North American otters are capable to travel at a speed of 42 km (26 miles) per day. Females are 5 per cent smaller as compared to males. The river otter is perfectly equipped for aquatic life. Facts About Endangered Animals | Top 11 Facts. They usually breed in the months of December to April. Males are larger in size than females (see photos). Young otters play to learn survival skills. River otter swims at a speed of 11 km/h (6.8 mph); and dive at a depth of 20 meters (22 yards). North American river otters breed between December and April. This semiaquatic mammal has the weight of 11 to 30.9 lb or 5 to 14 kilograms. Fun Facts: The river otter is non-territorial, but it still marks around its home range using feces and urine as … The otter closes its nostrils and small ears when submerged. Let's take a closer look at this playful creature. The North American river otter lives along riverbanks, lakeshores, and coasts. Likely, all of this "play" helps the otter to hone its skills as a skilled predator. 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. They produce a growl-like sound which is often heard while they are in pain. River otters are intelligent animals and they often like to play. Facts About the North American River Otter. River otters also consume crustaceans such as crayfish since crayfish is relatively abundant species and is available all year round. The North American river otter lives along riverbanks, lakeshores, and coasts. A professional writer and a passionate wildlife enthusiast, who is mostly found hooked to his laptop or in libraries researching about the wildlife. The young will open its eyes after 30 – 38 days and they will start eating solid food after 9 – 10 weeks. Unlike many mustelids, river otters are more social animals. It weighs around 5 – 14 kg (11 – 31 lb). Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. Basic Facts about the North American River Otter Its scientific name is Lontra canadensis. The largest otter is the giant otter. The gestation period lasts for 61 – 63 days. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. North American river otters are highly mobile and have the capacity of traveling up to 42 km (26 mi) in one day. Otters are highly susceptible to water pollution, including oil spills. Like sea otters, river otters also display thickest furs that ensure a limited heat loss. Otter fur is short and ranges in color from light brown to black. These animals have boundless energy due to their very high metabolism. The North American river otter's body is built for streamlined swimming. For the most part, the species population is stable and otters are being reintroduced into areas from which they vanished. It remains active all throughout the year and become increasingly active at night. Average Lifespan Wild: 8-9 years Captivity: 15-20 years Fun Facts An otter can weigh anywhere from 11 to 30 pounds. Fun Facts - 30 Environmental Messages . North American river otters can reach a length of 3.9 ft and weigh 3 lbs. The adult river otters are known to eat 1 – 1.5 kg (2.2 0 3.3 lb) of fish each day. This distinction goes to the sea otter. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. They have 57,800 hairs per square centimeter with the length of the hair measuring at 23.8 mm (0.94 inch). 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. They eat fish, amphibians, turtles and crayfish. They have short legs, webbed feet for faster swimming, and a long, narrow body and flattened head for streamlined movement in the water. Around one-third of an otter’s body is composed of a tail. 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. 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. River otters have very small eyes and flat head. Lontra canadensis. 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 … Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel water. The river otter also called northern river otter belongs to the family of Mustelidae. 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. The length of a tail measures around 30 – 50 cm (12 – 20 inches). They can grow to be more than a meter long, from head to tail, and weight up to 14 kg. Common otter is the other name for this animal. It has a stocky body, short legs, webbed feet, and a long tail. 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. Though it is the largest, it isn’t the heaviest. In the past, river otters declined due to illegal trapping, water pollution and poor habitat quality. 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. Weaning occurs at 12 weeks. The juveniles will wean from their mother’s milk in around 10 – 14 weeks. They take advantage of any slippery slope for fun, whether it's … In Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and Brooks Range hosts many river otters. Otters communicate by vocalization and scent marking. The river otter is the best swimmer of the weasel family. Otter pups are born with fur, but are blind and toothless. On land they walk, run, or slide across surfaces. Jim Rathert. Seeing a river otter in the wild is a sign of a healthy habitat, clean water, and one tough otter! Sliding and wrestling, belly flopping, and somersaulting, river otters really know how to play! The IUCN classifies North American river otter conservation status as "least concern." The family unit of this otter … How Important is Fiber in Your Dog’s Diet? Description: River otters are well suited to life in the water. Read More: How Many Sea Otters are Left in the World? A group of otters are called a 'bevy', 'family', 'lodge', or 'romp', or, when in water the group is called a … 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. 