As I began my research and collecting photography for this photo study, I soon realized that I know far less about otters than I thought. Having a degree in Animal Science, and a second degree in Vocational Education, along with (hmmm) over 50 years as a professional in taxidermy make me no expert on otters, or for that matter, any other animal. The fact is, research often makes me realize how much I have forgotten or never knew. In a taxidermy career we really do not mount that many otters, but when we do we need reference and an understanding of its unique features and even life cycle characteristics to produce accurate lifelike mounted animals. Often we will look at a species, like otters, and presume they all look the same. In the case of otters, they have big furred heads with little eyes and ears, big round bodies and thick muscular tails. In reality, there are thirteen surviving species worldwide and they inhabitant countries around the great globe we live on. The thirteen species range in adult sizes from 2 to 6 feet in length with weights from 10 to 100 pounds, and there are differences in species and in individual appearance.
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