The Cape clawless otter is the second-largest freshwater species of otter. The largest otter is the giant otter. Free Returns High Quality Printing Fast Shipping. 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 word aonyx means "clawless", derived from the prefix a- ("without") and onyx ("claw/hoof"). Slow and rather clumsy on land, they build burrows in banks near water, allowing for easier food access and a quick escape from predators. 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) Sometimes otters drown when they become tangled in fishing nets. Mating takes place in short periods throughout the rainy season in December. African clawless otter (Aonyx capensis)Altitude range: 1900 m Main habitats: Water and water-edge vegetation. 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). This and the fact that young are raised solely by the females may suggest that African clawless otters exhibit a polygynous mating system. Cape clawless otters grow to a maximum of 2m (with the tail) in length and can weigh 18kg in weight. As predators, they may have an influence on the numbers of their prey species: crabs, fish, frogs, and insects. During the day they sleep in burrows or dens. The African Clawless otter is the third largest species of otter in the world. They spend most of their lives in the water, and they are made for it! The diet in marine habitats is mainly fish, but also crab, abalone and Cape rock lobsters. Surviving mostly in southern Africa, the otters live in areas surrounding permanent bodies of water, usually surrounded by some form of foliage. Up to 35% off T-shirts, Mugs, Tote bags and More! Otters along the trail are protected, as it falls within the Tsitsikamma National Park. The Cape clawless otter, also known as the African clawless otter, is one of two otter species to occur in South Africa. African clawless otters have thick, smooth fur with almost silky underbellies. They will use their front feet to extract food hidden under logs or rocks or in the mud. Paws are partially webbed with five fingers, and no opposable thumbs. The African clawless otter spends its days swimming and catching food. African claw­less ot­ters are the largest Old World otter species and 3rd largest species of otter over­all. Although usually found in water, these otters can also travel long distances overland. congicus.[2][4]. This species may also be affected in some areas by loss or degradation of its habitat. 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. 1. Weaning takes place after 45 to 60 days old. Each otter is very territorial over its particular range. Male otters are slightly larger than females on average. If threatened, a high-pitched scream is emitted to warn neighboring otters and confuse a predator. It is a robust, strong animal; the second-largest freshwater otter species in Africa and the third-largest in the world. African (Cape) clawless otter (Aonyx capensis): The African clawless otter is one of four species of otters found in Africa. 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. The item is printed on a highly durable, reusable material and can be ordered in a variety of custom sizes. African clawless otters have thick, smooth fur with almost silky underbellies. Paws are partially webbed with five fingers, and no opposable thumbs. This species is named for its webless front feet. These animals are acrobatic, curious and clever, and are perfectly adapted to the aquatic environment in which they live. 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. Their sensitive whiskers help them to find food in the water by detecting the movement of aquatic animals. Straight after eating, an otter will clean its face with its forefeet. [4] Aonyx is closely related to the extinct giant Sardinian otter, Megalenhydris. Their sleek, streamlined bodies are perfect for diving and swimming. The exhibit is called Otter Cove and is five times the size of the previous home and features a 12,000-gallon pool. Guard hairs cover the body, acting as insulation. On land, they either trot like a seal or walk slowly, sometimes travelling over 7 km between one body of water and another. Group of three camera trapped. Living in Africa, environments can become very hot. Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis), captive. Overfishing by humans may reduce the food supply available to otters. size: 110-150 cm (body 79-95 cm, tail 50-56 cm) weight: 12-17 kg. Fine art decal of an African Clawless 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. More aquatic than other otters from Africa, its fully webbed paws have sharp, well-developed claws. The diet of Aonyx capensis primarily includes water-dwelling animals, such as crabs, fish, frogs and worms. 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 Using the lowest density estimate for Its feet are webbed to enable the best swimming conditions. Male African Clawless Otters have an average body mass of 13.4kg. Gestation lasts around two months (63 days). The otter, Siamogale melilutra, weighed about 110 pounds — bigger than any living otter. The majority of their time awake is spent swimming, foraging, hunting, playing, and sunbathing. Female African Clawless Otters have an average body mass of 12kg (Lariviere 2001). It occurs in any large area of suitable habitat to the south of the Sahara, except the Congo Basin. Logs, branches, and loose foliage greatly appeal to the otter as this provides shelter, shade, and great rolling opportunities. Species: African Clawless, Congo Clawless and Spotted-necked Otter. 