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Your morning adorable: Hungry Asian small-clawed otters jump for joy, blow our minds

August 24, 2010 | 11:56 am

Our own Toy fox terrier/Yorkie/Affenpinscher/Shih Tzu mix has always reminded us a bit of an otter. He's small, brown, long and furry -- and, like this troop of Asian small-clawed otters at the U.K.'s Chester Zoo, he has a tendency to leap for joy when he knows food is on its way.

Asian small-clawed otters are freshwater otters native to the rivers and streams of southeast Asia. They're the smallest of all otter species, and they make a wide variety of vocalizations beyond the "feed us now!" variety. (You can listen to another of the species' calls at the National Zoo's website.)

Asian small-clawed otters are known more for their manual dexterity than for their adorable jumping. In the wild, they put their nimble paws to good use grabbing prey like snails and mussels. But, as an otter named Dua taught the world in an insanely cute video, some members of the species use their manual dexterity for quite a different purpose -- playing musical instruments.

We once thought we had found the adorable-animal pinnacle in a ticklish baby anteater. Then we were forced to reevaluate everything we knew about cute when we saw a Fennec fox who loved to eat Cheetos. Now these snack-crazed otters have thrown us into a tailspin once more. Will animals ever cease to be jaw-droppingly precious? We sure hope not!

Your morning adorable: Baby otter plays with plush walrus, cat toy ... and another otter!
What's better than one keyboard-playing otter? Two keyboard-playing otters, of course!

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: glaggs via YouTube

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