Patrick D

Page history last edited by Patrick Dougherty 14 years, 5 months ago

Giant otter resting on river bankGiant otters


I Giant otter life

     In the beautiful Amazon Rainforest there lives a magnificent animal called the giant otter. I think the otters are interesting, especially the giant otter. I watch my sister care for the river otters at the Millbrook Zoo, and I study them all the time.

Giant otter resting on river bank.

 I just think the giant otter is amazing animal, that is why I picked it . I am going to bring you on an adventure into the life of the giant otter.


II Family    

     This animal belongs to the mustiladae family. This otter is related to badgers, skunks, weasels, wolverines, and otters. They live in a group or holt that can consist of 5-20 otters. They usually have one main breeding pair. 


A family of giant ottersA family of giant otters.


III Dimensions

     Giant otters are easy to recognize. They look like big weasels with webbed feet and a big flat tail.They have a big white spot on their chest and neck. Other than that it is completely brown. It can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh up to 75 pounds.


IV Habitat   

      The giant otter lives in river systems such as the Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata river systems. It usually moves into the flooded forest in the rainy season for fish, and moves out during the dry season. It never does long range migrating.


V Diet    

     The giant otters diet mostly consists of fish. If food is scarce it will even eat anacondas and black caimans. To catch food, the giant otter dives down, propelling itself with its tail, catching the prey in its paws and swimming on land to eat it. They work together to tackle the much larger prey. 

 The jaguar preys on giant otters

 The jaguar preys on giant otters.







     VI Enemies 

     Giant otters have some natural enemies except for humans.   


Jaguars and pumas will eat the otter cubs. Caimans are a competent for food and may eat the otter cubs.  


VII Defense     

     Giant otters defend themselves in two ways. Either working together to ward off the enemy. Or if the attacker is to strong, they will take the cubs and hide in their dens until the attacker has gone away.


VIII Reproduction         

 Two giant otter cubs Two giant otter cubs.

     The cubs or pups are usually born in summer with a litter size of 2 to 5 otter cubs. It takes about 65 to 75 days for them to be born. Its life expectancy is 8 years in the wild and up to 17 years in captivity.

IX Relationship to humans     

     Giant otters usually stay away from human activity. Otters are very social and curious so they will come up to you. They won't be scared of you, but they won't come to close either.

X Population     

     Giant otters are the most endangered of the otter species and is one of the most endangered animals on the planet. There is more than a thousand left. Because they have the most expensive fur, they where nearly hunted to extinction in the 1970's because people where very poor. Now there are laws against it and they are slowly increasing.     


XI Sleep

      Giant otters never hibernate because it is never that cold. If it does get to cold, then the giant otter will move somewhere else.   


XII Adaptations

     The giant otter has well adapted to amphibious lifestyle. Its flat tail and webbed feet allow it to move swiftly through water. Also, its strong legs make it good on land to.


XIII Habits   

         Giant otters are naturally playful. it is diurnal, which means they sleep at night. They live and playtogether, relying on each other


 XIV Characteristics 

     The giant otter is the largest of the otter species. With this and that it is a good hunter, it is close to the top of the Amazon river food chain.


XV Disappearing act 

     Through my report your probably thinking "Wow, the giant otter is an amazing animal!" but this animal and its home is being destroyed. Please help protect the rainforest. If you don't then the giant otter and many other beautiful things in the rainforest will be lost forever.




Work Cited 

Books: Baily, Jill. Otter Rescue. 1995. Fordon, John. Wild Animals. 2003.

Encyclopedia: Odell, Daniel. "Otter". World Book. 2007.

Website: Giant otter. http://www.giantotters.com. 23, March, 2009.

Earth's endangered. http://www.earthsendangered.com. 25, March, 2009.

Comments (3)

Mrs. Austin-Kieves said

at 10:00 am on Apr 1, 2009


Ms. Davis said

at 7:40 pm on Apr 11, 2009

Hi Patrick! Great work so far. Here are some suggestions and questions you can answer to improve your report. What does "diurnal" mean? I think the information you have under "Habits" belongs under the "Enemies" section. You will need to add some info to the "Habits" section.
Keep up the good work. You definitely know a lot about your animal!

Come to the library if you need more information to write about "Habits."

Mariah Kelly said

at 7:28 am on Apr 25, 2009

I like it GOOD JOB pat!!:)

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