Baby otters for the weekend

There are a gazillion baby otter pictures on the Das Otterhaus site, which, curiously, is from Japan.  Don’t expect the English to be very intelligible, but these otters are from the Osaka Zoo. Go have a look and say “awww. . . ”


  1. Posted March 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink



  2. Posted March 9, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Not to be a thread hog or anything…or go wildly off topic, but…

    …well, it’s amazing. It’s been a hundred million years (literally!) since we shared an ancestor, those otterlets and me, and yet I still feel a strong kinship with them.

    Jerry, if you’d care to do a post on the evolutionary origins of how all these visual and other cues tie in to cause us to so strongly and instinctively feel such such affinity with such distantly-related cousins, I’d love to read it.

    I mean, at first blush, one would only expect us to feel kinship with “blood relatives.” But we share 99 44/100% of our genes with all humans, including the genes to cause us to feel this way to our close relatives.

    And we also share…what, upwards of 85% of our genes with otters? Obviously, the “feel protective towards young’uns you’re related to” gene is in that 85%.


    • Posted March 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Re: baby vs adult otters, take this with a grain of salt, but here’s your answer otherwise. Sorry it was not the original study / hypothesis.

    • Posted March 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink


      • Matthew Cobb
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 1:32 am | Permalink

        I agree. Proof: my maggots.

        • Marlene Zuk
          Posted March 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          Yay maggots!

    • Marella
      Posted March 9, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Wow, 94.4my according to the iPhone ap “Time Tree”. I don’t think I find baby insects very appealing, though baby cephalopods are cute.

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 4:02 am | Permalink

        Oh, I don’t know, some larvae crawl under your skin.

        For example, I found the Geometridae ´ fashinating when I was a kid.

        • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
          Posted March 10, 2012 at 4:03 am | Permalink

          Fashionable certainly, but fascinating mostly.

  3. Posted March 9, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Those pictures are obnoxiously cute.

  4. CarlosT
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    That third picture is just awesome.

  5. ZenDruid
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    The second one reminds me of PZ, for some reason. Must be the beady eyes.

  6. Posted March 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Otters are one of the few animals that enjoy play throughout their lives.

  7. Posted March 9, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I think the best moment in my life I spent watching animals in nature was when I could watch a couple of otters. Fun is really a contagious thing.

    • Aidan Karley
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 3:25 am | Permalink

      Agreed. I was walking through from Shenavall to Dundonnell one lovely autumn day in the mid-80s when I came across a couple of wild otters playing on the shores of Loch na Sealga (,-5.289316&spn=0.005673,0.021136&t=h&z=16) No film in the camera, naturally – I’d used that yesterday – but a great hour watching using the camera as a telescope.
      A little while later, I realised that I’d lost my map, probably while watching the otters, and had to do a 8 mile-ish detour to keep the navigation solid (lots of cris-crossing paths in the interior). But a great day nonetheless.

  8. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    Every time I start to go “Aaw…” I see the otter picture over there.

    • Marlon
      Posted March 13, 2012 at 5:25 am | Permalink

      I see what you did there. They otter be cute, they’re babies.

  9. Derek
    Posted March 11, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Reading the blog, it seems that this guy (Mr. Sato) has hit, or is on his way to, every zoo and aquarium in Japan that has otters (51 of them) plus the Singapore Zoo and Malaysian National Zoo. It’s the Chiba Zoological Park today, a dozen otters but no babies. The blog also has his photo book of otters for sale on Amazon Japan (can’t do the link because part is in Japanese). There’s no accounting for tastes – otters are OK, but I prefer cats.

%d bloggers like this: