[45], Suriname still has significant forest cover and an extensive system of protected areas, much of which protects the giant otter. Giant otters are the largest of any otter in the world growing up to 1.8m. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. It can grow up to 2.4m (8ft) long from nose to tail. They noted that the species may be the basal divergence among the otters or fall outside of them altogether, having split even before other mustelids, such as the ermine, polecat, and mink. Stable Threatened Endangered. The giant otter or giant river otter[3] One full-year study of giant otter scats in Amazonian Brazil found fish present in all fecal samples. They are found along fresh water rivers, lakes and streams. They are found along fresh water rivers, lakes and streams. [11] Later gene sequencing research on the mustelids, from 2005, places the divergence of the giant otter somewhat later, between five and 11 million years ago; the corresponding phylogenetic tree locates the Lontra divergence first among otter genera, and Pteronura second, although divergence ranges overlap.[19]. [46], Mothers give birth to furred and blind cubs in an underground den near the river shore and fishing sites. [2] Populations in Bolivia were once widespread but the country became a "black spot" on distribution maps after poaching between the 1940s and 1970s; a relatively healthy, but still small, population of 350 was estimated in the country in 2002. One report suggests maximum areas 28 m (92 ft) long and 15 m (49 ft) wide, well-marked by scent glands, urine, and feces to signal territory. The Giant River Otter(Pteronura brasiliensis), often referred to as the river wolf, is a species in the Mustelid (weasel) family that is endemic to South America. Giant River Otter. Giant River Otters can grow to 6 and a half feet in length and weigh 75 pounds. Amazon basin including: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Venezuela, Peru. Early travelers' reports describe noisy groups surrounding explorers' boats, but little scientific information was available on the species until Duplaix's groundbreaking work in the late 1970s. The giant otter is diurnal, being active exclusively during daylight hours. Amazon basin including: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Venezuela, Peru. [11] The giant otter shares the South American continent with three of the four members of the New World otter genus Lontra: the neotropical river otter, the southern river otter, and the marine otter. Exhibit Range of the Jaguar. With a streamlined body and webbed feet, this otter is a great swi… (Pteronura brasiliensis) is a South American carnivorous mammal. The giant otter is the longest of the otter species but shares a similar weight with the sea otter.Male giant otters can attain a length of 1.5-1.7m (4.9-5.6ft). [44], Giant otters build dens, which are holes dug into riverbanks, usually with multiple entrances and multiple chambers inside. In Brazil it is known as ariranha, from the Tupí word ari'raña, meaning water jaguar (Portuguese: onça d'água). The family members communicate vocally with a wide variation of calls. A rare animal with numbers last estimated to be under 5,000 in the wild at the turn of the century. [58], Local people sometimes take pups for the exotic pet trade or as pets for themselves, but the animal rapidly grows to become unmanageable. Range. [2] Given local extinctions, the species' range has become discontinuous. Today they are protected and it is illegal to trap them for the pet trade or for their pelt. Giant Otter's velvet pellets have attracted hunters whose numbers have dropped significantly. 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