River otters communicate with whistles, yelps, growls, and screams, as well as touch and body posture. Empower Her. Their back is dark brown while their belly is white. The otter population has been reduced by water pollution, uncontrolled trapping, and severe habitat loss. River otters are frequently caught in beaver traps on accident. The climate is cold, rainy, and snowy. Their nostrils and ears will close completely when they submerge underwater to look for food. The female litters one to six babies in thes underground burrows. What Adaptations Help Elephants Keep Cool? 2 3 SUMMARY OF KEY COMPONENTS FOR CONSERVATION OF THE NORTH AMERICAN RIVER OTTER Status The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) occurs in streams, lakes and reservoirs, wetlands, and marine coasts. River otter dens are along the water in abandoned burrows or empty hollows. Amanda Williams has been writing since 2009 on various writing websites and blogging since 2003. They have also been known to eat aquatic plants and to prey on other small mammals, such as muskrats or rabbits. According to SeaWorld, diving river otters are able to hold their breath for up to 8 minutes before they need to resurface. It builds its habitat in the swamps, rivers, lakes, tidal flat and coastal shoreline; in the form of burrows. These semiaquatic mammals also developed fur on the bottoms of their feet, which provides them with warmth and better traction. They can thrive in any water habitat, such as ponds, marshes, lakes, rivers, and estuaries—in cold, warm, or even high-elevation areas—as long as the habitat provides adequate food. River otters breed in late winter or early spring. River otters use their scent to mark their territorial boundaries. An otter is muscular, streamlined and solidly built. Playful Slider : The North American River Otter, Paperback by Esbensen, Barbara Juster; Brown, Mary Barrett (ILT), ISBN 0816677654, ISBN-13 9780816677658, Like New Used, Free shipping in the US Explores the world of the North American river otter, describing the … PART OF WILD SKY MEDIA | FAMILY & PARENTING, SeaWorld: Otters - Adaptations for an Aquatic Environment, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department: River Otter, Children's Zoo at Celebration Square: North American River Otter, University of Michigan: North American River Otter. Momma, a North American river otter that was originally brought to the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in the fall of 2004, has died. Otter fur is a rich, dark brown and is lighter on th… Search, discover, and learn about wildlife. Habitat and Range: Throughout Canada and northern United Stated down through the east coast to Florida. Now this male and female otter have become fast friends. While diving, river otters can slow down their heart rate to sustain oxygen. What Adaptations Help Jackrabbits Stay Cool in the Desert? To travel better in water, river otters developed adaptations such as four webbed feet and a propeller-like tail. President and CEO Collin O’Mara reveals in a TEDx Talk why it is essential to connect our children and future generations with wildlife and the outdoors—and how doing so is good for our health, economy, and environment. Genus: Lutra Species: canadensis. 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. Their underbody is usually lighter in colour. The River Otter's Adaptation to the Environment. They are well adapted to swimming and hunting. The river otter is the largest member of the weasel family (Mustelidae). They have scent glands at the base of their tail, and they deposit their musky scent on their dung, which is called spraint. The North American river otter occurs in much of Canada and the United States, except for portions of the Southwest, and in Mexico in the Rio Grande and Colorado River delta areas. To function in a dual environment, river otters have evolved several important adaptations that help them to thrive. Their webbed feet and tail will give them propulsion, and they can move their bodies to help them move through the water as well. River otters live up to 15 years in the wild and up to 25 years in captivity. River otters (Lutra canadensis, Fig. Shape The World. Threats. Historically, North American river otters were widely distributed throughout Alaska, Canada, and the contiguous United States. Uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world, Inspire a lifelong connection with wildlife and wild places through our children's publications, products, and activities, National Wildlife Federation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. One of the animals that can be found in the North American Taiga is the river otter. They feed primarily on fish and create their dens in natural hollows or burrows made by other animals. When traveling on land between waterways -- especially during the winter when water solidifies into ice -- river otters depend on their feet pads to provide traction when running or sliding. Officials at the aquarium estimated her age at around 19 years old. About one-third of the animal's total length consists of a long, t… They have long, streamlined bodies, short legs, and a robust, tapered tail, all of … Attend a virtual roundtable to learn about the challenges Black people face when accessing and enjoying the outdoors, and learn about ways in which we can address barriers and challenges. The goal of the SSP is to cooperatively manage animal populations within AZA accredited zoos to ensure the sustainability of a healthy and genetically diverse population while enhancing the conservation of this species in the wild. ... stream, waterfalls and cascades. The River Otter's Adaptation to the Environment Physical Adaptations. Playful mothers. Giant otters (genus Pteronura) are found mainly in slow-moving rivers and creeks within forests, swamps, and marshes. Their fur is dark brown over much of the body, and lighter brown on the belly and face. The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island has welcomed a new otter into the fold. North American River Otter Mammals ... it dry and