Otter Communication

Otter Communication

Otter Vocalizations

Otters are fascinating to watch as they move along. They are like class clowns too both on land and in the water. Therefore it would be great to know what they really have to say to each other. They seem to get along quite well with each other and to have a good time. They are also extremely intelligent creatures which is why so many researchers have studies their communication.

Otters are very chatty, so when you are around a large group of them it can sound chaotic. Yet they tend to be able to identify the sounds that come from those that they identify with. For example mothers and pups are able to recognize the sounds of each other even with many other Otters in the same area. This is one of the main ways that they use to stay in contact with each other while exploring on their own.

They can be heard using clicks, whistles, chirps, and growls in their communications. Sometimes it even sounds like they are chuckling when they are having a good time messing around. Some people find it very that Otters make sounds like chuckling and screaming. If you are camping in the wild and hear such sounds at night it can scare you. After all, those are sounds that you may think are coming from humans.

These types of communications are used for day to day interactions, to develop hierarchy and order, and to warn about dangers. While we do know the types of sounds that Otters make, we don’t have a solid understanding of what all of them mean yet. This is one areas of research that continues to need to be investigated further. It is definitely fascinating though.

There are non verbal types of communication among Otters as well. Marking their territory with feces is one of the most common ones. It tells others that they have found this location to be their very own. Generally Otters are non confrontational so they won’t try to get into the den or the habitat of another. Should that occur though they will fight with each other until one backs down and moves on.

They also show affection to their offspring through non verbal communication. This includes touching, playing, and their body posture. It is believed that the way a mother stands can indicate to her pup if she is happy with him or if she is trying to discipline him. The fact that Otters are so intelligent gives them plenty to offer us when it comes to observing their methods of communication.

It is also important to mention that different species of Otters can offer different sounds when they communicate. This is one more factor that makes learning all about it harder. A great deal of the information we have about such communication comes from those Otters that are in captivity. It is believed that they exhibit the same types of communication as in the wild because they adjust very well to such an environment.

The range and the pitch of the communication will also very by location and species. They have excellent hearing but it is believed that the pitch has to do with the type of message that are trying to send. The pitch is also what helps them to distinguish the maker of the sounds from others.  They can be misinterpreted though. For example loud screams may make you think that an Otter is in trouble. Yet in reality it may just be trying to gain the attention of another.