otters like to challenge themselves

Did you know that the otter is on the official list of new ones Pets ? The so-called Nacs. Yes, everyone can have at home a copy of this funny animal, which is protected in France for over 40 years. Anyone. Well almost. Because if you were thinking of adopting an otter, you would still have to get one certificate capacity. A kind of guarantee that you know what is good for her. How to place it, how to feed it or more widely, how to ensure its safety and well-being.

If in our country domestic otters seem to want to remain an exception, in Japan, for example, otters have been literally in vogue for some time. ” bruski with cats “, yes was. Now let’s push goalwith “otter coffee”. History of petting or feeding an animal. And, of course, immortalize this moment with a photo too cute to publish social networks.

As a result, poaching became the first danger for otters before polluting or destroying habitats. For gray otters , in particular. The species is native to Southeast Asia. The smallest species of otter in the world. He weighs just over 5 pounds. And she is very playful. This makes it even more attractive for eyes those looking for an original pet.

The peculiarity of this tiny otter is that it turns out to be quite clever when it comes to … finding something to eat! For us, it’s simple, a quick trip to the supermarket and you’re done. But in the wild it’s a different story. A life or death story in which animals must not only know how to identify foods that may be useful to them, but also learn to bypass possible remedies – thorns, shells, and so on. – created by them “prey”.

A few others and a little myself

To learn a little more about the habits of the gray otter, the researchers presented several specimens that live in different zoosto a series of experiments. Oatmeal meatballs were offered “hidden” – in the paws, because the pellets in question were clearly visible to attract the attention of animals, the box even had holes to let odors – in the boxes that they had to open to gain access to this award. For example, by pulling the tab or opening the valve.

Researchers have first noticed that otters learn from each other. To decide whether to take up these boxes. But also to quickly understand how to overcome the artificial difficulties created by humans. The researchers also noted that otters appear to be able to memorize tricks by opening cans for several months.

To go further, this time the researchers also decided to offer otters quite natural prey for them. The prey, however unknown to these specimens, has always lived in zoos. Trout – as a control food because it was directly available -, crab and mussels – both naturally protected from greed shells.

Otters were suspicious. They watched some of their closest, somewhat bolder companions – perhaps grown men – before embarking on these products, which were new to them. It is as if they prefer to rely on the experience of others to know whether the food is worth it or not. And new evidence that otters can learn what prey to swallow by watching their peers.

However, as soon as the prey was spotted, the otters became interested. Spend time on it. Sometimes even juggling some of them. Mussels, for example. Curiosity, which eventually made them learn how to get rid of shells that hide food. Another sign that the otter is able to make the most of social learning and itspure intelligence. Very small animal for sure … not so stupid!

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