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. Weights can range from 10–36 kg (22-80 lbs), with most otters averaging between 12 and 21 kg (26-46 lbs). Finger-like digits. The African Clawless Otter is similar in appearance to the Congo Clawless otter. Litters can number 1 to 3 pups, but up to 5 per litter have been known for animals in captivity. In 29 of the 35 countries where these otters are present, their populations are stable. [2] They are characterized by partly webbed and clawless feet, from which their name is derived. 1990). It is very silky in appearance as well as to the touch. They are also used for balance when walking or sitting upright. 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. These animals are acrobatic, curious and clever, and are perfectly adapted to the aquatic environment in which they live. SIZE: 1.3 to 1.5m: WEIGHT: Up to 20kg: DIET: Earthworms, frogs, freshwater crabs, mud dwelling fish. Their tail mea­sures 465 mm to 515 mm long and is typ­i­cally stout and ta­pered. White lips, chin, throat and upper chest. Chestnut in color, they are characterized by white facial markings that extend downward towards their throat and chest areas. Breeding occurs mostly during the dry season, though it may take place at any time of the year. African (Cape) clawless otter (Aonyx capensis): The African clawless otter is one of four species of otters found in Africa. 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. 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. As the name suggests, these Otters don’t have claws. It is the third largest species of otter. Aonyx capensis - The African Clawless Otter. Adults range in size from 1.15-1.5m (3.8-5ft), and weigh from 16 … Otters have been a favorite at the Zoo for years, and now they have new and upgraded habitat. Inside its short, broad muzzle are relatively small teeth, which are adapted for catching fish instead of the crustaceans that the clawless otters eat. An African clawless otter does most of its hunting in water. The ears are small and rounded. Their large skulls are broad and flat, with relatively small orbits and short rostra. However, what is known is that after mating, males and females go separate ways, returning to their solitary lives. 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. Aonyx capensis is a member of the weasel family (Mustelidae) and of the order Carnivora. Hybridisation of Asian small-clawed otter females with smooth-coated otter males occurred in Singapore. 73-95 cm. It is the third largest 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. Each still having its own range within that territory, they mostly keep to themselves unless seeking a mate. They have very playful personalities, especially once they have eaten. [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. Otters are the only serious swimmers in the weasel family. Gestation lasts for about 63 days. 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. African clawless otters are mainly carnivores. GESTATION: Unknown: OFFSPRING: Number of cubs born is unknown: HOME RANGE: Unknown: PHYSICAL FEATURES: Closely related to African Clawless Otter and very similar. According to the MPALA LIVE resource, the total number of African clawless otters in South Africa is around 21,500 individuals. The number of crabs in an area determines how many otters live there. Though mostly solitary animals, African clawless otters will live in neighboring territories of family groups of up to five individuals. It is the third largest species of otter. Adults are 113–163 cm (45–64 in) in length, including their tails that comprised about a third of their length. 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). 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. Common Name: African Clawless Otter Binomial Name: Aonyx capensis Identification: Quite large size.Dark-brown coat (appears black when wet). African clawless otters can be found anywhere from open coastal plains, to semiarid regions, to densely forested areas. The Asian small-clawed otter groups with the African clawless otter and the smooth-coated otter into a sister clade to the genus Lutra. Molars are large and flat, used for crushing of prey. 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. Ad… They are well known for the luxurious hair that they have. 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. 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. 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. Since the otter lacks an insulating layer of body fat, its only means of warmth is provided by its thick coat of fur. Only the giant otter and sea otter are larger. Young are raised solely by the females. Only the giant otter and sea otter are larger. Its long hairy tail ends in a point and is flattened horizontally. African clawless otters are found near permanent bodies of water in savannah and lowland forest areas. 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. African Clawless Otter Wikipedia article -, 2. An African clawless otter is a solitary animal. 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 … 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. 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. Male otters are slightly larger than females on average. Weaning takes place between 45 and 60 days, with the young reaching full maturity around one year of age. African clawless otter. Shop African Clawless Otter Dark T-Shirt designed by Wildlife Arts by Roger Hall. African clawless otters are found near permanent bodies of water in savannah and lowland forest areas. The African Clawless otters at the Metro Richmond Zoo have a new home! Its greatest threat comes from the python, which will often lie in wait near or in the water. Dark-brown coat (appears black when wet). The African clawless otter has been reported as living in family Mainly aquatic creatures, their tails are used for locomotion and propel them through the water. They sometimes will eat ducks, geese, coots, swans, mollusks, dragonfly larvae, reptiles, shrews, and small birds. Such habits usually attract crocodiles. 