Otter - Maaruig

Maaruig, Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides

Type:Flora and Fauna - Otters

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The otter is a large mammal approximately 1 meter long with a shallow body and short legs. The otter is a similar shape to, but much larger than the american mink which is also found on the island. On harris the otters spend most of their time on or close to the shore where they feed largely on fish, eels and crabs. Otters are also found on fresh water and are particularly active in areas where rivers meet the sea. Otters have regular path which are often well defined. They are solitary animals for much of the time but mothers are often seen together with 1-3 cubs. Otters are most often seen swimming when ther head, rear part of the body and tail are visible above the surface.

look out for the footprints of otter which have 5 toes in comparison to dogs that have just 4. Otters mark their territory by sprainting. These spraints have a distinctive fishy but sweet and musty smell and usually contain the remains of fish. Otters are most easily spotted on calm days when they can easily spotted swimming.

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What's Nearby

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