Oriental Small-clawed Otter

Oriental Small-clawed Otter

name = Oriental Small-clawed Otter
status = NT
status_system = iucn3.1
status_ref = IUCN2007|assessors=Hussain|year=2004|id=44166|title=Aonyx cinereus|downloaded=06 May 2008 Database entry includes justification for why this species is near threatened]
trend = unknown

image_width = 299px
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Carnivora
familia = Mustelidae
subfamilia = Lutrinae
genus = "Aonyx"
species = "A. cinerea"
binomial = "Aonyx cinerea"
binomial_authority = Illiger, 1815
The Oriental Small-clawed Otter, "Aonyx cinerea" also known as Asian Small-clawed Otter is the smallest otter in the world.

The Oriental Small-clawed Otter is found in mangrove swamps and freshwater wetlands of Bangladesh, southern India, China, Taiwan, Indochina, Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, preferring to live near water.

The full grown otters measure approximately 0.9m from nose to tail tip, and can weigh up to 5kg.They feed on fish, frogs, crabs, crayfish and shellfish.

These otters are especially distinct for their forepaws, as the claws do not extend above the fleshy end pads of their toes and fingers. These attributes give them human-like proficiency and coordination to the point which they can use their paws to feed on mollusks, crabs and other small aquatic animals.

The Oriental Small-clawed Otter lives in extended family groups with only the alpha pair breeding and previous offspring helping to raise the young.

Due to ongoing habitat loss, pollution and hunting in some areas, the Oriental Small-clawed Otter is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

This species was formerly thought to be the only member of the genus "Amblonyx", however it has recently been confirmed as "Aonyx" after mitochrondrial DNA analysis (Koepfli and Wayne, 1998). There also have been issues with the species name for the Oriental Small-clawed Otter and can be found as "cinereus" and "cinerea". However the current IUCN name is "Aonyx cinereus", while "Mammal Species of the World" lists it as "cinerea".




* Larivière, Serge. (2003) " [http://www.science.smith.edu/departments/Biology/VHAYSSEN/msi/default.html Amblonyx cinereus] ". "Mammalian Species" (720): 1–5.

External links

* [http://www.redlist.org/search/details.php?species=44166 IUCN Red List]
* [http://www.wellingtonzoo.com/animals/animals/mammals/otter.html Oriental Small Clawed Otter Factsheet]
* [http://www.otternet.com/galleries/smalclaw/ Oriental Small Clawed Otter Gallery]

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