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Post mortem examination

Samples and data are collected for further research during post-mortem examination. All of the otters are carefully examined both externally and internally.

Understanding Animal Research have produced videos about otter post-mortems and some of the projects that use our samples.

Otter post mortem video

Toxoplasmosis in otters video

Data collected

  • basic morphometric data (weight and length)
  • sex, age, reproductive status
  • markings
  • teeth - wear, breakages, or signs of infection
  • injuries (including fighting injuries)
  • fat and muscle layers
  • abnormalities of abdominal and thoracic organs

Samples archived

  • pelt and vibrissae (whiskers)
  • ectoparasites
  • blood
  • organs
  • kidney stones
  • prey remains from stomach
  • skull, baculum (penis bone), hind right limb (tibia, fibula and femur), and rib. All bone samples are cleaned and archived by the National Museum of Scotland.


If you are interested in accessing data or samples for research projects please contact:

Dr Elizabeth Chadwick

Dr Elizabeth Chadwick

Senior Lecturer

+44 (0)29 2087 4948