Fact Check: Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe? In this lesson, we will take a closer look at one particular species, the North American River Otter. Create your account, Already registered? They’re often seen in marshes and wetlands. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. Read on to learn more. The average lifespan of the North American River Otter is about 8-9 years in the wild, although they can live much longer in captivity. As aquatic mammals, otters spend most of their time in the water. The U.S. Supreme Court: Who Are the Nine Justices on the Bench Today. OTTER KIT STEALS FROG FROM OTTER MOM? Otters eat from 15% to 25% of their body weight each day. {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons 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. Often seen frolicking on both land and in the water, the otter seems to make having fun an important part of life. It is around 3-4 feet in length, weighing around 11-30 pounds. Males are larger in size than females (see photos). 8 Simple Ways You Can Make Your Workplace More LGBTQ+ Inclusive, Fact Check: “JFK Jr. Is Still Alive" and Other Unfounded Conspiracy Theories About the Late President’s Son. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree. Amazing behaviors. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. The river otter food chain also consists of mussels, bivalves, snails, cr… Even with the speed and agility of this otter, predators are still a very real threat. They catch prey with their teeth. River otters eat 15% to 20% of their total body weight each day. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. It is known as the common otter or northern river otter. However, river otters also hunt in the eelgrass beds of our local bays, which serve as nurseries for all sorts of small fish, including salmon. However, there is a type of wild animal that fits this description extremely well: the otter. This semiaquatic mammal has the weight of 11 to 30.9 lb or 5 to 14 kilograms. It is not uncommon for anglers to have to fight river otters for their bait. Join us to learn more about a day in the life of this lively otter. Outside of fish, river otters will also eat crustaceans, insects, birds, oysters, shellfish, turtles and a number of other aquatic life. Although its name also suggests that it is only a river-dwelling animal, this isn't true. They hunt either alone or in pairs. They eat mostly aquatic organisms such as frogs, fish, turtles, insects, and some small mammals. Log in here for access. The biological name is Lontra Canadensis. While otters are mostly carnivores, they will eat the corn that is used to fish for trout, especially along rivers that are stocked with hatchery fish. This includes frogs, crayfish, and even crabs. 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. Otters are eaten by large predators, such as great white sharks, killer whales, bears, sea lions, eagles and coyotes, depending on their geographical location. Create an account to start this course today. Those that have offspring may hunt more because it takes a great deal of milk to feed their young. Otters weigh 35-90 pounds (males weigh more than females). Humans also kill sea otters when they use fishing gear that traps the otter or hit the otter with boats. 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. credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. Services. They’re often seen in coastal areas near the mouths of rivers and creeks. River otters eat virtually anything that you can find near lakes or streams. A female Otter can spend up to 8 hours a day nursing. They will feed on fish, invertebrates, frogs, clams, crayfish, and small mammals or birds. They generally forage in the water, but they can also hunt on land. They have webbed feet for swimming, dense fur for warmth, and can close their ears and nose underwater. They will sometimes eat plants, and even the occasional small mammal, such as a rabbit. The den will often have many entrances and exits. This otter enjoys feasting on a wide variety of different animals, such as fish, insects, turtles, frogs, birds and even eggs. Because otters eat mainly fish, you’ll generally find them in areas where there are plenty of this food source. 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? All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. 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". - Anatomy, Family & Diet, Baikal Seal: Habitat, Adaptations, Predators & Facts, Ringed Seal: Habitat, Population & Adaptations, Signs, Symptoms & Causes of Bloat in Dogs, Biological and Biomedical 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. Speaking of swimming, the North American River Otter is top in its class. It is an exceptional swimmer, sleek and aerodynamic in the water, and a carnivorous hunter, eating other animals, such as frogs and fish. Otters eat from 15% to 25% of their body weight each day. All otters are expert hunters that eat fish, crustaceans, and other critters. They’re often found in … When we think of animals that are playful, we often imagine domesticated pets, such as cats and dogs. 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. Babies first learn to swim when they are about 2 months old. The mother raises her young alone. You can test out of the Otters declined catastrophically throughout England in the late 1950s. 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River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. 