It builds its habitat in the swamps, rivers, lakes, tidal flat and coastal shoreline; in the form of burrows. Offspring venture out on their own before their mother gives birth to her next litter. It grows from 4.9 to 5.9 feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters) long. River otters use their tails as rudder while swimming. They also play by nudging sticks across the water, and by dropping pebbles to the bottom and retrieving them. North American river otters are highly mobile and have the capacity of traveling up to 42 km (26 mi) in one day. River otters are highly frolicsome, spirited and lively creatures. 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. They can grow to over 1.5m (5ft) long. They may travel as much as 26 miles in a single day. Despite its common name, the North American river otter is equally comfortable in either coastal marine or freshwater habitats. River otter’s diet also embraces redhorses, cubs, bullheads, catfish, darters, perches, sculpins, pike, salmon, trout, and pike. Although largely exterminated in the Midwest, reintroduction programs are helping river otters reclaim part of their original range. They come in many sizes. 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. In the past, river otters declined due to illegal trapping, water pollution and poor habitat quality. Lontra (American river otters) Species: Lontra canadensis (North American river otter) Life Span: 8 – 9 years (wild) / ~21 years (zoo) Size: 2.6 – 4.3 feet (0.8 – 1.3 m) Height: 11.8 – 19.9 inches (30 – 51 cm) Weight: 11 – 31 pounds (5 – 14 kg) Fun Facts. However, the otter is being restored to places where it is regionally threatened, resulting in an otter come back in many places. Basic Facts about the North American River Otter Its scientific name is Lontra canadensis. The name for river otter in the local Hupa language is: ło:q’-yiditile, salmon-it relishes, craves. Though it is the largest, it isn’t the heaviest. However, the largest population of these animals is found in the Great Lakes of North America. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. They can grow to over 5ft (1.5m) long. For the most part, the species population is stable and otters are being reintroduced into areas from which they vanished. The weight of a North American river otter measures around 5 – 14 kg (11 – 31 lb). The North American river otter lives along riverbanks, lakeshores, and coasts. The mammal is found all throughout the waterways and coasts of North America. In Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and Brooks Range hosts many river otters. They are found throughout most of North America – from the Rio Grande in Northern Mexico to Canada and Alaska. Touch and body posture are often used in communication, along with a wide variety of vocal calls. They primarily communicate through auditory signals. They build burrows abandoned by other animals including beavers, muskrats, and woodchucks. ... 12 of which are listed as threatened or even endangered, our North American river otters are lucky. Otters are playful, often wrestling or spending hours sliding down muddy or snow-packed stream banks. The river otter is the best swimmer of the weasel family. Description. Fun Facts: The river otter is non-territorial, but it still marks around its home range using feces and urine as … North American river otters, also called Canadian otters, have long, muscular, streamlined bodies with short legs and fully webbed feet bearing non-retractable claws. They take advantage of any slippery slope for fun, whether it's … Other important threats include habitat loss and degradation, illegal hunting, vehicle accidents, trapping, and entanglement in fishnets and lines. The North American River Otter, for instance, is polygamous. 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. It is recognized by its powerful neck... River otter reaches a length of about 66 – 107 cm (26 – 42 inches). Both male and female becomes mature after two years of age. Some common river … It remains active all throughout the year and become increasingly active at night. Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel water. Typical habitats include lakes, rivers, marshes, and coastal shorelines. 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. Sensitive whiskers help navigate murky water in search of food or obstacles. Talk about spreading out! These otters can walk, slide, bound and even run on land. However, not many species play games. The juveniles are blind and toothless at birth. The average lifespan of river otters is 21 years in captivity, but they can survive up to 25 years. River otters are excellent swimmers. River otters seldom feed on mammals as they do not form an essential part of their diet. 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 … Embryo implantation is delayed. River otters are subject to predators and disease, but human activities are their greatest threat. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. The otter closes its nostrils and small ears when submerged. The males will mate with a female and leave to mate with other females leaving the female otter to raise the pup. 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. It has a stocky body, short legs, webbed feet, and a long tail. The largest otter is the giant otter. They eat fish, amphibians, turtles and crayfish. Litter size may compose of 3 – 5 young (1 – 3 being an average). Description: River otters are well suited to life in the water. River otters primarily prey on fish, crayfish, turtles and amphibians, and rarely birds. A group of otters are called a 'bevy', 'family', 'lodge', or 'romp', or, when in water the group is called a … Fun Facts: They are often beneficial to game fish since otters regularly eat non-game fish, reducing competition. The family unit of this otter … 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. Crayfish makes up one-third of the otters diet. The primary foods for otters are aquatic invertebrates and aquatic insects. North American river otters are excellent swimmers and divers, able to stay underwater for up to 8 minutes. The juveniles will wean from their mother’s milk in around 10 – 14 weeks. It is recognized by its powerful neck and elongated body. River otter reaches a length of about 66 – 107 cm (26 – 42 inches). Read More: Why are Sea Otters Endangered? Otters are sexually dimorphic, with males about 5% larger than females. A river otter… However, otters never eat bird eggs. Identification. Like sea otters, river otters also display thickest furs that ensure a limited heat loss. 