Have you ever seen a picture of two otters floating on their backs, holding each other’s paws? If you have, you might have wondered why they do that. Well, it turns out that otters have a very good reason for this adorable behavior: it helps them survive.
Otters are semi-aquatic mammals that live in rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. They are very social animals that form groups called rafts, which can consist of a few individuals or up to a hundred. Otters often rest and sleep while floating on the water surface, but they face some challenges in doing so.
First, otters are warm-blooded and need to maintain their body temperature in cold water. They have thick fur that traps air and provides insulation, but they also need to share body heat with other otters. By holding hands, they can cuddle up and stay warm together.
Second, otters are vulnerable to drifting away from their group or their territory due to water currents or winds. They also risk losing their mates or their offspring, which can have serious consequences for their survival and reproduction. By holding hands, they can anchor themselves to each other and prevent separation.
Third, otters are preyed upon by predators such as sharks, crocodiles, eagles, and humans. They need to be alert and ready to escape or fight back if they sense danger. By holding hands, they can appear larger and more intimidating to potential threats, and they can also communicate and coordinate their actions.
So, the next time you see a picture of otters holding hands, remember that they are not just being cute and romantic. They are actually using a clever strategy to cope with the challenges of living in the water. Otters are amazing animals that deserve our respect and protection.