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Giant Otter Skull Replica measures 6.6 inches. Giant Otter Skull Replica is museum quality polyurethane cast. Made in USA. Pteronura brasiliensis is the scientific name. Polyurethane cast of an original California Academy of Sciences specimen. Our precise skull can be used as a teaching tool, museum skull exhibit, home decor skull, or office decor skull. 2-part skull (separate cranium & jaw).
The Giant otter, Giant River Otter or Pteronura brasiliensis is a South American carnivorous mammal. It is the longest member of the Mustelidae, or weasel family, a globally successful group of predators, reaching up 5.6 ft.
Atypical of mustelids, the Giant otter or Pteronura brasiliensis is a social species, with family groups typically supporting three to eight members. The groups are centered on a dominant breeding pair and are extremely cohesive and cooperative.
Although generally peaceful, the species is territorial, and aggression has been observed between groups. The Giant otter is active exclusively during daylight hours. It is the noisiest otter species, and distinct vocalizations have been documented that indicate alarm, aggression, and reassurance.
The Giant otter or Pteronura brasiliensis ranges across north-central South America; it lives mostly in and along the Amazon River and in the Pantanal. Its distribution has been greatly reduced and is now discontinuous. Decades of poaching for its velvety pelt, peaking in the 1950s and 1960s, considerably diminished population numbers.
The Giant otter or Pteronura brasiliensis was listed as endangered in 1999 and wild population estimates are typically below 5,000. It is one of the most endangered mammal species in the neotropics. Habitat degradation and loss is the greatest current threat. The giant otter is also rare in captivity; in 2003, only 60 animals were being held.
The Giant otter or Pteronura brasiliensis shows a variety of adaptations suitable to an amphibious lifestyle, including exceptionally dense fur, a wing-like tail, and webbed feet. The species prefers freshwater rivers and streams, which are usually seasonally flooded, and may also take to freshwater lakes and springs.
It constructs extensive campsites close to feeding areas, clearing large amounts of vegetation. The Giant otter subsists almost exclusively on a diet of fish, particularly characins and catfish, but may also eat crabs, turtles, snakes and small caiman.
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