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Otters are extremely playful. Anyone who visits a zoo can see otters sliding down embankments and flipping about in the water. Otters typically twist and turn as they swim, sometimes on their back and sometimes on their side. Having seemingly unlimited energy, otters often slide down muddy banks over and over again with no apparent motive other than sheer enjoyment.

There is some disagreement about how much time otters spend in play in the wild. Some think that play in the wild is limited to teaching the young the fighting and hunting skills they will need to survive, and that sliding activity is simply a way for otters to move quickly. Others think otters play extensively in the wild for pure enjoyment as well as for more practical reasons.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Octadecanoate to OvenbirdsOtters - Diet, Play, Sea Otter, River Otters, Clawless Otters, Giant Otter, Human Impact On Otters