They can grow to over 5ft (1.5m) long. 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. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). River otter often play games and they chase one another in a game. It has a stocky body, short legs, webbed feet, and a long tail. Weaning occurs at 12 weeks. The weight of a North American river otter measures around 5 – 14 kg (11 – 31 lb). North American river otters breed between December and April. 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 otter swims at a speed of 11 km/h (6.8 mph); and dive at a depth of 20 meters (22 yards). In contrast to the European otter, the North American river otter has a longer neck and narrower face. Young otters play to learn survival skills. They live in riparian zones, which are the areas that border stream, rivers, and lakes. The group is composed of an adult female and her progeny. They usually breed in the months of December to April. They can grow to over 1.5m (5ft) long. They typically use … The Basics The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also called the Canadian otter, is the most abundant species of otter. An otter can weigh anywhere from 11 to 30 pounds. 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. River otters are highly frolicsome, spirited and lively creatures. The primary foods for otters are aquatic invertebrates and aquatic insects. The otter closes its nostrils and small ears when submerged. They produce a growl-like sound which is often heard while they are in pain. North American river otters have been trapped for their highly-prized furs, resulting in a steep decrease in population since the 1800s. Description. The larger specimens with the weight of 15 kg (33 lb) are also found. River otters have very small eyes and flat head. The Internet connection is missing right now, but you're able to browse previously opened pages offline. 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. 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 … The family unit of this otter … River otters live in many different kinds of water throughout North America, including rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, wetlands, and coastal shorelines and marshes. The playful North American river otter is well adapted for semi-aquatic living. River otters seldom feed on mammals as they do not form an essential part of their diet. The males will mate with a female and leave to mate with other females leaving the female otter to raise the pup. In 2012 there were approximately 8,000 otters in Ohio. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. River otter’s diet also embraces redhorses, cubs, bullheads, catfish, darters, perches, sculpins, pike, salmon, trout, and pike. 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. Around one-third of an otter’s body is composed of a tail. 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 male river otters are not territorial. 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. They may travel as much as 26 miles in a single day. Identification. River otters are intelligent animals and they often like to play. Today, a large number of otters are found in the United States and Canada. 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. North American river otters are highly mobile and have the capacity of traveling up to 42 km (26 mi) in one day. The river otter is perfectly equipped for aquatic life. River otters are hunted and trapped for their fur. River otters (Lutra canadensis, Fig. Fun Facts: The river otter is non-territorial, but it still marks around its home range using feces and urine as … However, otters never eat bird eggs. The largest otter is the giant otter. A professional writer and a passionate wildlife enthusiast, who is mostly found hooked to his laptop or in libraries researching about the wildlife. Despite its common name, the North American river otter is equally comfortable in either coastal marine or freshwater habitats. They live 10 to 15 years. Sliding and wrestling, belly flopping, and somersaulting, river otters really know how to play! A river otter… Each pup weighs about 5 ounces. Some common river … Other important threats include habitat loss and degradation, illegal hunting, vehicle accidents, trapping, and entanglement in fishnets and lines. Talk about spreading out! They are found throughout most of North America – from the Rio Grande in Northern Mexico to Canada and Alaska. The river otter is the best swimmer of the weasel family. North American River Otter. River otters are carnivores that hunt fish, crustaceans, frogs, salamanders, waterfowl and their eggs, aquatic insects, reptiles, mollusks, and small mammals. It lives in a den, which can be made in a riverside burrow, under rocks or plants, or in a beaver’s home (lodge). The North American river otter (Lutra canadensis) is found in almost every state, including Virginia. Some lives in the forested areas of Pacific coast of North America. River otter reaches a length of about 66 – 107 cm (26 – 42 inches). Read More: Why are Sea Otters Endangered? 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. North American river otters live near permanent watersheds throughout North America, from Alaska and northern Canada south to the Gulf of Mexico. Basic Facts about the North American River Otter Its scientific name is Lontra canadensis. North American River Otter The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. Embryo implantation is delayed. The North American river otter lives along riverbanks, lakeshores, and coasts. River otters primarily prey on fish, crayfish, turtles and amphibians, and rarely birds. Fun Facts - 30 Environmental Messages . Gestation lasts 61 to 63 days, but young are born 10 to 12 months after mating, between February and April. The average lifespan of river otters is 21 years in captivity, but they can survive up to 25 years. The juveniles will wean from their mother’s milk in around 10 – 14 weeks. Not all otters use tools, but sea otters use them all the time. The North American river otter's body is built for streamlined swimming. These include game fishes, bass (Centrarchidae) suckers (Catostomidae), and shiners. They build burrows abandoned by other animals including beavers, muskrats, and woodchucks. River otters are very sensitive to environmental pollution. River otters also consume crustaceans such as crayfish since crayfish is relatively abundant species and is available all year round. It is recognized by its powerful neck and elongated body. Fun Facts for Kids North American otters are playful animals, and indulge in water play, mud/snow sliding, and burrowing through snow. It has a stocky … Lontra canadensis. Otter fur is short and ranges in color from light brown to black. More Mammals. 