Babies first learn to swim when they are about 2 months old. Study.com has thousands of articles about every You can test out of the Some otters, such as the River Otter, are mostly solitary. Amazing behaviors. River otters are happy in fresh, brackish and salt water. In this lesson, we will take a closer look at one particular species, the North American River 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. The primary source of food for the Otter is fish. For example, river otters eat salmon; they follow them upstream when they come up rivers to spawn. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. This allows them to feed even in murky waters. However, there is a type of wild animal that fits this description extremely well: the otter. Soon the babies are just as at home in the water as the adults. They’re often seen in coastal areas near the mouths of rivers and creeks. These furry water lovers hunt mostly at night, following the scent of fish even into urban areas. - Anatomy, Family & Diet, Baikal Seal: Habitat, Adaptations, Predators & Facts, Ringed Seal: Habitat, Population & Adaptations, Signs, Symptoms & Causes of Bloat in Dogs, Biological and Biomedical imaginable degree, area of Southern River Otter: Habitat, Population & Adaptations, Quiz & Worksheet - North American River Otter, Over 83,000 lessons in all major subjects, {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}}, Eurasian Otter: Habitat, Diet, Lifespan & Facts, Hairy-Nosed Otter: Habitat, Breeding & Population, Spotted-Necked Otter: Habitat, Diet, Lifespan & Facts, Smooth-Coated Otter: Habitat, Adaptations & Facts, African Clawless Otter: Habitat, Population & Lifespan, Asian Small-Clawed Otter: Habitat, Breeding & Adaptations, European Mink: Facts, Habitat, Adaptations & Population, What is a Mongoose? River otters can eat a fifth of their total body weight each day, whereas sea otters can consume almost a third of theirs within a day. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. River otters also prefer slower-moving fish to game fish. They’re often found in … Prey can be eaten while being held in their paws while still swimming in the water, whereas larger catches are hauled onto shore to be consumed at leisure. - Formation, Origin & Formula, Soil Contamination: Treatment, Phytoremediation & Bioremediation, Soil Contamination: Definition, Sources & Prevention, Quiz & Worksheet - Uses & Effects of Bacteria & Viruses, Quiz & Worksheet - Functional Groups, Monomers & Polymers, Quiz & Worksheet - Active & Passive Transport in Cells, TExES Life Science: Matter & Atomic Structure, California Sexual Harassment Refresher Course: Supervisors, California Sexual Harassment Refresher Course: Employees. Please pass this on to an otter group in that area, so they can add the information to their database for monitoring and survey purposes. Otters declined catastrophically throughout England in the late 1950s. River otters eat 15% to 20% of their total body weight each day. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. Some other common items that they will eat include invertebrates, birds, and small sized animals. Sea otters eat a wide range of marine animals, including mussels, clams, urchins, abalone, crabs, snails and about 40 other marine species, equaling approximately 25 percent of their weight in food each day, according to Defenders of Wildlife. Posted on September 12, 2018 September 13, 2018 by Kim Smith. A fish farmer who claims his business was ruined after otters ate all of his 22,000 prized carp has been told his argument for damages is "hopeless". Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. Its dark brown fur is smooth and water repellent, an important trait for a fast-swimming mammal. They have webbed feet for swimming, dense fur for warmth, and can close their ears and nose underwater. Did you know… We have over 220 college North American river otters get their boundless energy from their very high metabolism, which also requires that they eat a great deal during the day. They generally forage in the water, but they can also hunt on land. It is a carnivore, hunting other animals for its food. It prefers to dine on fish, but also eats crayfish, and occasionally small mammals and birds. Create your account, Already registered? This semiaquatic mammal has the weight of 11 to 30.9 lb or 5 to 14 kilograms. - Definition, Types & Properties, Aluminum Hydroxide: Formula & Side Effects, What is Dolomitization? They are carnivorous, and most species eat a variety of fish, amphibians, shellfish, crabs, and other aquatic creatures. {{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | Fact Check: Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe? Otters are carnivores, which means they eat meat. Speaking of swimming, the North American River Otter is top in its class. The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), also known as the European otter, Eurasian river otter, common otter, and Old World otter, is a semiaquatic mammal native to Eurasia.The most widely distributed member of the otter subfamily (Lutrinae) of the weasel family (Mustelidae), it is found in the waterways and coasts of Europe, many parts of Asia, and parts of northern Africa. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. Bobcats, alligators, coyotes, raptors, and other large predators will sometimes prey on North American river otters. The mother raises her young alone. The biological name is Lontra Canadensis. | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} 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. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page. The North American River Otter is a playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes of North America. first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. They also eat crustaceans, frogs and even small water birds. In Norfolk by the 1970s most traditional otter sites were deserted and whole river systems no longer supported any otters. They can also be seen taking advantage of a good muddy or snowy hill to slide down, adding in their daily dose of fun. What Do River Otters Eat | River Otter Facts. It is around 3-4 feet in length, weighing around 11-30 pounds. They eat mostly aquatic organisms such as frogs, fish, turtles, insects, and some small mammals. Sometimes river otters will travel between 10 and 18 miles (16 and 29 km) in search of food. River otters eat mostly frogs, crabs, crayfish, fish and mollusks. They use their long whiskers when swimming underwater to feel for the movement of their prey. Services. A large male may consume as much as 11 kg (25 lb.) They catch prey with their teeth. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. What are some facts about this animal and what makes it unique? credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. It is known as the common otter or northern river otter. 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Howard, How to Pass the Living Environment Regents Exam, How to Write a Personal Statement for Law School, Tech and Engineering - Questions & Answers, Health and Medicine - Questions & Answers, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. They can grow to be more than a meter long, from head to tail, and weight up to 14 kg. As you may guess from its name, the North American River Otter is a species of otter found in and near waterways of North America. Sea otters eat about 20-30% of their body weight each day. – but our river systems still require extensive habitat management to restore them to a healthy level that can sustain fish stocks and wildlife. The river otter food chain also consists of mussels, bivalves, snails, cr… The river otter food web plays a crucial role in the environments the river otter calls home. “When an otter eats a sturgeon, the tag is often swallowed and later defecated at specific sites otters use as latrines.” Babey visited dozens of latrine sites along the Nechako River and used a scanning device, which Babey says is akin to a grocery store scanner, to find the PIT tags. It rests in burrows, dense shrubbery, under the root system of overturned trees, etc., so look for them along rivers and streams and around lakes and ponds, where there is a lot of forest and shrubby cover. Mothers nudge the tiny otters into the water, and then strong instincts take over. 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. Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Sea otters eat about 25% to 30% of their weight. Let's take a closer look at this playful creature. People also call it North American river otter. Outside of fish, river otters will also eat crustaceans, insects, birds, oysters, shellfish, turtles and a number of other aquatic life. Wendy has taught high school Biology and has a master's degree in education. To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member. Otters are eaten by large predators, such as great white sharks, killer whales, bears, sea lions, eagles and coyotes, depending on their geographical location. Otters are often elusive, with large ranges and nocturnal behaviour making spotting them a rare and wonderful experience. Sea otters have a high metabolic rate (that is, they use a high amount of energy) that is 2-3 times that of other mammals their size. study credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. Select a subject to preview related courses: The North American River Otter is an animal with a very high metabolism, so it must eat quite often. of food daily. What Do River Otters Eat | River Otter Facts. Giant ottters are very sociable animals and often live in groups of … In certain areas, alligators will nab them as well. 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