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Your morning adorable: Asian small-clawed otters at Australia's Taronga Zoo

July 25, 2009 |  9:30 am

Otters

Australia's Taronga Zoo is home to a host of animals, but we think the resident Asian small-clawed otter family may rival them all for the title of cutest animal. 

Asian small-clawed otters are freshwater otters, different from the sea otters that are more familiar to most Americans.  In the wild, they can be found in rivers and streams in southeast Asia.  (Closer to home for California residents, they can also be found at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.)

Their claws aren't the only thing small about Asian small-clawed otters: they're the smallest of all otter species.  They're known for their manual dexterity, which led Monterey Bay Aquarium staff to devise a unique enrichment activity for an Asian small-clawed otter named Dua. They gave Dua his own keyboard (and, thankfully, captured him playing it on video).

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Mark Baker / Reuters

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