warm, is made up of two types of hair. They have a short thick undercoat … The longer outer hairs, called guard hairs, are water repellent. North American River Otter Webcam. When it nears time for an otter to give birth, she begins searching for a den. The tail makes up about a third of their total length. Once born, otter pups begin playing at 5-6 weeks old. Latin Name: Lontra canadensis Other Names: North American Otter, or Northern Otter. In the wild, river otters live up to eight or nine years. River and waterway pollution and habitat destruction are major factors affecting the river otter population. They have brown, water-repellent fur, webbed feet and long tails. They can stay underwater for as many as eight minutes. This is important because river otters lose heat quickly in water, so they must constantly burn energy to replace lost heat. They can live eight to nine years in the wild but have lived up to 21 years in captivity. The species occurs broadly across much of North America and is considered reasonably secure overall. l i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock.com By Tom … Otters are usually found no more than a few hundred meters from water. River otters have waterproof, velvety coats that act as insulation. The mammals have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. Its height at the shoulder is about 10 inches. North American river otters have long whiskers, which they use to detect prey in dark or cloudy water, and clawed feet for grasping onto slippery prey. These adorable animals are adapted to living in and near water. North American river otters were hunted and trapped extensively for their fur in the 19th and 20th centuries, and are still hunted in some places. River otters eat a variety of aquatic wildlife, such as fish, crayfish, crabs, frogs, birds’ eggs, birds and reptiles such as turtles. River otters live in freshwater and coastal marine habitats such as rivers, marshes and lakes all over the United States. Be Her Village. River otters also have long whiskers that help them search for food and avoid obstacles while swimming underwater. River otters have waterproof, velvety coats that act as insulation. Anywhere, any time. An extremely adaptable animal, otters tolerate hot and cold climates, as well as high elevations and lowland coastal waters. A fast metabolic rate requires river otters to eat frequently during the day. Swimming and Diving. The best way to learn about the behavioral and physical adaptations that help this mammal survive is to watch an otter on land and in the water. More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. North American river otters can close their nostrils to keep water out during long dives. The river otter has a long and agile body with a muscular tail and large hind feet that propel them through the water. Olive is a female North American river otter that came into the aquarium’s care from a wildlife rehabber in Scotland County who took her in following an injury. A long, strong tail helps propels the otter through the water. What Kind of Special Skills Does the Polar Bear Have? ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. In southern Chile the marine otter is found almost exclusively along exposed rocky seashores; farther north it may inhabit estuaries and fresh water. The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. The river otters' fur and layer of fat underneath their fur assists in slowing heat loss while swimming. The North American River Otter is a stocky mammal with a long, fusiform body, short legs, muscular neck no smaller than the head, and a long tail that is thick at the base and tapers to a tip. Bobcats, alligators, coyotes, raptors, and other large predators will sometimes prey on North American river otters. River otters are able to travel on land at speeds of up to 29 miles per hour, according to SeaWorld. On average, otters range from 36 to 50 inches long from their head to the tip of the tail. MANTEO, N.C. – The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island has welcomed a new otter. A mature male otter weighs 10 to 25 pounds and is 30 to 40 inches in length, plus a 12- to 15-inch tail. They have a very high metabolism, so they need to eat frequently. The face is broad, and the eyes protrude slightly. They are very flexible and can make sharp, sudden turns that help them catch fish. Otters have sharp claws on their feet to catch prey. A layer of fat sits below the slick coat, providing the otters with added insulation. They have long bodies, and long whiskers that are used to detect prey in dark waters. River Otter. Its fur ranges in color from white and gray to brown and black. The otters deposit their spraint evenly throughout an otter’s range. The dens have entrances underwater so they can be easily accessed from the water. That home range shrinks drastically during breeding and rearing season. Both orphaned at a young age in different areas of Iowa, it was determined that neither of them were good candidates for release. The North American river otter is a stocky animal of 5 to 14 kilograms (11 to 31 lb), with short legs, a muscular neck (no smaller than the head) and an elongated body that is broadest at the hips. Ditch the disposables and make the switch to sustainable products. River otters have a fast metabolic rate -- almost 50 percent faster than similar-sized land mammals, according to SeaWorld. The conservation status of the North American River Otter is classified as least concern. It is around 3-4 feet in length, weighing around 11-30 pounds. A river otter can grow three to four feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) long including its tail and weigh between 11 and 30 pounds (5 to 14 kilograms). What Kind of Adaptions Does a Dolphin Have? The playful North American river otter is well adapted for semi-aquatic living. Housed in our Flooded Forest Habitat, these young and playful North American River Otters rarely stop moving. Their tiny ears close under water, and their thick fur helps keep them warm in cold water. It has a long, slender body covered in brown, water proof fur. An average adult male weighs about 11.3 kilograms (25 lb) against the female's average of 8.3 kilograms (18 lb). The new otter, Olive, is a female North American river otter … It uses its long vibrissae (whiskers) to find prey in murky water. © 2020 WILD SKY MEDIA. As suited as the North American river otter is to its riparian habitat, these mammals were once considered a conservation concern. Their playful snow and mud sliding, tail chasing, water play, and snow burrowing activities also serve other purposes—they help strengthen social bonds and let young otters practice hunting techniques. The Buttonwood Park Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for North American River Otters. This species is adapted for terrestrial and aquatic life. Instead of digging their own dens, otters often rely on the dens of other animals. A member of the weasel family, the North American River Otter has a long body with short but strong legs. DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - One of the oldest residents of a northeast Iowa aquarium has died, according to officials. They have short legs, webbed feet for faster swimming, and a long, narrow body and flattened head for streamlined movement in the water. The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is delighted to welcome a new otter into its fold. On land a river otter can run at speeds of up to 15 miles (24 kilometers) an hour—they can slide even faster. They can also weigh anywhere from 11 to 30 pounds. Its body length ranges from 66 to 107 centimetres (26 to 42 in). North American river otters are one of the most populous otter species now, but were once considered extinct in some of their geographic ranges in the 1980’s due to fur trapping and polluted water. Long whiskers help them find fish, clams, insects and other aquatic animals. She enjoys writing about health, medicine, education and home and garden topics. River otters can also close their ears and nostrils using valve-like flaps to keep water out while swimming and diving. A North American river otter's home range can be as large as 30 square miles (78 square kilometers), but a typical territory is 3 to 15 square miles (4.8 to 24 square kilometers). These features enable river otters to swim up to 9 miles per hour. When river otters are not playing or swimming in water in search of food, they spend a lot of time on land grooming and resting. They prefer bog lakes with banked shores containing semi aquatic mammal burrows and lakes with Beaver lodges. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at East Stroudsburg University in May 2013. The otter closes its nostrils and small ears when submerged. This animal’s lovely waterproof pelt, which allows it to regulate its temperature, in the 1700s-1800s, a regular part of French fur trade, has meant this animal has been hunted for hundreds of years. River otters are playful creatures found throughout aquatic habitats in North America. Since they are semiaquatic mammals, river otters spend time both on land and in water. In 4 seconds, you will be redirected to nwfactionfund.org, the site of the National Wildlife Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization. Williams is also a certified emergency medical technician. They have short legs, webbed feet for faster swimming, and a long, narrow body and flattened head for … Scent Communication. The North American river otter can be found in and along the waterways and coasts of much of the North American continent. The pelage is short and very dense, ranging from pale brown to black. They also scent mark using scent glands near the base of their tails that produce a strong, musky odor. The mammals have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. They prefer unpolluted water with a minimal human disturbance. they are eight to 12 months old or until a new litter arrives. The Taiga is an area that is rocky, a bit icy, and has lots of pine trees. How Does a Platypus's Fur Help Underwater? Th… They first learn to swim after about two months. It has a stocky body, short legs, webbed feet, and a long tail. Adults generally give birth to between one and three pups, which are blind and helpless when born. In contrast to the European otter, the North American river otter has a longer neck and narrower face. Adaptations Velvet Coat The otter’s thick velvety fur is the most durable North American fur. Their ability to travel quickly on land is essential for escaping predators, such as alligators and coyotes, who might consider an otter a tasty snack. River otters make use of dens created by other animals, including beavers, and always give birth to their young between February and April. An otter's tail is long and tapered, thickest where it joins the body and furred its entire length. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive. Most species are entirely dependent on aquatic habitats for food. North American River Otter . North American river otters are the only river otter that is found north of Mexico. However habitat destruction and water pollution still puts these animals at great risk, especially because they are so specialized. River otters generally live alone or in small social groups. They were extirpated from portions of their range, but conservation and reintroduction efforts are helping populations to recover. River otters (genus Lutra) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as well as estuaries and marine coves. It is a member of weasel family. All of these adaptations combine to make river otters supreme swimmers in their native habitats. They can be between 2.5 to 5 feet long, although females are typically smaller than males. Males are generally larger than females. Like sea otters, river otters also display thickest furs that ensure a limited heat loss. 1) are best known for their continuous and playful behavior, their aesthetic value, and the value of their durable, high-quality fur. The playful North American river otter is well adapted for semi-aquatic living. 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