Creature Feature: North American River Otter

By MDC | January 1, 2022
From Xplor: January/February 2022
Body

Tail Rudder

With a swish of its long, thick tail, an otter can twist and turn to outswim almost any fish.

Fabulously Furry

Each square inch of skin is covered with nearly 375,000 hairs. The thick fur keeps an otter cozy in icy water.

Touchy Mustache

Bushy whiskers help an otter feel for food in dark or murky water. The hairs can even detect currents created by fish swimming nearby.

Waterproof Snoot

Nose clips and earplugs aren’t needed. An otter can simply squeeze its schnoz and ears shut to keep out water.

Paddle Paws

Webbed toes turn paws into paddles. With a few kicks, an otter can rocket through water like a furry torpedo.

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This Issue's Staff

ARTIST
Alexis (AJ) Joyce

PHOTOGRAPHERS
Noppadol Paothong
David Stonner

DESIGNERS
Marci Porter
Les Fortenberry

ART DIRECTOR
Cliff White

EDITOR
Matt Seek

SUBSCRIPTIONS
Laura Scheuler

MAGAZINE MANAGER
Stephanie Thurber