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Breeding Copulation may occur during December, but births have been reported in most months, with a … Free Returns High Quality Printing Fast Shipping. 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. African clawless otters are mainly carnivores. African clawless otters have thick, smooth fur with almost silky underbellies. In 29 of the 35 countries where these otters are present, their populations are stable. Their sensitive whiskers help them to find food in the water by detecting the movement of aquatic animals. Their sleek, streamlined bodies are perfect for diving and swimming. Paws are partially webbed with five fingers, and no opposable thumbs. 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. 73-95 cm. 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. Breeding occurs mostly during the dry season, though it may take place at any time of the year. They are sometimes hunted for their thick, soft pelts, which humans use in forms of clothing. 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. The African Clawless otter is the third largest species of otter in the world. In freshwater habitats, they eat primarily crabs, and they also eat insects, frogs, and various species of fish. They will use their front feet to extract food hidden under logs or rocks or in the mud. Fine art decal of an African Clawless Otter. Young are raised solely by the females. The majority of their time awake is spent swimming, foraging, hunting, playing, and sunbathing. [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. Mating takes place in short periods throughout the rainy season in December. Though mostly solitary animals, African clawless otters will live in neighboring territories of family groups of up to five individuals. Silver tips to the end of hairs on the neck and head and dark patches of fur between the eyes and nostrils. To stay warm, on the other hand, the otters depend solely on their thick fur. 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. Group of three camera trapped. The African Clawless otters at the Metro Richmond Zoo have a new home! Species: African Clawless, Congo Clawless and Spotted-necked Otter. [4] Aonyx is closely related to the extinct giant Sardinian otter, Megalenhydris. The diet of Aonyx capensis primarily includes water-dwelling animals, such as crabs, fish, frogs and worms. Its feet are webbed to enable the best swimming conditions. Their large skulls are broad and flat, with relatively small orbits and short rostra. Clawless otters have slender, serpentine bodies with dense, luxuriou… African claw­less ot­ters are the largest Old World otter species and 3rd largest species of otter over­all. Their tail mea­sures 465 mm to 515 mm long and is typ­i­cally stout and ta­pered. The number of crabs in an area determines how many otters live there. The word aonyx means "clawless", derived from the prefix a- ("without") and onyx ("claw/hoof"). As predators, they may have an influence on the numbers of their prey species: crabs, fish, frogs, and insects. The item is printed on a highly durable, reusable material and can be ordered in a variety of custom sizes. 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. Paws are partially webbed with five fingers, and no opposable thumbs. Other predators would include the crocodile and fish eagles. These animals are acrobatic, curious and clever, and are perfectly adapted to the aquatic environment in which they live. 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. Molars are large and flat, used for crushing of prey. Its greatest threat comes from the python, which will often lie in wait near or in the water. The exhibit is called Otter Cove and is five times the size of the previous home and features a 12,000-gallon pool. This may well be a far greater threat to otters than hunting. Male African Clawless Otters have an average body mass of 13.4kg. Size: 130 cm: Mass: 10 -18kg: Lifespan: 20 years: Conservation Status: Least Concern: Description. Aonyx capensis - The African Clawless Otter. As the name suggests, these Otters don’t have claws. They have very playful personalities, especially once they have eaten. SIZE: Length (including tail) 1,3 m, mass 14 kg. They weigh be­tween 10 and 22 kg. On land, they either trot like a seal or walk slowly, sometimes travelling over 7 km between one body of water and another. Male otters are slightly larger than females on average. This species may also be affected in some areas by loss or degradation of its habitat. They are independent and reproductively mature from the age of 1 year. Hybridisation of Asian small-clawed otter females with smooth-coated otter males occurred in Singapore. 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. Weights can range from 10–36 kg (22-80 lbs), with most otters averaging between 12 and 21 kg (26-46 lbs). Mainly aquatic creatures, their tails are used for locomotion and propel them through the water. Females give birth to litters containing two to five young around early spring. Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis), captive. 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). African clawless otters are found near permanent bodies of water in savannah and lowland forest areas. It is the third largest species of otter. During the day they sleep in burrows or dens. African clawless otters dry and groom themselves by rolling in grass and rubbing themselves against rocks and soil and basking in the sun. Using the lowest density estimate for Other information: Only known for along the Timau River on south boundary of Lolldaiga. Chestnut in color, they are characterized by white facial markings that extend downward towards their throat and chest areas. 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. 1. 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. Its long hairy tail ends in a point and is flattened horizontally. African clawless otter. The African clawless otter spends its days swimming and catching food. Afterwards, both males and females go their separate ways and return to their solitary lives once more. The African Clawless Otter is similar in appearance to the Congo Clawless otter. Aonyx specimens will often forage in man-made fisheries and may be hunted or become entangled in nets. 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 African claw­less ot­ters are the largest Old World otter species and 3rd largest species of otter over­all. [2] They are characterized by partly webbed and clawless feet, from which their name is derived. More aquatic than other otters from Africa, its fully webbed paws have sharp, well-developed claws. 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. The African clawless otter (Aonyx capensis), also known as the Cape clawless otter or groot otter, is the second-largest freshwater species of otter. Chestnut in color, they are characterized by white facial markings that extend downward towards their throat and chest areas. South Africa, which has an abundant crab population, is home to an estimated 21,500 African clawless otters. According to the MPALA LIVE resource, the total number of African clawless otters in South Africa is around 21,500 individuals. Lots of different size and color combinations to choose from. African clawless otters have thick, smooth fur with almost silky underbellies. It is a robust, strong animal; the second-largest freshwater otter species in Africa and the third-largest in the world. It is very silky in appearance as well as to the touch. It occurs in any large area of suitable habitat to the south of the Sahara, except the Congo Basin. 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. 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. 1% Group size: 1 – 3 Abundance as of May 2015: 3 individuals . It is the third largest species of otter. White lips, chin, throat and upper chest. They spend most of their lives in the water, and they are made for it! The ears are small and rounded. Such habits usually attract crocodiles. Each otter is very territorial over its particular range. Aonyx capensis is a member of the weasel family (Mustelidae) and of the order Carnivora. Otters along the trail are protected, as it falls within the Tsitsikamma National Park. The largest otter is the giant otter. It is the third largest species of otter. 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. This and the fact that young are raised solely by the females may suggest that African clawless otters exhibit a polygynous mating system. 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. An African clawless otter is a solitary animal. Otters are the only serious swimmers in the weasel family. Gestation lasts around two months (63 days). Common Name: African Clawless Otter Binomial Name: Aonyx capensis Identification: Quite large size.Dark-brown coat (appears black when wet). Finger-like digits. Surviving mostly in southern Africa, the otters live in areas surrounding permanent bodies of water, usually surrounded by some form of foliage. 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. , belly and ears one year of age chestnut in color, they are also used for crushing of.. 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