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6248Lontra longicaudis - A Living Relative of Teruelictis

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  • Neal Robbins
    Nov 18, 2013
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        These links have photos of Lontra longicaudis.
       
       
       
          Lontra longicaudis is a living relative of the Miocene otter Teruelictis riparius. Both are in the family Mustelidae. Lontra longicaudis is a member of the subfamily Lutrinae. Teruelictis possibly belongs in this subfamily.
          Lontra longicaudis is often called the Neotropical Otter. This otter is found in Argentina, Honduras, Mexico, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Suriname, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Peru. It lives in the vicinity of rivers, lakes, ponds, and marshes. Lontra longicaudis sometimes digs burrows. It also takes shelter in caves and rock cavities.
          Lontra longicaudis is 360-660 mm. (1.18-2.17 feet) in length. The weight range is 5-15 kg. (11.01-33.04 pounds). The pelage is sleek, short, and dense. It has a lustrous grayish-brown coloration. However, the ventral portion of the body is slightly paler, particularly the throat. The mandible, upper lip, and tip of the muzzle are silvery white or yellowish. The skull is long and flat. The tail of Lontra longicaudis is long and wide. It is very thick at the base.
          Lontra longicaudis mostly breeds in the spring. However, it can breed at other times of the year. Gestation takes about 56 days. A litter consists of 1-5 young. There are typically 2-3 newborns. The offspring are born blind. They open their eyes after about 44 days. The young are fully furred at birth. When around 52 days old, they leave the den and spend much time playing near it. The offspring begin their aquatic activity with the mother at about 52 years of age. They achieve breeding maturity about two years after birth.
          The lifespan in the wild is unknown. Lontra longicaudis has been known to live up to 14.9 years in captivity. The reference for this information is this publication:
       
      http://genomics.senescence.com/ - AnAg: The Animal Ageing and Longevity Database.
          Lontra longicaudis mainly eats fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. However, it also feeds on insects, birds, reptiles, and rodents. Most foraging takes place during daylight hours, especially in the afternoon. The dental formula of Lontra longicaudis is:
       
      3/3, 1/1, 4/3, 1/2=36
       
          Predators of Lontra longicaudis include:
       
      anacondas (Eunectes murinus)
      caimans
      dogs
      jaguars (Panthera onca)
       
          This publication is a reference:
       
      K. Berry. 2000. "Lontra longicaudis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed November 18, 2013 at
       
          Neal Robbins