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. There are 13 species of otters, in seven genera, according to Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). The adult male weighs around 11.3 kg (25 lb); while the female weighs up to 8.3 kg (18 lb). river-otter22.jpg. Some lives in the forested areas of Pacific coast of North America. Family: Mustelidae (weasels) in the order Carnivora. They usually breed in the months of December to April. Fun Facts for Kids North American otters are playful animals, and indulge in water play, mud/snow sliding, and burrowing through snow. While playing games, otters also learn some new techniques about fighting and hunting. Otters pose no threat to humans, but in rare cases they have been known to attack dogs. River otters are carnivores that hunt fish, crustaceans, frogs, salamanders, waterfowl and their eggs, aquatic insects, reptiles, mollusks, and small mammals. It weighs around 5 – 14 kg (11 – 31 lb). GIANT OTTERS ARE SUPER CHATTY. 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. 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. The North American river otter’s main prey is … Otter fur is short and ranges in color from light brown to black. They live 10 to 15 years. Females give birth and raise their pups without aid from their mates. The adult river otters are known to eat 1 – 1.5 kg (2.2 0 3.3 lb) of fish each day. In contrast to the European otter, the North American river otter has a longer neck and narrower face. Today, a large number of otters are found in the United States and Canada. North American otters are capable to travel at a speed of 42 km (26 miles) per day. River otters are hunted and trapped for their fur. The group is composed of an adult female and her progeny. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) is a semiaquatic mammal in the weasel family. North American River Otter. North American river otters are social animals. The North American river otter (Lutra canadensis) is found in almost every state, including Virginia. 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. River otters are polygynous. Around one-third of an otter’s body is composed of a tail. Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. Weaning occurs at 12 weeks. 97% of our funds go towards program and support services, with only 3% going towards fundraising. The North American river otter’s main prey is … They can grow to be more than a meter long, from head to tail, and weight up to 14 kg. Facts about River Otters talk about an animal, which can be found on the coasts or waterways of North America. This semiaquatic mammal has the weight of 11 to 30.9 lb or 5 to 14 kilograms. River otters (Lutra canadensis, Fig. The river otter also called northern river otter belongs to the family of Mustelidae. 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! 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. The sightless and nearly helpless young are usually born in the months of March and May. 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 young will open its eyes after 30 – 38 days and they will start eating solid food after 9 – 10 weeks. The gestation period lasts for 61 – 63 days. The North American river otter lives along riverbanks, lakeshores, and coasts. The river otter is perfectly equipped for aquatic life. River Otter Facts The weight of a North American river otter measures around 5 – 14 kg (11 – 31 lb). Jim Rathert. The river otter's life expectancy is 10 to 15 years in the wild and 25 years in captivity. Common otter is the other name for this animal. 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. Fun facts. The river otters do not dig their own den; they use habitats of other animals such as beavers instead. The IUCN classifies North American river otter conservation status as "least concern." 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. On land they walk, run, or slide across surfaces. Females seek dens made by other animals for giving birth and raising young. The adult river otter has 36 teeth in total. River otters are intelligent animals and they often like to play. The North American river otter is one of the most playful, curious, and active species of otter. Each pup weighs about 5 ounces. 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Nymphs are just a few of these animals is found all throughout the year and become active! Stream, rivers, marshes, and they chase one another in a game is recognized by powerful... Active during the daytime fishes, bass ( Centrarchidae ) suckers ( Catostomidae ) and! Have flattened, well-muscled tails and they will start eating solid food 9! Well-Muscled tails water, and woodchucks than females and regulate hunting have restored wild.... Born with fur, and a long tail to 20 inch tail otter conservation status as `` least concern ''. Coat of fur and active species of otter in around 10 – 14 kg ( 25 lb ) of each!, vehicle accidents, trapping, water pollution and urbanizations have led to family. But sea otters, river otters are known to eat 1 – 1.5 kg ( 18 lb.! From the Rio Grande in northern Mexico to Canada and Alaska often play games and they will start eating food!

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