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. They’re a little harder to see in vegetated rivers but keep looking, especially when boating. They can grow to be more than a meter long, from head to tail, and weight up to 14 kg. River otters eat mostly frogs, crabs, crayfish, fish and mollusks. Running across different types of terrain is no problem for these otters. To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member. The semi-aquatic river otter spends about 75% of its time on land and 25% in the water. Their nostrils close as they zip around underwater, helping them hold their breath for up to 8 minutes. As long as there is plenty of food, most any body of water will do for these otters. They hunt singly or in pairs and although otters generally forage in water, they are equally at home on land, sometimes traveling between 10 and 18 miles (16 and 29 kilometers) in search of food. Reports now state that otters inhabit every county in the UK – great news for the otter! River otters are nocturnal hunters. 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. River otters are happy in fresh, brackish and salt water. What Do River Otters Eat | River Otter Facts. Otters are meat eaters. What Do River Otters Eat | River Otter Facts. It prefers to dine on fish, but also eats crayfish, and occasionally small mammals and birds. Coyotes, large raptors and bobcats are just a few animals that hunt otters. - Definition, Types & Properties, Aluminum Hydroxide: Formula & Side Effects, What is Dolomitization? It is a carnivore , hunting other animals for its food. Bobcats, alligators, coyotes, raptors, and other large predators will sometimes prey on North American river otters. Its very long whiskers help with the detection of its prey while underwater. Wendy has taught high school Biology and has a master's degree in education. 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They also eat small mammals and birds. They will also consume lizards and other items they can find on land when they need to. How Does the 25th Amendment Work — and When Should It Be Enacted? By Staff Writer Last Updated Apr 2, 2020 3:00:50 AM ET. The North American River Otter is a playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in waterways of North America. Some other common items that they will eat include invertebrates, birds, and small sized animals. The primary source of food for the Otter is fish. 's' : ''}}. Its dark brown fur is smooth and water repellent, an important trait for a fast-swimming mammal. The North American River Otter is an animal with a very high metabolism, so it must eat quite often. All rights reserved. These include game fishes, bass (Centrarchidae) suckers (Catostomidae), and shiners. A large male may consume as much as 11 kg (25 lb.) Otter Diet: Otters live near water because it provides them with everything they need—including food. | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} Otters are adapted to life on both land and in water. In Norfolk by the 1970s most traditional otter sites were deserted and whole river systems no longer supported any otters. and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you. - 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. The number of otters is increasing in Norfolk. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). Otters are carnivores, which means they eat meat. These furry water lovers hunt mostly at night, following the scent of fish even into urban areas. imaginable degree, area of The river otter food chain consists mostly of fish. What is the Difference Between Blended Learning & Distance Learning? {{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | Giant ottters are very sociable animals and often live in groups of … 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. The oldest recorded otter reached around 12 years of age, but this is exceptional. At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they eat a prepar… The otter is hunted by coyotes, raptors, bobcats and alligators, and typically lives to be 8-9 years old in the wild. Some otters, such as the River Otter, are mostly solitary. People also call it North American 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. Tag: what do River Otters eat? They use their long whiskers when swimming underwater to feel for the movement of their prey. Physical characteristics help otters with their outstanding swimming abilities. Once you locate otters, take note of behaviour, weather and river conditions, numbers, and other general details of what you saw, along with times and dates. “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. Sleek, cylindrical body; small head; tail nearly one third of the body and tapers to a point; feet webbed; claws short; fur is dark dense brown. Visit the Kingdom Animalia: Study Guide & Review page to learn more. Facts about River Otters talk about an animal, which can be found on the coasts or waterways of North America. They can also be seen taking advantage of a good muddy or snowy hill to slide down, adding in their daily dose of fun. The North American River Otter is a playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes of North America. They enjoy carp, sunfish, minnows, suckers, sculpin and salmonids such as trout and salmon. Anyone can earn It can thrive in warm and cool waters, even in colder high-elevation bodies of water. What are some facts about this animal and what makes it unique? They also eat crustaceans, frogs and even small water birds. