Skip to main content


Making and using measurements


Keeping warm

Grooming helps to replenish pockets of air in the fur, keeping otters warm

The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) is the most widely distributed of the world’s 13 otter species. This charismatic mammal is found throughout much of Europe, northern Asia and north Africa. Across the majority of its range it is a freshwater species, inhabiting lakes and river systems. In Scotland it has adapted to coastal habitats.

Any animal that lives fully or partly in water faces challenges. Physiologically, the biggest of these is regulation of body temperature. Water is very effective at conducting heat away from a warm body – the thermal conductivity of water is 23 times greater than that of air. Otters have both physical and behavioural adaptations that overcome this challenge.

Your organisation does not have access to this article.

Sign up today to give your students the edge they need to achieve their best grades with subject expertise



Making and using measurements

Related articles: