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Asian Small-clawed Otter

Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House

Did You Know?

  • Asian small-clawed otters are the smallest of the world’s 13 otter species. They weigh less than 10 pounds and can get to 2 feet long. That measurement includes a 10 to 14-inch tail.
  • The webbing between their toes is incomplete, which allows them to grasp and manipulate items more easily.
  • They also have sensitive digital pads which allow them to feel food under rocks or in murky water.

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Scientific Name: Aonyx cinerous

Class: Mammals

Diet: Crustaceans and mollusks (also fish, insects, amphibians, and reptiles)

Range: Southern India, southern China, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines

Endangered Status: Vulnerable

More Information

Asian small-clawed otters have dark brown fur on their back and lighter fur on their front, along with webbed feet and small claws. These small mammals live in family groups of up to 20 individuals, but hunt by themselves. They are vocal, with at least a dozen sounds used to communicate with others. They also have two scent glands at the base of the tail to mark territory and pass on information such as their sex.

Breeding pairs dig nesting burrows into muddy banks and have a litter of up to six pups at a time, after approximately 70 days of gestation. Two litters may be born each year. All family members care for the young, who reach maturity at age 1.5.

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