The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) became one of the major animals hunted and trapped for fur in North America after European contact. 10 Horrifying Demons and Spirits from Japanese Folklore. Genus †Vishnuonyx Greek mythology is known for its variety of mixed-up monsters — e.g. , In the Ishikawa and Kochi Prefectures, they are said to be a type of kappa, and there are stories told about how they engage in sumo with otters. Hydrictis Enhydra October 29, 2014. wikimedia commons. Otters have long, slim bodies and relatively short limbs. Even some types of mittens for children have been made from the fur of otters. Otter is a footloose soul who doesn’t have the patience for jealousy. There you will find the story about a dwarf that took on the form of an Otter. The pup lives with its family for approximately one year. In the British Isles, they were common as recently as the 1950s, but became rare in many areas due to the use of chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides, habitat loss and water pollution (they remained relatively common in parts of Scotland and Ireland). On the Northwest Coast, the otter is sometimes used as a totem pole crest. Uma-no-ashi – A horse's leg which dangles from a tree and kicks passersby. The 13 extant otter species are all semiaquatic, aquatic or marine, with diets based on fish and invertebrates. " There are darker stories, such as one from Kaga Province (now Ishikawa Prefecture) in which an otter that lives in the castle's moat shapeshifts into a woman, invites males, and then kills and eats them. Otters are carnivorous mammals in the subfamily Lutrinae. The tails of otters were often made into items for men to wear. Norse mythology tells of the dwarf Ótr habitually taking the form of an otter. In Japanese folklore, they fool humans in the same way as foxes (kitsune) and tanuki. Once a widespread practice, passed down from father to son throughout many communities in Asia, this traditional use of domesticated wild animals is still in practice in the district of Narail, Bangladesh.. Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are classified as marine mammals and live along the Pacific coast of North America. †Enhydriodon There is also the myth of Otters Ransom that is an excellent story to read. Genus †Enhydritherium In Japanese, they are called “kawauso” . Genus †Lutravus Desperation and clinging to someone out of fear of losing them results in smothering or an emotional drowning of a relationship, which might have had … The prized trophy that hunters would take from the otters was the penis bone, which would be worn as a tie-pin.  They frequently carry a rock in a pouch under their forearm and use this to smash open shells, making them one of the relatively small number of animals that use tools. In Japanese folklore Otters were considered very dangerous as they would shapeshift into beautiful women or little children and kill men. The UK Biodiversity Action Plan envisages the re-establishment of otters by 2010 in all the UK rivers and coastal areas they inhabited in 1960. Unlike most marine mammals (such as seals or whales), sea otters do not have a layer of insulating blubber. . Most species live beside water, but river otters usually enter it only to hunt or travel, otherwise spending much of their time on land to prevent their fur becoming waterlogged. Genus †Enhydriodon Aonyx Otters are active hunters, chasing prey in the water or searching the beds of rivers, lakes or the seas. Their historic range included shallow waters of the Bering Strait and Kamchatka, and as far south as Japan. The gestation period in otters is about 60 to 86 days. The Japanese folklore creature Kappa is known in Chinese folklore as 水鬼 "Shui Gui", Water Ghost, or water monkey and may also be related to the Kelpie of Scotland and the Neck of Scandinavia. They grow to 1.0 to 1.5 m (3.3 to 4.9 ft) in length and weigh 30 kg (66 lb). The myth of "Otter's Ransom" is the starting point of the Volsunga saga. , In China, like in Japan, there are stories where otters shapeshift into beautiful women in old books like In Search of the Supernatural and the Zhenyizhi (甄異志). Lontra The raccoon dog is known to be mischievous and jolly, as well as a master of disguise with traits that are thought to bring good fortune. It is said that they shapeshift into bōzu (a kind of monk) and appear before passers-by, and if the passer-by tries to get close and look up, its height steadily increases until it becomes a large bōzu. Genus †Tyrrhenolutra This gregarious animal grows to a length of up to 1.8 m (5.9 ft), and is more aquatic than most other otters. This, and cognate words in other Indo-European languages, ultimately stem from the Proto-Indo-European language root *wódr̥, which also gave rise to the English word "water". These included hats and belts. Sea otters eat shellfish and other invertebrates (especially clams, abalone, and sea urchins). †Megalenhydris Although once near extinction, they have begun to spread again, from remnant populations in California and Alaska. Ōmagatoki – The moment of dusk when the spirit world and the material world overlap. The word otter derives from the Old English word otor or oter. In Japanese folklore, they fool humans like the fox (kitsune) and tanuki. Sea otters are hunters of clams, sea urchins and other shelled creatures. , In popular Korean mythology, it is told that people who see an otter (soodal) will attract 'rain clouds' for the rest of their lives. Several otter species live in cold waters and have high metabolic rates to help keep them warm.
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