Hairy-nosed otter (Lutra sumatrana)
Perhaps the world’s rarest otter, the hairy-nosed otter is a little-known, enigmatic species endemic to Southeast Asia. The most distinctive feature of this otter is its hairy rhinarium (surface around the nostrils), which is covered in short, dark fur, apart from the upper-edge of the nostrils, which is bare. The fur on the upperside of the body is typically a silky dark brown, occasionally tinged with red, fading to a lighter colour on the underside, and yellowish-white on the throat, chin and upper lip. The long, sinuous, streamlined body and fully-webbed feet are superbly adapted for aquatic life, while the well-developed claws, make this otter equally at home on land. The skull of this species is flattened and elongate, and equipped with numerous sensitive whiskers used for detecting prey underwater. The hairy-nosed otter may also be distinguished by the rounded base of its long, tapering tail and the lack of extensive lightened fur down the sides of the body, a common feature on other Asian otters.