The name otter shell is based on a spelling error. The animal has nothing to do with otters. However in the very first publication of this species, the biologist intended name it Lutaria (from lutum = silt) but accidentally wrote Lutraria (from Lutra = otter). It used to be that only single, fossilized common otter shells washed ashore. However since 2000, lots of recent specimen have stranded on the Dutch beaches. This is a sign that this species has returned in the North Sea.