Potamogale – Giant otter shrew

Got their common name due to their resemblance to otters and shrews, but not true otters nor shrews

Giant otter shrews have a dense undercoat and coarse guard hairs that are dark brown on the upper side and whitish on the underside. Their flat and broad muzzle is covered with whiskers and has flaps that can be closed when they dive. The tail is covered with short, silky fur and flattened laterally to allow them to swim with a fish-like motion.

They build their burrows with an entrance that is below the water level. They are nocturnal hunters that forage along the riverbank and within the pool for prey such as crabs, frogs, fishes, insects, freshwater prawns, and mollusks. Instead of eyesight, they depend on their sensitive whiskers when hunting.