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Home > Science & Nature > Nature > Animals > Otter and Beaver Compared

Difference Between Otter and Beaver

Otter vs Beaver

Otter and beaver are completely different animals, but with much similar looking appearances. Sometimes, it is possible to commit mistakes by referring these two different species as one, due to the similarities in their appearance. Therefore, it would be beneficial to understand the differences between otter and beaver. As a starting point, they have completely different feeding habits, but other interesting facts are must-reads.

Otter

Otter is a semi aquatic carnivorous mammal of the Order: Carnivora and Family: Mustelidae. There are 13 species of otters naturally distributed around aquatic habitats of Europe, Asia, Mediterranean countries, and Americas. They have a slender and elongated body with short legs. They can swim well in water, as they have webbed paws. Their under fur is very soft and the outer long fur protects it by trapping warm air inside, so that the animal is warm and dry even at underwater. Usually their claws are sharp, but not in sea otters. All otter species are carnivorous, and feed on fish, frogs, birds, molluscs, and other invertebrates. They eat a lot and have a very high metabolic rate. Therefore, they are very active and can easily chase their pray species in the water. Some species are solitary, but others are social and living in groups. Tropical species do not have a pronounced breeding season, but temperate species do mate in spring. Their pregnancy lasts for 2 – 3 months, and the newborn cubs live with families including fathers and siblings as well. An otter can generally live up to 12 years in wild, but sea otters live about 25 years in wild.

Beaver

Beaver is a large semi aquatic mammal of the Order: Rodentia and Family: Castoridae. There are only two species known as Eurasian and North American beavers. As their common names indicate, those species naturally inhabit in those two locations accordingly. These interesting nocturnal animals are famous for building dams, canals, and lodges. They use their powerful and ever-growing upper front incisor teeth to cut trees and other plants to build their homes. Beavers are herbivorous mammals and they especially prefer the wooden parts of plants. They can swim and dive fast with their webbed hind feet and flipper-like scaly tail. Beavers are ever-growing animals like elephants. This natures’ architect can live up to 25 years in wild, by the time it weighs almost 25 kilograms.

What is the difference between Otter and Beaver?

• Otter belongs to the Family: Mustelidae of Order: Carnivora, while beaver belongs to the Family: Castoridae OF Order: Rodentia.

• Otter has carnivorous food habits, whereas beaver is herbivorous.

• Otter has and slender and elongated body compared to beaver.

• Beaver has a powerful flipper-like tail, which is useful for swimming and alarming other beavers. However, otter has a long and tapered tail.

• Otter has webbed paws in both pairs of limbs, whereas webbing is only present in the hind feet in beaver.

• Beavers build either dams or lodges as their home along the stream, whereas otters live in hidden holes on land known as halts.

• Beavers prefer still water, but otters prefer running water.


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