Humans, unfortunately, have hunted them to near extinction in some parts. At first I thought it was because they were simulating cracking oysters or something, but it turns out they just like playing with rocks! Giant otters can be attacked by other animals, but do not have any direct natural predators. This is an otter at Chester Zoo playing with some rocks. Asian small-clawed otter ( Aonyx cinera ): so-called due to their partially webbed paws which give them amazing dexterity, more than any other otter species. And river otters love to play on slippery rocks or ideally, snow banks, which they will body-surf down the length of, running back up to the top to do it all again. River otters, of course! A river otter can grow three to four feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) long including its tail and weigh between 11 and 30 pounds (5 to 14 kilograms). Play. Others believe otters only use these slides for low-energy travel, maintaining that otters generally do not climb to the top of a slope for another slide. The anatomy of the Otter allows it to do very well both on land and in the water. There is evidence that river otters' play activities strengthen social bonds, improve hunting techniques and scent mark territories. It makes its home in a burrow near the water's edge, and can thrive in river, lake, swamp, or estuary ecosystems. For some species, otters of all age classes have been observed sliding. Categories. This can lead to a very slow and painful death. Otters are carnivorous mammals in the subfamily Lutrinae.The 13 extant otter species are all semiaquatic, aquatic or marine, with diets based on fish and invertebrates.Lutrinae is a branch of the Mustelidae family, which also includes weasels, badgers, mink, and wolverines, among other animals. They spend a significant portion of the day scent marking territory by urinating, defecating, scratching and rubbing their scent glands on rocks and trees. Sea otters are an iconic species, representing the beauty and diversity of marine life found along California’s coastline. The fact that Otters do need to consume so much food each day though is a prime reason why they do have health problems with their stomachs and their vital organs. Facts; Information; They eat sea urchins and other invertebrates that graze on giant kelp. The only river otter that can be found north of Mexico, the North American river otter thrives in rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands, and along the coasts of every state and territory of both the United States and Canada. Play by this definition is seen in otters such as the Asian small-clawed and smooth-coated otters, who are both known to “juggle” with rocks. Their playful snow and mud sliding, tail chasing, water play, and snow burrowing activities also serve other purposes—they help strengthen social bonds and let young otters practice hunting techniques. This is one of the reasons why researchers feel it has been able to adapt to changes in the environment so well. The only places you won't find river otters are the dry desert areas of the southwestern U.S. They’re also considered a keystone species because of their critical importance to the health and stability of the nearshore marine ecosystem. Some researchers believe that sliding is a form of play in river otters. Sea otters are a keystone species and play a critical role in the food web of the kelp forest, so much so that even terrestrial species are influenced by sea otter activity. When sea otter populations are healthy, urchin populations are kept in check, and kelp is abundant. 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why do otters play

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