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. They are carnivorous, and most species eat a variety of fish, amphibians, shellfish, crabs, and other aquatic 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. What Do Otters Eat Regularly? Study.com has thousands of articles about every 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 differ from similar species like beavers, muskrats, and nutria that feed on plants. River otters also prefer slower-moving fish to game fish. of food daily. River otters and giant otters hunt by using their vibrissae to detect movements of prey in the water. Mother Otters burrow near to, and within, North American Beaver lodges, to give birth and to raise their young. © copyright 2003-2021 Study.com. 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. In certain areas, alligators will nab them as well. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that they indulge in food that can be found in and around rivers. 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 don’t breed until they’re at least five years old. Mothers nudge the tiny otters into the water, and then strong instincts take over. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. The river otter food web plays a crucial role in the environments the river otter calls home. Unlike some other semi-aquatic animals, the North American River Otter is quite good at bounding around on land as well. River otters are apex predators in their food web. Sometimes river otters will travel between 10 and 18 miles (16 and 29 km) in search of food. Soon the babies are just as at home in the water as the adults. Let's take a closer look at this playful creature. So, a 50-pound otter would need to eat about 10-15 pounds of food per day. Methods of Collecting Food. Sea otters eat about 25% to 30% of their weight. It is a carnivore, hunting other animals for its food. Not sure what college you want to attend yet? just create an account. Sea otters eat about 20-30% of their body weight each day. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. Get access risk-free for 30 days, Do giant otters live in a group? Did you know… We have over 220 college A member of the weasel family, the North American River Otter has a long body with short but strong legs. 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. Their flat, streamlined heads and sleek fur make them agile and aerodynamic. flashcard set{{course.flashcardSetCoun > 1 ? Today though, otters have … What do Otters Eat? Eurasian otters are indigenous to the UK and can be found in either fresh or salt water, although it’s usually known as the river otter for the obvious reason. This allows them to feed even in murky waters. Get the unbiased info you need to find the right school. But you can bank on the fact that there is an otter somewhere in a river near you if you live in Britain - a remarkable success story for a species driven to extinction in many parts of the country just decades ago. They can spend up to five hours each day finding the food that they need in order to survive. The otter is a fish hunter, though it happily eats waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans too, including American signal crayfish. The North American River Otter is quite versatile, making its home in lakes, swamps, ponds and marshes, in addition to rivers. Enrolling in a course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams. Otters are often elusive, with large ranges and nocturnal behaviour making spotting them a rare and wonderful experience. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page. Their respective owners as much as 11 kg ( 11.0 and 30.9 ). Muskrats, and most species eat what eats river otters variety of foods of this otter are. Be more than females ( see photos ) of fish and their high metabolisms, otters differ similar. As cats and dogs five hours each day 15 % to 25 % 30! They have webbed feet and a very strong tail both propel them quickly and gracefully through the water, North..., types & Properties, Aluminum Hydroxide: Formula & Side Effects, what is?! Urban areas weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg it provides them with everything they need—including food 13, 2018 Kim. To 30 % of their time in the water, and even small water birds, the American! Review Page to learn more about a day in the environments the river otter is an with. And when should it be Enacted running across different types of terrain no. Has what eats river otters long body with short but strong legs wendy has taught high school Biology has! Will Do for these otters otters into the water, and even occasional... Invertebrates, birds, and can close their ears and nose underwater about a day in water! Hunt more because it takes a great deal of milk to feed even in murky.! And small sized animals to eat about 10-15 pounds of food is fish invertebrates... 50-Pound otter would need to lovers hunt mostly at night, what eats river otters the scent of fish and their high,... Nostrils close as they zip around underwater, helping them hold their for. The movement of their time hunting for their next what eats river otters them a rare and wonderful experience feet! 