bobthebirder's picture

Spraint

Observed: 17th December 2012 By: bobthebirderbobthebirder’s reputation in Mammalsbobthebirder’s reputation in Mammalsbobthebirder’s reputation in Mammals
DSCN4880
Description:

Seen on this week's iSpot Exploring Nature session. For details see http://www.dorsetwalks.com

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which European Otter (Lutra lutra) interacts

Comments

Alurophile's picture

Otter

The characteristics you've given say Otter. Otter spraint doesn't smell like anything in particular (if it was from a Mink, it would stink) & together with the fish bones & other fish remnants these characters are diagnostic. It is worth taking these little deposits home for the fun of dissecting them & making a record of the leftovers. The fish it has eaten can probably be identified from the size & shape of the scales - although you need a rather scarce book called the Atlas of Fish Scales to do this. You can soak the dropping in water with something like diluted Dettol before getting in too close, for hygiene's sake. Just as much fun as an owl pellet, actually.

The site looks typical, too: Otters often make their deposits on some small stone or other raised spot, presumably as a marker of territory or another advertisement of presence.

Aláine's picture

Some Otter spraints I've

Some Otter spraints I've analysed have smelled some what floral simular to jasmine tea, with a mild fishy odour! :-)

.......................................................................
www.alaineartandphotography.blogspot.ie