Oriental Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) - Wiki
Oriental Small-clawed Otter
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[Photo] Asian Small-clawed Otter, Melbourne Zoo. Taken by Fir0002 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Fir0002
The Oriental Small-clawed Otter, Aonyx cinereus 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.
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). Their also have been issues with the species name for the short clawed otter and can be found as cinereus and cinerea. However the current IUCN name is Aonyx cinereus.
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