Otters hold hands when they sleep to avoid drifting away from one another while they slumber in their watery homes.
Otters hold a special place in many people’s hearts as one of the cutest animals around. A fact that might come as a shock to some people, otters are native to the UK! For some reason, this doesn’t seem right and yet we have been blessed with their presence. Otters ‘hold their ground’, so to speak, along the West coast of Wales and in the South West of England. That’s why they can be seen roaming around in Jeremy Clarkson’s titular farm in Clarkson’s farm on Prime Video (a great show).
Anyway, back on track. Otters hold hands while they sleep. This is a ridiculously cute fact. However, they aren’t holding hands for a bonus cute factor. This behaviour has a very interesting explanation. When sleeping in the seas they call home, sea otters will often tangle themselves up in seaweed or other shrubbery. This is to anchor themselves and keep them in place while they snooze.
This is exactly the same reason they hold hands while they sleep; they do it to avoid getting separated from the group. Otters are social animals, with groups comprising of either adult males or a mother with her children. Seen as they do not mate for life, the males will move onto other females and leave the mothers to raise the children alone. Otters are the single moms that work two jobs that Reba McEntire was singing about.
Other animals that hold hands
Hand holding is an adorably remarkable behaviour for animals to perform. I’m sure most people assume it is a behaviour done exclusively by human. As we’ve learnt, this is not the case as otters hold hands. But do any other animals?
Orangutans might go down as one of my favorite animals ever, which is saying a lot. They’re often called the people of the forest, and for good reason. Orangutans like to hold hands with not only each other but humans too! I really encourage you to find some videos of orangutans holding hands with humans, it’s both heartwarming and hilarious.
While not quite hands, elephants do have trunks. When elephants feel bonded and close to another elephant, they will often cross trunks. This signifies their close bond and has the side effect of being unbelievably cute. It also really resembles the human, and apparently otter, act of holding hands. Elephants resemble this perhaps more so than otters as they, like humans, do it to show a close bond rather than for survival reasons. But otters get a free pass because they just look too cute to be mad at!
Cats don’t really have hands to hold, nor do they have trunks capable of gripping (or trunks at all for that matter). However, cats still like to hold one another and have a cuddle. For cats, hugging provides a lot of advantageous things; things like warmth, safety and comfort. A little kitty cuddle also has the added bonus of calming the animals down, increasing confidence and potentially strengthening bonds. Hooray for cuddling!
Animal-Club provides animal parties or animal handling workshops. You will be able to see, learn and interact with many wonderful animals with the help of our presenters. Our mobile zoo has many friendly animals such as rabbits, tarantulas, geckos, vinegaroons and more, perfect for an animal party. We can also come over to your school for an animal school visit or arrange for an animal workshop with us where the children can learn about looking after animals and animal behaviour, and have fun too.