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. river-otter22.jpg. They come in many sizes. Females are 5 per cent smaller as compared to males. Typical habitats include lakes, rivers, marshes, and coastal shorelines. The North American River Otter, for instance, is polygamous. North American river otters are social animals. However, not many species play games. Read More: How Many Sea Otters are Left in the World? Description: River otters are well suited to life in the water. River otters are polygynous. Offspring venture out on their own before their mother gives birth to her next litter. The juveniles are blind and toothless at birth. The mammals have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. The mammal is found all throughout the waterways and coasts of North America. Mammals include eastern cottontails, snowshoe hares, and meadow voles. GIANT OTTERS ARE SUPER CHATTY. People also call it North American river otter. 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. Litter size may compose of 3 – 5 young (1 – 3 being an average). Males are larger in size than females (see photos). It can able to stay under water for about 4 minutes. Playful Animals. In the wild they live up to 8 – 9 years with the maximum age of 13 years. Both male and female becomes mature after two years of age. On land they walk, run, or slide across surfaces. There are 13 species of otters, in seven genera, according to Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). River Otter Facts The weight of a North American river otter measures around 5 – 14 kg (11 – 31 lb). North American river otters can reach a length of 3.9 ft and weigh 3 lbs. Family: Mustelidae (weasels) in the order Carnivora. It builds its habitat in the swamps, rivers, lakes, tidal flat and coastal shoreline; in the form of burrows. Otters are sexually dimorphic, with males about 5% larger than females. Otters pose no threat to humans, but in rare cases they have been known to attack dogs. River otters are subject to predators and disease, but human activities are their greatest threat. Otters living in captivity largely prefer to consume bigger fish with the size of 15 – 17 cm (5.9 – 6.7 inches). North American river otters are excellent swimmers and divers, able to stay underwater for up to 8 minutes. Facts About Endangered Animals | Top 11 Facts. They have streamlined bodies, fully webbed feet, and long, tapered tails that are thick at the base and flat on the bottom. These otters can walk, slide, bound and even run on land. Females seek dens made by other animals for giving birth and raising young. The female litters one to six babies in thes underground burrows. Unlike many mustelids, river otters are more social animals. Sea otters are the only fully aquatic form of otters, but they share features with … This semiaquatic mammal has the weight of 11 to 30.9 lb or 5 to 14 kilograms. Otters communicate by vocalization and scent marking. Touch and body posture are often used in communication, along with a wide variety of vocal calls. They also play by nudging sticks across the water, and by dropping pebbles to the bottom and retrieving them. Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel water. The young will become independent after six months. However, the otter is being restored to places where it is regionally threatened, resulting in an otter come back in many places. However, the largest population of these animals is found in the Great Lakes of North America. It is known as the common otter or northern river otter. During winter, otters are active during the daytime. It is a member of weasel family. North American river otters, also called Canadian otters, have long, muscular, streamlined bodies with short legs and fully webbed feet bearing non-retractable claws. The North American river otter is one of the most playful, curious, and active species of otter. North American river otters reach sexual maturity at two years of age. In 2014, a study of giant otters found that the river-dwellers … Average Lifespan Wild: 8-9 years Captivity: 15-20 years Fun Facts Males also group together. (41 kilograms).The smallest otter is the Asian small-clawed otter, which grows up to 2.9 fee… The North American river otter lives along riverbanks, lakeshores, and coasts. ... 12 of which are listed as threatened or even endangered, our North American river otters are lucky. The adult river otters are known to eat 1 – 1.5 kg (2.2 0 3.3 lb) of fish each day. Can otters use tools? The length of a tail measures around 30 – 50 cm (12 – 20 inches). They sometimes eat fruit, but avoid carrion. Females give birth and raise their pups without aid from their mates. Although largely exterminated in the Midwest, reintroduction programs are helping river otters reclaim part of their original range. The river otter's life expectancy is 10 to 15 years in the wild and 25 years in captivity. The river otters do not dig their own den; they use habitats of other animals such as beavers instead. Seeing a river otter in the wild is a sign of a healthy habitat, clean water, and one tough otter! 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