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River otters: Hardest-working clowns in the water

By: Jaymi Heimbuch on Sept. 13, 2013, 1:17 p.m.
river otter family

Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch

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Social creatures

River otters are social animals, living in family groups that usually consist of a mother and her offspring, possibly including "helpers" who are offspring from previous years or even unrelated adults. Adult males will also form social groups. Here, a family of four sit on a beach just before dawn in a session of mutual grooming before jumping back in the water to fish.