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. Offspring venture out on their own before their mother gives birth to her next litter. The North American river otter is one of the most playful, curious, and active species of otter. Males also group together. 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. North American river otters live near permanent watersheds throughout North America, from Alaska and northern Canada south to the Gulf of Mexico. Otters living in captivity largely prefer to consume bigger fish with the size of 15 – 17 cm (5.9 – 6.7 inches). They live in riparian zones, which are the areas that border stream, rivers, and lakes. Each pup weighs about 5 ounces. Talk about spreading out! Males weigh up to 90 lbs. Identification. In contrast to the European otter, the North American river otter has a longer neck and narrower face. While playing games, otters also learn some new techniques about fighting and hunting. 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. Some lives in the forested areas of Pacific coast of North America. River otter’s diet also embraces redhorses, cubs, bullheads, catfish, darters, perches, sculpins, pike, salmon, trout, and pike. ... 12 of which are listed as threatened or even endangered, our North American river otters are lucky. They come in many sizes. North American River Otter The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. The mammals have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. It has a stocky … Otters are playful, often wrestling or spending hours sliding down muddy or snow-packed stream banks. 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. The juveniles are blind and toothless at birth. Adult beetles and stonefly nymphs are just a few of these. North American river otters are social animals. They also play by nudging sticks across the water, and by dropping pebbles to the bottom and retrieving them. 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. River otters are polygynous. Although largely exterminated in the Midwest, reintroduction programs are helping river otters reclaim part of their original range. Otters pose no threat to humans, but in rare cases they have been known to attack dogs. North American river otters weigh 11 to 31 pounds and range from 26 to 42 inches long plus a 12 to 20 inch tail. In the wild they live up to 8 – 9 years with the maximum age of 13 years. It can able to stay under water for about 4 minutes. In 2014, a study of giant otters found that the river-dwellers … River otters are very sensitive to environmental pollution. They may travel as much as 26 miles in a single day. The average lifespan of river otters is 21 years in captivity, but they can survive up to 25 years. Playful Animals. River otter often play games and they chase one another in a game. They are known to travel up to 400 meters (440 yards) under water. The primary foods for otters are aquatic invertebrates and aquatic insects. River otters are carnivores that hunt fish, crustaceans, frogs, salamanders, waterfowl and their eggs, aquatic insects, reptiles, mollusks, and small mammals. They have streamlined bodies, fully webbed feet, and long, tapered tails that are thick at the base and flat on the bottom. The river otters do not dig their own den; they use habitats of other animals such as beavers instead. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. They are found throughout most of North America – from the Rio Grande in Northern Mexico to Canada and Alaska. The Basics The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also called the Canadian otter, is the most abundant species of otter. Crayfish makes up one-third of the otters diet. The young will become independent after six months. In 2012 there were approximately 8,000 otters in Ohio. 97% of our funds go towards program and support services, with only 3% going towards fundraising. Fun Facts. Fun facts. GIANT OTTERS ARE SUPER CHATTY. Sensitive whiskers help navigate murky water in search of food or obstacles. Read More: Why are Sea Otters Endangered? The North American river otter’s main prey is … Fun Facts for Kids North American otters are playful animals, and indulge in water play, mud/snow sliding, and burrowing through snow. Mammals include eastern cottontails, snowshoe hares, and meadow voles. A member of the weasel family, the North American River Otter has a long body with short but strong legs. Embryo implantation is delayed. Females seek dens made by other animals for giving birth and raising young. Wild otters typically live 8 or 9 years, but may live 13 years. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). Sadly speaking, pollution and urbanizations have led to the decrease in river otter population. River otters are highly frolicsome, spirited and lively creatures. River otters (Lutra canadensis, Fig. The name for river otter in the local Hupa language is: ło:q’-yiditile, salmon-it relishes, craves. Family: Mustelidae (weasels) in the order Carnivora. Gestation lasts 61 to 63 days, but young are born 10 to 12 months after mating, between February and April. The group is composed of an adult female and her progeny. Facts about River Otters talk about an animal, which can be found on the coasts or waterways of North America. People also call it North American river otter. 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. The male river otters are not territorial. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. River otters seldom feed on mammals as they do not form an essential part of their diet. It grows from 4.9 to 5.9 feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters) long. The Internet connection is missing right now, but you're able to browse previously opened pages offline. Some common river … Description. They can grow to over 1.5m (5ft) long. 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. A river otter… Despite its common name, the North American river otter is equally comfortable in either coastal marine or freshwater habitats. Litter size may compose of 3 – 5 young (1 – 3 being an average). In warmer months, they are most active between dusk and dawn. It is a member of weasel family. The North American river otter’s main prey is … This otter will mate with multiple partners throughout its lifetime. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) is a semiaquatic mammal in the weasel family. 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. These include game fishes, bass (Centrarchidae) suckers (Catostomidae), and shiners. River otters live in many different kinds of water throughout North America, including rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, wetlands, and coastal shorelines and marshes. Today, a large number of otters are found in the United States and Canada. These otters can walk, slide, bound and even run on land. They sometimes eat fruit, but avoid carrion. The males will mate with a female and leave to mate with other females leaving the female otter to raise the pup. Typical habitats include lakes, rivers, marshes, and coastal shorelines. The North American River Otter, for instance, is polygamous. River otters are excellent swimmers. Sea otters are the only fully aquatic form of otters, but they share features with … Not all otters use tools, but sea otters use them all the time. The larger specimens with the weight of 15 kg (33 lb) are also found. The biological name is Lontra Canadensis. River otters are nocturnal and they come out in at night in the summer and spring seasons. Fun Facts: They are often beneficial to game fish since otters regularly eat non-game fish, reducing competition. The adult male weighs around 11.3 kg (25 lb); while the female weighs up to 8.3 kg (18 lb). Females give birth and raise their pups without aid from their mates. The river otter's life expectancy is 10 to 15 years in the wild and 25 years in captivity. The female litters one to six babies in thes underground burrows. 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. The weight of a North American river otter measures around 5 – 14 kg (11 – 31 lb). However, not many species play games. Recent efforts to improve water quality and regulate hunting have restored wild populations. They primarily communicate through auditory signals. river-otter22.jpg. River otters primarily prey on fish, crayfish, turtles and amphibians, and rarely birds. How Many Sea Otters are Left in the World? It uses its long vibrissae (whiskers) to find prey in murky water. 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 mammal is found all throughout the waterways and coasts of North America. During winter, otters are active during the daytime. 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 basic social unit consists of an adult female and her offspring. The North American river otter (Lutra canadensis) is found in almost every state, including Virginia. They are also fast on land, capable of running at up to 30 km/h (19 miles). Otters are sexually dimorphic, with males about 5% larger than females. The adult river otter has 36 teeth in total. Both male and female becomes mature after two years of age. It is recognized by its powerful neck... River otter reaches a length of about 66 – 107 cm (26 – 42 inches). River otters are subject to predators and disease, but human activities are their greatest threat. The playful North American river otter is well adapted for semi-aquatic living. The North American river otter's body is built for streamlined swimming. They build burrows abandoned by other animals including beavers, muskrats, and woodchucks. Touch and body posture are often used in communication, along with a wide variety of vocal calls. River otter reaches a length of about 66 – 107 cm (26 – 42 inches). River otters use their tails as rudder while swimming. River otters are hunted and trapped for their fur. White-tipped hairs are common in older otters. However, the largest population of these animals is found in the Great Lakes of North America. The sightless and nearly helpless young are usually born in the months of March and May. There are 13 species of otters, in seven genera, according to Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). It builds its habitat in the swamps, rivers, lakes, tidal flat and coastal shoreline; in the form of burrows. However, the otter is being restored to places where it is regionally threatened, resulting in an otter come back in many places. 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 reach sexual maturity at two years of age. More Mammals. North American river otters have been trapped for their highly-prized furs, resulting in a steep decrease in population since the 1800s. It is known as the common otter or northern river otter. River otters live 21 to 25 years in captivity. North American river otters are excellent swimmers and divers, able to stay underwater for up to 8 minutes. 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