Marine Wildlife Encyclopedia
European Otter Lutra lutra
Once widespread throughout Europe and Asia, the European otter has been badly affected by pollution and habitat change and by being hunted for its fur. It has a streamlined body, short but dense coat, and webbing on all four paws, and is extraordinarily agile underwater, twisting and turning to catch fish. Inland, European otters are largely nocturnal, spending the daytime in their dens, or holts. Those that live on the coast, however, can often be seen during the day.