All otters are not created equal….
First of all the name should give you a hint– Sea otters live in the salty ocean and river otters live in inland fresh water. In other words, sea otters bodies are built to maintain heat and salinity better (hence thick fur), while river otters are best suited for fresh water rivers. Here are their classifications-
Sea Otter Taxonomy (Enhydra Lutris):
Subspecies- Lutris, Kenyoni, Neveis
(see prior blog post “home sweet home for sea otters” for more info on these sub species)
River otter taxonomy…
is a little tougher since these critters are found in all kinds of varieties all over the world.
Here is a list of the different types of river otters.
Cape Clawless Otter- Aonyx capensis
Oriental small-clawed otter- Aonyx cinera
Congo clawless otter- Aonyx congica
North American river otter- Lutra canadensis
Marine Otter- Lutra felina
Neotropical otter- Lutra longicaudis
Eurasin otter- Lutra lutra
Spotted-necked otter- Lutra maculicollis
India smooth-coated otter- Lutra perspicillata
Southern River otter- Lutra provacoax
Hairy-nosed otter- Lutra Sumatrana
Giant Otter-Pteronura brasiliensis
Here are some video clips of sea otters and river otters just for fun and comparison.
Sea otter: video credit to Jason Watts