1. “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. They are mainly nocturnal in urban areas and lie up during the day in quiet, bushy areas. 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. See Details. 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. Aonyx specimens will often forage in man-made fisheries and may be hunted or become entangled in nets. 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. The Otter Trail is a hiking trail in South Africa named after the African clawless otter, which is found in this area. Quick in the water and burrowing on land, A. capensis does not have many predators. This may well be a far greater threat to otters than hunting. Staying cool means spending time in the water, and using burrows as a way to escape the highest temperatures of the day. Extremely sensitive whiskers (vibrissae) are used as sensors in the water to pick up the movements of potential prey. 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. They have light to dark brown fur on their backs with a white face, throat, belly and ears. To stay warm, on the other hand, the otters depend solely on their thick fur. 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. LENGTH. Silver tips to the end of hairs on the neck and head and dark patches of fur between the eyes and nostrils. 1% Group size: 1 – 3 Abundance as of May 2015: 3 individuals . SIZE: Length (including tail) 1,3 m, mass 14 kg. All lack claws except for digits 2, 3, and 4 of the hind feet. They dive after prey to catch it, then swim to shore again, where they eat. 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. Although it is born with tiny claws it loses these on all toes except the middle three on the hind feet. This species is most active at dawn and dusk (known as crepuscular). African claw­less ot­ters are the largest Old World otter species and 3rd largest species of otter over­all. Percentage of Lolldaiga used: ca. African clawless otters dry and groom themselves by rolling in grass and rubbing themselves against rocks and soil and basking in the sun. As the name suggests, these Otters don’t have claws. Chestnut in color, they are characterized by white facial markings that extend downward towards their throat and chest areas. Clawless otters have slender, serpentine bodies with dense, luxuriou… They dive for fish, with dives lasting 6 to 49 seconds, with an average of 18 seconds per dive. Territories are marked using a pair of anal glands which secrete a particular scent. They return to burrows (holts) for safety, cooling or a rubdown using grasses and leaves. 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. Molars are large and flat, used for crushing of prey. Other information: Only known for along the Timau River on south boundary of Lolldaiga. They weigh be­tween 10 and 22 kg. Afterwards, both males and females go their separate ways and return to their solitary lives once more. Breeding Copulation may occur during December, but births have been reported in most months, with a … 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. Currently this species is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing. South Africa, which has an abundant crab population, is home to an estimated 21,500 African clawless otters. 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 African clawless otter is the most abundant otter species in Africa. Decal Size. Lots of different size and color combinations to choose from. front feet are not. The African clawless otter (Aonyx capensis), also known as the Cape clawless otter or groot otter, is the second-largest freshwater species of otter. After bouts of hunting they may leave the water to dry off or to play. Little is known about the mating system of African clawless otters. 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 Their large skulls are broad and flat, with relatively small orbits and short rostra. 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. Size: 130 cm: Mass: 10 -18kg: Lifespan: 20 years: Conservation Status: Least Concern: Description. 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. Named after their clawless feet, this otter is also known as the Cape Clawless Otter. Exclusions Apply. Other otters have fully webbed feet and strong, well-developed claws. Females give birth to litters containing two to five young around early spring. 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. African Clawless Otter on The IUCN Red List site -, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_clawless_otter, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/1793/0. They are independent and reproductively mature from the age of 1 year. The biggest threat to African clawless otters comes from humans. 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. In freshwater habitats, they eat primarily crabs, and they also eat insects, frogs, and various species of fish. Their head and body length ranges from 762 mm to 880 mm. The Cape clawless otter, also known as the African clawless otter, is one of two otter species to occur in South Africa. 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. It is believed to spend much more time on land than other otters. The African Clawless Otter is the second largest of all freshwater species. It is widely-distributed across South Africa and the second largest freshwater otter species in the world, reaching between 113 and 163 cm in … Other predators would include the crocodile and fish eagles. Are broad and flat, with dives lasting 6 to 49 seconds, with African. Full maturity around one year of age when wet ) supply available to otters in savannah lowland. 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