Stand aside jerboa—there's a new charmer in town. Yes, after almost a year as Ark: Survival Evolved's uncontested king of cute (although, I'm personally a big fan of the snoozy Megalosaurus), the knee-high, big-eyed rodent has finally been usurped. Over the weekend, developer Wildcard announced that it's not quite done adding creatures to Ark, and revealed a new dino-dossier for the gloriously adorable otter.
The otter (or the Lutra Peloso, as the Ark science boffins are calling it) marks the first new creature to be announced for the game since, I think, the feathery, terrifying Yutryannus back in April. It's set to be incorporated into Ark at some currently unspecified future point, and the new dossier entry describes it thusly:
Found along the Island’s many inland waterways, Lutra Peloso have become exceptionally adept at hunting and foraging. This species of Otter has to be particularly cunning because of its diminutive size, and fierce competition for its preferred food source: fish. It is not a creature that excels at combat, and would not naturally pose an intimidating threat to any predators.
Finding packs of river Otters is simple enough: They are distinguished by their elongated bodies, bushy tails, and webbed feet. Their trusting and inquisitive nature ensures they are often hunted for their lustrous fur, but many prefer to tame them to become trusted companions.
As with other creatures in Ark's extensive menagerie, otters aren't just for show—they do have at least some functional purpose. In the case of the Lutra Peloso, however, we're definitely more in the 'pet that does a few neat things' camp than the 'essential harvesting behemoth' one, functionally speaking.
Otters can, says the dossier, be worn around your neck as a form of insulation, and will presumably help stave off the frosty danglers when you're in Ark's colder climes. Additionally, you can instruct the otter to harvest fish, and it has an occasional chance of finding silica pearls and valuable black pearls from its catches.
Ark: Survival Evolved is, of course, nearing the end of its long early access journey, and is set to release in its 1.0 guise on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, on 29th August, having recently been slightly delayed. Presumably, we'll be getting our utra-adorable-otter update on or around that time.