and they weigh between 7 and 10 kgs (15 - 22 lbs).

They have a long body and short, stocky legs. Their dense fur is brown in colour with a paler underside and they have a thick, muscular tail. On each paw they have five webbed toes which aid them in being excellent swimmers.


The European otter is the most widespread of all the otter species. They can be found in freshwater and coastal areas throughout Europe, in north Africa and Asia.


European Otters mainly feed on fish, but they will also hunt other aquatic prey, such as amphibians.


After a gestation period of 60 - 70 days, a litter of 2 - 3 cubs are born. They are weaned at 3 - 4 months and they disperse at 8 - 12 months old. They reach sexual maturity between 2 and 3 years of age.


Humans, large birds of prey, wolves and eurasian lynx are predators of European Otters.


Subspecies of the European Otter include:

Lutra lutra angustifrons
Lutra lutra aurobrunneus
Lutra lutra barang
Lutra lutra chinensis
Lutra lutra hainana
Lutra lutra kutab
Lutra lutra lutra
Lutra lutra meridionalis
Lutra lutra monticolus
Lutra lutra nair
Lutra lutra seistanica

Interesting Facts

European Otters are also known as:
Eurasian Otter
Eurasian River Otter
Common Otter
Old World Otter
European River Otter

Similar Animals

Southern River Otter
Neotropical Otter
North American River Otter
Marine Otter
Sea Otter
Giant Otter
Smooth-Coated Otter
Spotted-Necked Otter


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