Giants of the Amazon: An Introduction to Giant Otters

Claire Marr discusses her research on giant otters, an endangered apex predator in the Amazon, examining their behaviour and ecology, and learning what this can tell us about their ecosystem and evolution. 

Giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) are the largest otter species in the world, separated from the other otter species by approximately 8 million years of evolution – more than what separates humans from other apes. This has resulted in this species being unlike any other otter species on the planet. With their highly social behaviour, cooperative approach to rearing offspring, and status as an endangered apex predator in one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, giant otters are a fascinating and understudied species. As with all apex predators, better understanding this species not only helps with their conservation, but also the larger topics of deforestation and anthropogenic effects on the environment and the evolution of sociality.

This talk will be an exploration into giant otters, using research and footage from a 6 year on-going study.

Entry to this event is £3 (payable at the door) or free for members of the Oxfordshire Mammal Group. Drop-in, no booking required.

About the Speaker

Claire Marr is a current DPhil student at the University of Oxford, studying mammalian apex predators in the Peruvian Amazon, focusing on their behaviour, demographics, and ecology. She has worked on the Giant Otter Project in collaboration with San Diego Institute for Conservation Research and Wildlife Alliance since 2018, spending her time between extended fieldwork in Peru and at Oxford University. Claire previously went to the University of St Andrews, where she specialised in mammal behaviour, including bottlenose dolphin in South Africa, meerkats in the Kalahari, and began her work with the giant otters in the Amazon.

Accessibility information:

Wheelchair accessible?


Hearing loops?






Flashing lights?


Loud noises?


For more information, please visit our accessibility webpage, or contact Chris Jarvis (