Males are between 4.9 – 5.9 ft (1.5 - 1.8 m) in length and females 4.9–5.6 ft (1.5 - 1.7 m); the animal’s well-muscled tail can account for as much as 27 in. (69 cm) of total body length. Early reports of skins and living animals suggested exceptionally large males of up to 7.9 ft (2.4 m); intensive hunting likely reduced the occurrence of such massive specimens. Weights 55 - 70 lbs. (25 - 32 kg) for males and 48 – 57 lbs. (22 - 26 kg) for females. The giant otter has the shortest fur of all otter species; it is typically chocolate brown but may be reddish or fawn, and appears nearly black when wet. Unique markings of white or cream fur color the throat and chin, allowing individuals to be identified from birth. Muzzles are short and sloping and give the head a ball-shaped appearance. The ears are small and rounded. The nose (or rhinarium) is completely covered in fur, with only the two slit-like nostrils visible.