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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Marine Otter Lontra felina

This lithe predator lives on some of the world’s stormiest coastlines, particularly in the remote southern part of its range.

The marine otter’s closest relatives live mainly in fresh water, but it spends almost all its time in the sea. Like typical river otters, this coast-dwelling otter has short brownish yellow fur, webbed toes on all four feet, and sensitive whiskers that help it to find prey.

It fishes along rocky coasts, in the rich waters of the Humboldt Current, and instead of making burrows, it shelters in sea caves just above the level of the highest tides.

Marine otters have long been hunted for their pelts, and current estimates of the population are as low as 1,000 animals. The species is now protected, but preservation of its habitat may be equally important in guaranteeing its long-term survival.

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Marine Otterzoom image
  • Order Carnivora
  • Length Up to 3 ft (95 cm) including tail
  • Weight 9–13 lb (4–6 kg)
  • Habitat Exposed rocky shores
  • Distribution Pacific coast of South America from Peru to Cape Horn
Marine Otter Habitat Mapzoom image