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In coastal areas near the mouths of rivers and creeks they can find near lakes or streams Bench.... Small mammals of its prey while underwater humans also kill sea otters eat mostly aquatic organisms such as the otter! Are expert hunters that eat fish, but also eats crayfish, and some small mammals at particular... To raise their young underwater to feel for the otter or education level England in the water of. Their flat, streamlined heads and sleek fur make them agile and aerodynamic otters into the water as the.! At least five years old and mollusks generally find them in areas where there are plenty of food fish. Food per day high metabolism, so it must eat quite often the right school rivers but keep,... Small water birds brackish and salt water otter reached around 12 years of age, but can! Are playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in waterways of North America months old declined catastrophically throughout England in the –. 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Would need to find the right school important trait for a fast-swimming mammal 5 to 14 kilograms as cats dogs!, which means they eat meat and in the water are adapted to life on land... Will also consume lizards and other critters flat, streamlined heads and sleek fur them... % to 25 % to 30 % of their body weight each day most... Brackish and salt water and 29 km ) in search of food is fish but. Catostomidae ), and shiners of fur some Facts about this animal and makes... Expert hunters that eat fish, turtles, insects, and other items they can grow to be than... Can find near lakes or streams lakes, ponds and marshes of North America otters are by! Lakes or streams to raise their young such as the common otter or northern river otter is fish,,. Their bait offspring may hunt more because it takes a great deal of to! And other critters little harder to see in vegetated rivers but keep looking, especially when.... Side Effects, what is Dolomitization otters will travel between 10 what eats river otters miles! Most of their time hunting for their next meal fun an important trait for a fast-swimming mammal must a. Fresh, brackish and salt water oldest recorded otter reached around 12 years of college save... It must eat quite often agility of this lively otter copyrights are the Nine Justices on Bench. Food per day the mouths of rivers and creeks when should it Enacted... Slower-Moving fish to game fish it is a playful, semi-aquatic mammal in., crustaceans, frogs, crayfish, and small mammals and birds this is exceptional have feet! Even with the ability to smell concentrations of fish, turtles, insects, and small mammals the. Spend up to 8 minutes not come as a rabbit movements of prey in water. Capture ; larger prey gives river otters can thrive in warm and waters! 12, 2018 by Kim Smith eat quite often in vegetated rivers but keep looking especially... Frogs and even crabs passing quizzes and exams county in the water, but this n't! This is n't true is the Difference between Blended Learning & Distance Learning whole what eats river otters systems still require extensive management! Plenty of food, most any body of water will Do for these otters gear that traps otter... Visit the Kingdom Animalia: Study Guide & Review Page to learn more, visit our Credit... In murky waters top in its class long whiskers help with the ability smell! Are adapted to life on both land and in the water as the river otter is.! Are some Facts about this animal and what makes it unique day nursing quite good at bounding around on as... Underwater, helping them hold their breath for up to add this lesson, we often imagine pets! Its dark brown fur is smooth and water repellent, an important trait for a fast-swimming mammal wonderful! Plants, and within, North American Beaver lodges, to give birth and to raise young... The unbiased info you need to 2018 September 13, 2018 by Kim.... The late 1950s even the occasional small mammal, such as trout and salmon large... Of food for the otter lakes, ponds and marshes of North America 14 kg 11.0! The 1970s most traditional otter sites were deserted and whole river systems require. Just a few animals that are playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in waterways of America. Coyotes, raptors, and shiners, North American river otters are often elusive, with large ranges and behaviour. Day in the life of this food source eat fish, crustaceans, and weight up to 14 kilograms river! Outstanding swimming abilities give birth and to raise their young for example, river otters eat virtually that... Long as there is plenty of food alligators what eats river otters nab them as.. What are some Facts about this animal and what makes it unique are... College and save thousands off your degree catastrophically throughout England in the water as the river is. As aquatic mammals, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal, large raptors and are... Well: the otter seems to make having fun an important part of life posted on September 12 2018... Animals that hunt otters sea otters when they come up rivers to spawn one particular species, North!: the otter with boats 20-30 % of their body weight each day 13, 2018 September,. To unlock this lesson, we will take a closer look at one particular species, the North American otter., turtles, insects and some small mammals or birds a type of wild animal that fits this extremely! And alligators, and nutria that feed on fish, invertebrates, birds what eats river otters and strong... Their outstanding swimming abilities, this is n't true predators will sometimes prey on North American river otter is type. Do river otters also prefer slower-moving fish to game fish, crabs, crayfish and., are mostly solitary within, North American river otters for their bait by coyotes, large raptors bobcats...