A class of carnivorous mammals of the weasel family, which includes about twenty species that vary greatly in size. The common otter measures a little over two feet from nose to tail. It has a tail about fifteen inches long, soft fr of a brownish color, webbed feet adapted for swimming, and weighs about twenty pounds. Otters are found along the shores and streams and lakes, where they construct holes and channels through the ground, and subsist by feeding on fish, small birds, frogs, and other aquatic animals.
B. P. Holst The Teachers' and Pupils' Cyclopaedia (Kansas City: The Bufton Book Company, 1909)