Male otters are slightly larger than females on average. Species: African Clawless, Congo Clawless and Spotted-necked Otter. 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. It is the third largest species of otter. African clawless otters dry and groom themselves by rolling in grass and rubbing themselves against rocks and soil and basking in the sun. 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 … Breeding Copulation may occur during December, but births have been reported in most months, with a … 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 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 Though mostly solitary animals, African clawless otters will live in neighboring territories of family groups of up to five individuals. 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. It is the third largest species of otter. Mainly aquatic creatures, their tails are used for locomotion and propel them through the water. 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. 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. size: 110-150 cm (body 79-95 cm, tail 50-56 cm) weight: 12-17 kg. The diet of Aonyx capensis primarily includes water-dwelling animals, such as crabs, fish, frogs and worms. South Africa, which has an abundant crab population, is home to an estimated 21,500 African clawless otters. Litters can number 1 to 3 pups, but up to 5 per litter have been known for animals in captivity. Their sleek, streamlined bodies are perfect for diving and swimming. Gestation lasts around two months (63 days). 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. Finger-like digits. Their tail measures 465 mm to 515 mm long and is typically stout and tapered. 1990). Male otters are slightly larger than females on average. Cape clawless otters grow to a maximum of 2m (with the tail) in length and can weigh 18kg in weight. They are sometimes hunted for their thick, soft pelts, which humans use in forms of clothing. As predators, they may have an influence on the numbers of their prey species: crabs, fish, frogs, and insects. The African clawless otter (Aonyx capensis), also known as the Cape clawless otter or groot otter, is the second-largest freshwater species of otter. They are well known for the luxurious hair that they have. African (Cape) clawless otter (Aonyx capensis): The African clawless otter is one of four species of otters found in Africa. 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. 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. 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. 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 spend most of their lives in the water, and they are made for it! The majority of their time awake is spent swimming, foraging, hunting, playing, and sunbathing. Since the otter lacks an insulating layer of body fat, its only means of warmth is provided by its thick coat of fur. This and the fact that young are raised solely by the females may suggest that African clawless otters exhibit a polygynous mating system. Mating takes place in short periods throughout the rainy season in December. If threatened, a high-pitched scream is emitted to warn neighboring otters and confuse a predator. 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. They have light to dark brown fur on their backs with a white face, throat, belly and ears. Paws are partially webbed with five fingers, and no opposable thumbs. It occurs in any large area of suitable habitat to the south of the Sahara, except the Congo Basin. African clawless otters can be found anywhere from open coastal plains, to semiarid regions, to densely forested areas. The number of crabs in an area determines how many otters live there. Only the giant otter and sea otter are larger. African clawless otters are found near permanent bodies of water in savannah and lowland forest areas. Weaning takes place between 45 and 60 days, with the young reaching full maturity around one year of age. Afterwards, both males and females go their separate ways and return to their solitary lives once more. GESTATION: Unknown: OFFSPRING: Number of cubs born is unknown: HOME RANGE: Unknown: PHYSICAL FEATURES: Closely related to African Clawless Otter and very similar. Other information: Only known for along the Timau River on south boundary of Lolldaiga. The otter, Siamogale melilutra, weighed about 110 pounds — bigger than any living otter. This may well be a far greater threat to otters than hunting. This species is named for its webless front feet. African clawless otter (Aonyx capensis)Altitude range: 1900 m Main habitats: Water and water-edge vegetation. Each otter is very territorial over its particular range. Otters have been a favorite at the Zoo for years, and now they have new and upgraded habitat. It is a robust, strong animal; the second-largest freshwater otter species in Africa and the third-largest in the world. They will use their front feet to extract food hidden under logs or rocks or in the mud. The African clawless otter is the most abundant otter species in Africa. Paws are partially webbed with five fingers, and no opposable thumbs. Named after their clawless feet, this otter is also known as the Cape Clawless Otter. The item is printed on a highly durable, reusable material and can be ordered in a variety of custom sizes. The African Clawless Otter is similar in appearance to the Congo Clawless otter. It is very silky in appearance as well as to the touch. The Cape clawless otter is the second-largest freshwater species of otter. 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. They weigh between 10 and 22 kg. 73-95 cm. Chestnut in color, they are characterized by white facial markings that extend downward towards their throat and chest areas. They sometimes will eat ducks, geese, coots, swans, mollusks, dragonfly larvae, reptiles, shrews, and small birds. Currently this species is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing. As the name suggests, these Otters don’t have claws. Using the lowest density estimate for 1. Aonyx capensis is a member of the weasel family (Mustelidae) and of the order Carnivora. Female African Clawless Otters have an average body mass of 12kg (Lariviere 2001). Surviving mostly in southern Africa, the otters live in areas surrounding permanent bodies of water, usually surrounded by some form of foliage. The Cape clawless otter, also known as the African clawless otter, is one of two otter species to occur in South Africa. Guard hairs cover the body, acting as insulation. African Clawless Otter Wikipedia article -, 2. To stay warm, on the other hand, the otters depend solely on their thick fur. Straight after eating, an otter will clean its face with its forefeet. This species is most active at dawn and dusk (known as crepuscular). Their large skulls are broad and flat, with relatively small orbits and short rostra. Their large skulls are broad and flat, with relatively small orbits and short rostra. Group of three camera trapped. Lots of different size and color combinations to choose from.  Despite being closely related to the oriental small-clawed otter, the African clawless otter is often twice as massive as that relatively diminutive mustelid. Each still having its own range within that territory, they mostly keep to themselves unless seeking a mate. African clawless otters have thick, smooth fur with almost silky underbellies. Only the giant otter and sea otter are larger. The biggest threat to African clawless otters comes from humans. As the name suggests, these Otters don’t have claws. 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. Such habits usually attract crocodiles. Shop African Clawless Otter Dark T-Shirt designed by Wildlife Arts by Roger Hall. Gestation lasts for about 63 days.  They are characterized by partly webbed and clawless feet, from which their name is derived. Up to 35% off T-shirts, Mugs, Tote bags and More! The African Clawless otters at the Metro Richmond Zoo have a new home! 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. Although it is born with tiny claws it loses these on all toes except the middle three on the hind feet. 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