Australian Otter Rat Skull Replica measures 2.3 inches. Australian Otter Rat Skull Replica is museum quality polyurethane resin cast. 2-part skull (separate cranium & jaw). Made in the USA. Known as the Australian Water Rat

The Australian Otter or Australian Water Rat dwells in freshwater lakes and rivers throughout Australia and Tasmania and on offshore islands. They are also found on New Guinea.

The Australian Otter rat live mainly near permanent fresh water. They live on land but depend on the water for food. Rakali are also present along the coastline, H. chrysogaster do not need completely fresh water.

The Australian Otter rat breed in the spring and summer. Females have an estrous cycle of approximately eleven days. The gestation period is about 35 days.

Australian Otter rat females can enter estrus immediately after giving birth, so litters can be produced only 35 days apart. Usually, Rakali have litters of four to five young. During a good breeding season, females can have two or three litters.

At birth, the young Rakali are blind. Young are born helpless and are cared for by their mother in her nest burrow until they are weaned, at about 35 days old.

They are usually lighter in color than the adults, but already have the characteristic white tipped tail and partially webbed feet.

The Rakali young grow quickly and are usually independent after about 35 days. However, after this initial growth, maturity to adulthood takes longer.

Breeding does not occur until the young are at least one year old and full size is attained at about two years of age.

Predictors of the Australian Otter Rat are Eagles, buzzards and kites prey on water rats, as well as snakes and small mammalian carnivores. Rakali or Australian Water rats mainly escape predation by escaping to burrows or into the water.

Australian Otter rats are abundant and are an important prey base for many small to medium-sized predators. Their burrowing and foraging activities also help in the redistribution of nutrients in systems.

Long considered a nuisance animal, Australian Otters rats were hunted for their soft fur, particularly in the Depression of the 1930s, when a ban was placed on imported pelts.

With their numbers under threat, a protection order was issued in 1938, however they were still subject to destruction permits from 1938 to 1957 due to their effect on irrigation banks and alleged damage to fishing nets. Additionally from 1957 to 1967 a number of licensed seasons were also held for this reason.

Until the 1980s, this species was commonly known as a Water-rat, Common Water-rat, or Golden-bellied Water-rat, but during the 1990s there was a push for such descriptive English common names to be replaced with indigenous names.

In 1995, the Australian Nature Conservation Agency released a document in which the following indigenous names were recorded for H. chrysogaster. They recommended that “rakali” be adopted as the common name, and the Australian Department of Environment and Heritage has taken up this suggestion.