Unlike many mustelids, river otters are more social animals. Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. The North American river otter lives along riverbanks, lakeshores, and coasts. Sea otters are the only fully aquatic form of otters, but they share features with … They are beginning to disappear from regions once considered as major habitats such as in New Mexico, Indiana Kansas, Arizona, South Dakota, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Ohio. They primarily communicate through auditory signals. Young otters play to learn survival skills. Facts About Endangered Animals | Top 11 Facts. Common otter is the other name for this animal. Fun Facts: They are often beneficial to game fish since otters regularly eat non-game fish, reducing competition. Some common river … The group is composed of an adult female and her progeny. The largest otter is the giant otter. It lives in a den, which can be made in a riverside burrow, under rocks or plants, or in a beaver’s home (lodge). Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel water. River otters are polygynous. It uses its long vibrissae (whiskers) to find prey in murky water. Otters are sexually dimorphic, with males about 5% larger than females. The juveniles will wean from their mother’s milk in around 10 – 14 weeks. The juveniles are blind and toothless at birth. Otter pups are born with fur, but are blind and toothless. Fun Facts. On land they walk, run, or slide across surfaces. They produce a growl-like sound which is often heard while they are in pain. The North American river otter (Lutra canadensis) is found in almost every state, including Virginia. The length of a tail measures around 30 – 50 cm (12 – 20 inches). Both male and female becomes mature after two years of age. White-tipped hairs are common in older otters. It remains active all throughout the year and become increasingly active at night. Meet Our River Otters Three North American River Otters, Linus, Calvin and Hobbes, reside in the Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center & Woods Garden (presented by KeyBank) at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. It builds its habitat in the swamps, rivers, lakes, tidal flat and coastal shoreline; in the form of burrows. They can grow to over 5ft (1.5m) long. North American river otters, also called Canadian otters, have long, muscular, streamlined bodies with short legs and fully webbed feet bearing non-retractable claws. Can otters use tools? They are found throughout most of North America – from the Rio Grande in Northern Mexico to Canada and Alaska. River Otter Facts The weight of a North American river otter measures around 5 – 14 kg (11 – 31 lb). River Otter (Lutra canadensis)What they look like: The River Otter is built for swimming - they have a streamlined body, short legs with webbed feet, dense fur that keeps them warm, a tapered tail, small ears, and nostrils that can close underwater. However, otters never eat bird eggs. 1) are best known for their continuous and playful behavior, their aesthetic value, and the value of their durable, high-quality fur.They have long, streamlined bodies, short legs, and a robust, tapered tail, all … Males are larger in size than females (see photos). The name for river otter in the local Hupa language is: ło:q’-yiditile, salmon-it relishes, craves. The sightless and nearly helpless young are usually born in the months of March and May. They build burrows abandoned by other animals including beavers, muskrats, and woodchucks. River otters primarily prey on fish, crayfish, turtles and amphibians, and rarely birds. In the summer and spring seasons, river otters fancy eating amphibians including boreal chorus frogs, Canadian toads, wood frogs, bullfrogs, green frogs, rough-skinned newt, garter snakes, and Pacific giant salamander. North American river otters are social animals. River otters live in many different kinds of water throughout North America, including rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, wetlands, and coastal shorelines and marshes. Males also group together. North American river otters breed between December and April. The larger specimens with the weight of 15 kg (33 lb) are also found. River otters live 21 to 25 years in captivity. River otter often play games and they chase one another in a game. River otters are extremely social and often frolic in the water with their mates or cubs, slide down hills on their bellies or wrestle with other otters on land. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) is a semiaquatic mammal in the weasel family. River otters (Lutra canadensis, Fig. Not all otters use tools, but sea otters use them all the time. They live 10 to 15 years. Today, a large number of otters are found in the United States and Canada. The IUCN classifies North American river otter conservation status as "least concern." Read More: How Many Sea Otters are Left in the World? It lives in a den, which can be made in a riverside burrow, under rocks or plants, or in a beaver’s home (lodge). North American river otters can reach a length of 3.9 ft and weigh 3 lbs. North American river otters live near permanent watersheds throughout North America, from Alaska and northern Canada south to the Gulf of Mexico. Otters pose no threat to humans, but in rare cases they have been known to attack dogs. Despite its common name, the North American river otter is equally comfortable in either coastal marine or freshwater habitats. North American river otters have been trapped for their highly-prized furs, resulting in a steep decrease in population since the 1800s. They have 57,800 hairs per square centimeter with the length of the hair measuring at 23.8 mm (0.94 inch). Family: Mustelidae (weasels) in the order Carnivora. The river otters do not dig their own den; they use habitats of other animals such as beavers instead. There are 13 species of otters, in seven genera, according to Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). These animals have boundless energy due to their very high metabolism. The biological name is Lontra Canadensis. Description: River otters are well suited to life in the water. Otters are playful, often wrestling or spending hours sliding down muddy or snow-packed stream banks. The river otter is perfectly equipped for aquatic life. Other important threats include habitat loss and degradation, illegal hunting, vehicle accidents, trapping, and entanglement in fishnets and lines. Typical habitats include lakes, rivers, marshes, and coastal shorelines. Jim Rathert. While it may simply be called the "river otter" in North America (to distinguish it from the sea otter) there are other river otter species throughout the world. Sadly speaking, pollution and urbanizations have led to the decrease in river otter population. The Basics The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also called the Canadian otter, is the most abundant species of otter. Otters living in captivity largely prefer to consume bigger fish with the size of 15 – 17 cm (5.9 – 6.7 inches). Touch and body posture are often used in communication, along with a wide variety of vocal calls. Their basic social unit consists of an adult female and her offspring. river-otter22.jpg. River otters also consume crustaceans such as crayfish since crayfish is relatively abundant species and is available all year round. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). However, the otter is being restored to places where it is regionally threatened, resulting in an otter come back in many places. A river otter… Females are 5 per cent smaller as compared to males. In the wild they live up to 8 – 9 years with the maximum age of 13 years. The North American River Otter, for instance, is polygamous. For the most part, the species population is stable and otters are being reintroduced into areas from which they vanished. In 2014, a study of giant otters found that the river-dwellers … River otter’s diet also embraces redhorses, cubs, bullheads, catfish, darters, perches, sculpins, pike, salmon, trout, and pike. Otters are highly susceptible to water pollution, including oil spills. Seeing a river otter in the wild is a sign of a healthy habitat, clean water, and one tough otter! The adult river otter has 36 teeth in total. The average lifespan of river otters is 21 years in captivity, but they can survive up to 25 years. (41 kilograms).The smallest otter is the Asian small-clawed otter, which grows up to 2.9 fee… River otters are excellent swimmers. The North American river otter’s main prey is … They eat fish, amphibians, turtles and crayfish. They live in riparian zones, which are the areas that border stream, rivers, and lakes. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent found in and along its waterways and coasts. Adult beetles and stonefly nymphs are just a few of these. More Mammals. River otters are very sensitive to environmental pollution. This distinction goes to the sea otter. It weighs around 5 – 14 kg (11 – 31 lb). It grows from 4.9 to 5.9 feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters) long. Some lives in the forested areas of Pacific coast of North America. River otters are intelligent animals and they often like to play. Sea otters are carnivores in the family Mustelidae—a group of animals that also includes terrestrial and semi-aquatic forms such as weasels, badgers, skunks, fishers, minks, and river otters. River otters primarily feed on fish with the size ranges from 2 – 50 cm (0.79 – 20 inches) which is really necessary since fish is a great source for gaining calories. The gestation period lasts for 61 – 63 days. They were once considered endangered in Illinois, but due to cleanups of our rivers and streams they have made a come back, and no longer are threatened. Distribution River otters are the residents of North American inhabiting across coastal and waterways in the Atlantic States, Gulf of Mexico, Canada, and Pacific Northwest. This semiaquatic mammal has the weight of 11 to 30.9 lb or 5 to 14 kilograms. North American river otters are highly mobile and have the capacity of traveling up to 42 km (26 mi) in one day. The young will open its eyes after 30 – 38 days and they will start eating solid food after 9 – 10 weeks. They are also fast on land, capable of running at up to 30 km/h (19 miles). In certain areas, river otters rely on birds for their consumption and these birds include green-winged, teal, mallard, ruddy ducks, American coot, American wigeon, waterfowls, rails, and northern pintail. They typically use … These include game fishes, bass (Centrarchidae) suckers (Catostomidae), and shiners. Weaning occurs at 12 weeks. A professional writer and a passionate wildlife enthusiast, who is mostly found hooked to his laptop or in libraries researching about the wildlife. River otters are found in diverse habitats ranging from coastal marine waters such as inland wetlands, marshes, lakes, rivers, coastal shorelines to the freshwater streams. Otter fur is short and ranges in color from light brown to black. Like sea otters, river otters also display thickest furs that ensure a limited heat loss. Offspring venture out on their own before their mother gives birth to her next litter. They take advantage of any slippery slope for fun, whether it's … The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), or the common otter, is an aquatic mammal native to only North America in the countries Canada, and the United States.River otters are a distant relative of the weasel family. The adult river otters are known to eat 1 – 1.5 kg (2.2 0 3.3 lb) of fish each day. The males will mate with a female and leave to mate with other females leaving the female otter to raise the pup. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. River otters are subject to predators and disease, but human activities are their greatest threat. They can grow to be more than a meter long, from head to tail, and weight up to 14 kg. The otter closes its nostrils and small ears when submerged. In Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and Brooks Range hosts many river otters. ... 12 of which are listed as threatened or even endangered, our North American river otters are lucky. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. River otter swims at a speed of 11 km/h (6.8 mph); and dive at a depth of 20 meters (22 yards). Otters communicate by vocalization and scent marking. Around one-third of an otter’s body is composed of a tail. The river otter is the best swimmer of the weasel family. The young will become independent after six months. A group of otters are called a 'bevy', 'family', 'lodge', or 'romp', or, when in water the group is called a … It has a stocky … North American river otters are excellent swimmers and divers, able to stay underwater for up to 8 minutes. Reptiles and Amphibians | River Otter Facts. The North American river otter lives along riverbanks, lakeshores, and coasts. Sliding and wrestling, belly flopping, and somersaulting, river otters really know how to play! Fun Facts: The river otter is non-territorial, but it still marks around its home range using feces and urine as … North American otters are capable to travel at a speed of 42 km (26 miles) per day. Fun Facts - 30 Environmental Messages . North American River Otter. Embryo implantation is delayed. North American River Otters are very playful creatures; this is why they are a favorite attraction for kids at zoos where they can often be observed playing games. How Important is Fiber in Your Dog’s Diet? Females seek dens made by other animals for giving birth and raising young. Though it is the largest, it isn’t the heaviest. Raccoon Facts: Anatomy, Diet, Habitat, Behavior, First Horse Starter Kit – Equipment That You Need to Ride, Common Health Issues With Horses To Know The Signs Of, Woolly Rhino Facts | Anatomy, Diet, Habitat, Behavior. The family unit of this otter … The male river otters are not territorial. The Internet connection is missing right now, but you're able to browse previously opened pages offline. Identification. Gestation lasts 61 to 63 days, but young are born 10 to 12 months after mating, between February and April. North American river otters reach sexual maturity at two years of age. The North American river otter’s main prey is … She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. Each pup weighs about 5 ounces. North American River Otter The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. Sensitive whiskers help navigate murky water in search of food or obstacles. Fascinating Arctic Fox Facts (Vulpes lagopus), 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T12302A21936349.en, Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College. These otters can walk, slide, bound and even run on land. However, river otters are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) because the species may become endangered if trade is not closely regulated. They have streamlined bodies, fully webbed feet, and long, tapered tails that are thick at the base and flat on the bottom. It is recognized by its powerful neck... River otter reaches a length of about 66 – 107 cm (26 – 42 inches). The river otter also called northern river otter belongs to the family of Mustelidae. Fun facts. I am going to offer some of the most interesting and rarely known river otter facts and that includes river otter habitat, diet, reproduction, and behavior. 97% of our funds go towards program and support services, with only 3% going towards fundraising. The playful North American river otter is well adapted for semi-aquatic living. It can able to stay under water for about 4 minutes. The river otter's life expectancy is 10 to 15 years in the wild and 25 years in captivity. They usually breed in the months of December to April. A typical litter ranges from one to three pups, but as many as five pups may be born. River otters are carnivores that hunt fish, crustaceans, frogs, salamanders, waterfowl and their eggs, aquatic insects, reptiles, mollusks, and small mammals. The North American river otter's body is built for streamlined swimming. Females give birth and raise their pups without aid from their mates. The North American river otter is one of the most playful, curious, and active species of otter. This otter will mate with multiple partners throughout its lifetime. In contrast to the European otter, the North American river otter has a longer neck and narrower face. They can grow to over 1.5m (5ft) long. In warmer months, they are most active between dusk and dawn. Facts about River Otters talk about an animal, which can be found on the coasts or waterways of North America. The primary foods for otters are aquatic invertebrates and aquatic insects. Playful Animals. However, not many species play games. River otters are hunted and trapped for their fur. They sometimes eat fruit, but avoid carrion. River otter reaches a length of about 66 – 107 cm (26 – 42 inches). It is known as the common otter or northern river otter. The mammals have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. River otters seldom feed on mammals as they do not form an essential part of their diet. Although largely exterminated in the Midwest, reintroduction programs are helping river otters reclaim part of their original range. Description. They also play by nudging sticks across the water, and by dropping pebbles to the bottom and retrieving them. During winter, otters are active during the daytime. Wild otters typically live 8 or 9 years, but may live 13 years. River otters use their tails as rudder while swimming. Average Lifespan Wild: 8-9 years Captivity: 15-20 years Fun Facts Mammals include eastern cottontails, snowshoe hares, and meadow voles. An otter can weigh anywhere from 11 to 30 pounds. They have short legs, webbed feet for faster swimming, and a long, narrow body and flattened head for streamlined movement in the water. Let's take a closer look at this playful creature. Likely, all of this "play" helps the otter to hone its skills as a skilled predator. North American river otters weigh 11 to 31 pounds and range from 26 to 42 inches long plus a 12 to 20 inch tail. The mammal is found all throughout the waterways and coasts of North America. Basically, they’ll live wherever they can find food and water to swim in, but they’re sensitive to pollution so they won’t inhabit polluted waterways. They may travel as much as 26 miles in a single day. The female litters one to six babies in thes underground burrows. While playing games, otters also learn some new techniques about fighting and hunting. It is recognized by its powerful neck and elongated body. Facts About the North American River Otter. Litter size may compose of 3 – 5 young (1 – 3 being an average). The adult male weighs around 11.3 kg (25 lb); while the female weighs up to 8.3 kg (18 lb). Males weigh up to 90 lbs. How Many Sea Otters are Left in the World? Recent efforts to improve water quality and regulate hunting have restored wild populations. It is a member of weasel family. Lontra canadensis. River otters are highly frolicsome, spirited and lively creatures. However, the largest population of these animals is found in the Great Lakes of North America. In 2012 there were approximately 8,000 otters in Ohio. River otters have very small eyes and flat head. 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