The distinctive, long whiskers aid giant otters in detecting potential prey, especially in murky water, where the whiskers can feel for small animals hiding on the bottom and can track the water movements left by fish as they swim. The giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is the largest member of the mustelid family, which includes otters, weasels, and ferrets, and are by far the loudest member of the group.Giant river otters are very sociable and live in families of between 3-10 individuals that hunt together. You can also find the Neotropical Otter and the Marine Otter in South America. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/g/giant-otter Giant River Otter At more than twice the length of the North American river otter, the giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is quite a sight.A skilled hunter and apex predator, the giant river otter is also very much a family-oriented creature, living in large and often noisy groups along the river banks of the Amazon and its tributaries. Giant otters live in lakes and slow-moving rivers in forested areas. This month’s mammal is an Amazonian giant, measuring up to six feet long! Check out the world’s largest otter species. Once they have hunted successfully, Giant Otters bring their prey to a “picnic area” to eat straight away. Giant otters are piscivorous carnivores that do all of their foraging in the water. The map above illustrates potential giant otter range. They are also good ‘indicator’ species, meaning the population health of the giant river otter is representative of the health of the entire river ecosystem. Giant otters live in South America in areas along the Amazon, Orinoco and La Plata Rivers and their tributaries. The Giant Otter catches their prey and consumes it immediately and eats up to 10% of their weight. Giant Otters are found in the Rainforests of South America. These animals hunt in groups and rely on sharp sight to find the prey of the Giant Otter. Each giant otter has cream fur markings in the chin and throat which are unique in each individual. Due to a high metabolic rate and rapid digestion, giant otters will spend a great deal of time hunting. So, as you find with other otter species, keeping an eye out for a flat rock near the water that is covered in fish scales can give a clue to there being Giant Otters about. They are 1 of 3 species of otter on the continent of South America. Giant Otters also prey on crabs and small anacondas if fish are not available. Distribution. The Giant River Otter is a top predator in aquatic systems, and therefore control prey species population sizes to help keep the river ecosystem in balance. They are perfectly adapted to their watery environment, with large, webbed feet and stout tails to guide them through submerged vegetation, and ears and noses that close when they dive in search of prey. An extinct giant otter that once inhabited China could chew like a bear and probably preyed on rodents and birds, according to new research. Dense fur helps keep the otter’s skin totally dry even when it is swimming. Lifestyle and Reproduction: They are found along fresh water rivers, lakes and streams. They have sensitive whiskers which allow them to detect prey. Giant Otter is opportunistic and is also widely fed in the local area. In the wild they primarily consume fish, but will catch crustaceans, snakes, and small birds. 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