One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A semiaquatic fish-eating mammal of the weasel family, with an elongated body, dense fur, and webbed feet.
Lutra and other genera, family Mustelidae: several species, including the European otter (L. lutra). See also sea otter
- ‘As members of the marten family, giant otters are susceptible to both diseases.’
- ‘The body of the mother otter was sent for post-mortem examination to try to establish how old the cubs might be.’
- ‘Other animals spotted in Greater Manchester include otters, stoats and weasels.’
- ‘The weasel family includes such colourful characters as otters, wolverines, skunks, minks and badgers.’
- ‘Fishermen have kept records of catches over the years and many naturalists and field sports people recorded sightings of mammals like the otter.’
- ‘They do, however, both belong to the same Mustelidae family which also encompasses badgers, skunks and otters, and that's close enough for us.’
- ‘A little higher off the forest floor, they can tick red squirrels, badgers, otters and foxes off their nature checklist, and if they are lucky, spot herds of red deer bounding over the hillside.’
- ‘Sometimes falling prey, on land, to wolves and coyotes, the otter's principal enemies are humans.’
- ‘It also walks on the soles of its feet like a bear, but the resemblance ends there, as the badger is actually from the same family as otters and weasels.’
- ‘After last year's triumph, you are cordially invited to bring your otters, voles, badgers and weasels for a day's work experience.’
- ‘Their latest data show that 38 percent of the live sea otter population and over half of the dead otters analyzed have been exposed to the parasite.’
- ‘Bald eagles, snowy egrets, great blue herons, otters, muskrat, and deer inhabit the banks of the Pocomoke River.’
- ‘Next to this is an entire room filled with more exotic animals, including a monkey and baby, a pronghorn antelope and an otter.’
- ‘Most common are bears, orcas, sea lions, seals, otters, eagles, terns and cormorants.’
- ‘While it deals mainly with seals it has also rescued dolphins, porpoises, otters, deer, numerous birds and even a Siberian tiger.’
- ‘Although demand is no longer as high, raccoon pelts may still be sold as imitation mink, otter, or seal fur.’
- ‘We were fortunate too that on our arrival a family of otters had decided to make the stretch of river running by the Mills their new home.’
- ‘The session begins with a mammal expert explaining more about water voles, otters and mink.’
- ‘Darwin had already cited the mink and the otter as transitional in conversion of land carnivores to aquatic habits.’
- ‘They are carnivores like the stoat, weasel, otter and badger.’
2A piece of board used to carry fishing bait in water.
Old English otr, ot(t)or, of Germanic origin; related to Greek hudros ‘water snake’.
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