Why do otters juggle pebbles?

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Past theories have been disproved, and scientists are still trying to find the answer to this riddle.

Perhaps juggling is too loudly said. Otters do not use stones at all, throwing them high above their heads with enviable dexterity. Rather, they quickly shuffle them between themselves, tenaciously holding the stones with their front paws and pressing them to the body.

However, this skill has long been of interest to scientists and so far there are more questions than answers around it: why do small predators do it and does it bring any practical benefit?

These skills look like they will do a good job of otters in real life when confronted with any obstacles. In the wild, Asian clawless otters (Aonyx cinerea), the smallest of the otters, need developed “dexterity and no fraud” to pluck meat from shells of crustaceans or mollusks.

But smooth-haired otters (Lutrogale perspicillata) feed mainly on fish, and fine monitoring is not so useful to them, but they play with pebbles with the same enthusiasm.

Why do otters juggle pebbles

And yet, the three types of tests did not find any evidence that juggling develops food extraction skills for otters. In the experiment, this Kunim was asked to get a treat from three toy traps: a medical jar of pills, fastened parts of the designer and tennis balls. Although it was assumed that those otters that play the most with pebbles would be more successful in handling such tasks on motility, this was not at all true: no correlation was found.

During the observation of otters, scientists found that young and old individuals often juggled with pebbles, but sexually mature animals spend much less time on this hobby.

At the same time, scientists noted that the most playful otters became on the eve of meals. This suggests that “juggling” can only indicate that the animal wants to eat.


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