IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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Biology

Within its aquatic habitat, the African clawless otter searches for food with its dexterous hands, overturning rocks, churning up mud, and probing vegetation for crustaceans, molluscs, frogs, fish and water tortoises (4) (5). Once captured, the otter may float in the water whilst eating its prey, or take larger items ashore (4). Often this activity is undertaken solitary, but sometimes groups of up to eight African clawless otters may be seen, usually either a mother with her cubs, or a group of males (4). African clawless otters use a number of sites out of the water to rest and sleep. Often these may be situated amongst thick vegetation or amid rocks, but they may also dig underground dens that are up to three metres long and contain a grass-lined nest (4). This otter may breed at any time of the year, giving birth to a litter of one to three cubs after a gestation of 63 days. At just one year of age, the young African clawless otters are independent (4). African clawless otters leave a number of noticeable clues to their presence as they move about their habitat. The large, long, clawless footprints are unmistakable, and deposits of faeces and urine are often left as they travel as a means of communicating with other otters. The African clawless otter also emits a variety of whistles, huffs, growls and screams with which it communicates to other individuals (4).

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Source: ARKive

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