Generally, when the topic of otters come up, the reaction of people’s faces is *heart eyes emoji*. An Otter could be considered Hollywood’s heartthrob! As many people know, otters are often seen cuddling their pups on their bellies and float along the sea. When a female otter has her pup, she is very protective of her pups. For example, when a mother dives down under the water to get food she wraps her pup in seaweed and help to keep him from drifting.
As you read, there’s a smile on your face, right? This reaction to one of the cutest animals in the biosphere has to do with the human brain. We find baby humans very cute and tend to want to squeeze them or pinch their cheeks. We have a similar reaction to baby animals because they share many characteristics to human babies like a small body, chubby, big eyes, etc. As a result, we are stimulated by similarities and find the baby otters and other animals extremely cute.
Humans turn aggressive when they see baby animals, wanting to squeeze them and not being able to control their emotions; this aggression could result from wanting to take care of the baby, like we do ours, but are unable to because it is only a picture. We become aggressive because we want to take care of the young animal; many people call it ‘cute aggression’. Overall, most people have similar reactions to baby otters and older ones alike!
Did you know otters used to be the size of wolves? And they were 110 lbs? Now, they are from around 6 to 26 lbs and only about three feet long! These otters lived about 6 million years before the our evolution human species. The prehistoric otters were native to modern day China and fed on mollusks and other shellfish. Otters have clearly evolved to an animal much smaller, and much cuter.
Otters are known to be very adorable, but they have a dark side to their nature. For instance, two teenage boys had been attacked by a family of otters! In a California lake, the two boys ages 13 and 14, jumped into the water and were chased to the shore. This otter attack resulted with injuries to their neck, legs, and feet. During an interview with the boys, one said “there was one that kept attacking us no matter what we did. I just remember
looking back at it and seeing it’s teeth,”. Apparently otters have very territorial instincts especially when they have their babies. The babies were attacking as well… I guess the apple never falls far from the tree when attacking humans.
Otters are some of the cutest animals known to mankind, but don’t be fooled, they will attack. To all, beware of otters, keep on the lookout, and be safe… you never know when they’re coming.