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The largest known species of otter - the giant river otter of Brazil - grows to up to six feet long (including tail) and is a high order (although not apex) carnivore, quite capable of tackling smaller anacondas and known to attack jaguars, alligators and caimans, especially when hunting in packs. Attacks on humans have also been reported, although whether defensive, territorial or predatory in nature has not been confirmed. This aggressive nature has given it the names onca-de-agua (Portugese: "water jaguar") and lobo-de-rio (Spanish: "river wolf").

Prehistoric remains include even larger examples - and these may be able to give ambulocetus a run for being the inspiration behind the dobhar-chu (a "water hound" not being all that far from being a "river wolf").

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