It is made up of a waterproof top layer and a short underlayer, which can contain as many as one million hairs per square inch. Territories differ from home ranges. It is much easier to list the habitats that river otters don’t live in than to list the areas they do. Marine otters live along the Pacific coast of South America, ranging from northern Peru to Tierra del Fuego. Most otters have widespread distributions, but relatively sparse populations. for females. There is also a small experimental population that originated from relocated animals at San Miguel Island off the coast of Santa Barbara. For example, shallow waters may facilitate food availability for river otters during winter, and could explain differences in visitation rates between latrine sites found in our study (Crowley et al. They use their long whiskers when swimming underwater to feel for the movement of their prey. Females are smaller at 1-1.5m (3.3-4.9ft). Most people don’t think of animals such as the Otter as their own person. The decline in more typical killer whale prey species has led some killer whales to switch to feeding on sea otters. Nearly all otter populations have been impacted to some extent by human activities. With that said, most or all states will likely ban possession of native otters, and the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act strongly protects marine species (sea otters). Their … Some lives in the forested areas of Pacific coast of North America. Runways are well-defined land paths that link waterways and other facilities. Our overarching zoological mission is to foster conservation awareness and to impart action on our park guests to preserve wild animals and wild places. River otters are rambunctious, aquatic, streamlined mammals that spend much of their time in the water. As with their habitats, it is also easier to list locations you cannot find otters. Hear animal sounds for animals like anteaters, dolphins, frogs and more. Read on to learn about the otter. Asian small-clawed otters occur in fresh and brackish water habitats including rivers, creeks, estuaries, and coastal waters. The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. They will feed on fish, invertebrates, frogs, clams, crayfish, and small mammals or birds. They were hunted nearly to extinction, but conservation measures have allowed some populations to recover. Otters seem to be used as a symbol for tricksters, similar to the use of foxes in other folklore. Cape clawless otters are found in widely varying habitats, from dense rainforest to open coastal plain and semi-arid zones. However, the name “river otter” is misleading. Sea otters (genus Enhydra) are found in coastal waters of the North Pacific, rarely more than 1 km (0.6 mi.) Territories are generally smaller than home ranges. River otters eat mostly aquatic organisms, including fish, frogs, crayfish, turtles, insects and some small mammals. They are intelligent creatures that require lots of enrichment and positive reinforcement-based training to keep them happy and healthy. Many otter species undergo seasonal movements, but no extensive migrations. Conception. Males weigh up to 90 lbs. Congo clawless otters inhabit equatorial Africa, from southeastern Nigeria to Gabon, down to Uganda and Burundi. This makes up for its lack of blubber in the cold Pacific water. Go behind-the-scenes to see how our trainers care for and interact with these amazing animals, and get up close with some finned, flippered, or feathered friends. It makes its home in a burrow near the water's edge, and can thrive in river, lake, swamp, or estuary ecosystems. Otters have frequently been seen making slides in the riverbank, and zipping along them. Historically, sea otters occupied a contiguous range from northern Japan, across the North Pacific, and down to Baja California, Mexico. They are found on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. Giant otters (genus Pteronura) are found mainly in slow-moving rivers and creeks within forests, swamps, and marshes. Southern river otters are found in Argentina and Chile. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. 2017). With the exception of sea otters, all otters spend a great deal of time on land, often traveling considerable distances between waterways. The primary source of food for the Otter is fish. River otters also consume crustaceans such as crayfish since crayfish is relatively abundant species and is available all year round. Flow can be affected by sudden water input from snowmelt, rain and groundwater. The largest otter is the giant otter. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. In southern Chile the marine otter is found almost exclusively along exposed rocky seashores; farther north it may inhabit estuaries and fresh water. A male's range often overlaps that of one or more females. They will feed on fish, invertebrates, frogs, clams, crayfish, and small mammals or birds. River otters dig their own burrows. An average giant otter will weigh between 22 and 32kg (49-71lbs).. And I admit, I don't know specifically about otters or the state where you live but it's rarely legal to keep any wild animal as a pet. These hydrodynamic members of the weasel family are voracious predators. Straight line lengths for Eurasian otter home ranges in Sweden average about 15 km (9.3 mi.) In zoos, otters are fed a meat-based commercial carnivore diet, fish, carrots, yams, potatoes, crayfish, and worms. Their long tail may add as much as 70cm (28in) to this body length. Most otter species have at least one permanent burrow (den) by water. Also, it is illegal in most states to own an otter. It grows from 4.9 to 5.9 feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters) long. The only continents without otters are Australia and Antarctica. Use a lethal body grip trap like a connibear 160 Shoot the otter with a gun NEVER attempt to poison an otter Neotropical otters range from Uruguay north to Central America and Mexico. Find a variety of free classroom activities that will keep your students engaged and excited to learn about animals. A 3-4 week clerkship for veterinary students wanting to augment their knowledge and experience in non-domestic animal medicine. Sea otters also have thick, brown fur that insulates them against the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean. This is known as a lotic (flowing water) system. Cape clawless otters inhabit the southern two-thirds of the African continent. These furry marine mammals are one of only a few marine animals known to use tools to obtain their food. River otters (genus Lutra) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as well as estuaries and marine coves. River otters eat a variety of fish and shellfish, as well as small land mammals and birds. They are prized for their thick, luxurious coats, known as pelts. Because these critters are secretive and shy animals they were commonly captured using traps or hunting dogs. The giant otter is the longest of the otter species but shares a similar weight with the sea otter.Male giant otters can attain a length of 1.5-1.7m (4.9-5.6ft). The Alaska otter has a greater tendency to haul out (come to shore) than the California otter. All of these are examples in which the otter participates in its own health care. Cape clawless otters do not dig burrows. They have four legs to move easily on land, and a long tail to swim through the water. From fun and affordable field trips for students to amazing summer adventures, our camps combine education and entertainment in a way that connects people to the sea and sea life like nowhere else. Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) are semiaquatic, which means they split their time between land and water. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). This tail serves to propel the otters through water. A home range is the portion of land and water that an animal frequently visits during its daily and seasonal activities. Otters are great hunters, partially because they have sharp little teeth and a strong jaw! This article will refer to the twelve species of river otter, information about sea otters can be viewed here. Sea otters live in the Pacific Ocean and are found in Russia, Alaska, Washington state and California. It feeds mainly on fish, including cichlids, characins (such as piranha ), and catfish. Without special training, most people can hold their breath for 30 seconds to a minute before they are pretty uncomfortable. At SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, we extend our commitment to the environment beyond our company by supporting a variety of conservation groups and programs. This metabolism needs to be continually stoked with energy in the form of food, and sea otters must consume as much as 25% of their body weight each day in order to stay warm and survive. This allows them to feed even in murky waters. A Sea Otter's Diet Asian small-clawed otters, smooth otters, and hairy-nosed otters all are found in Southeast Asia, to the Malay Peninsula. Home ranges vary in size with species, location, and resource distribution, and are generally larger for males. The fishermen in Bangladesh have bred and raised smooth-coated otters for generations. Very little information is available on worldwide population figures for freshwater otters. Otters mark their territories with scent. They are capable of spending their entire life at sea, but sometimes rest on rocky shores. Such areas can be made more attractive to otters by establishing "otter havens", where river … keepers to obtain weights reliably without the stress of physical restraint (e.g. Their body shape aids in helping them make sudden turns to catch fish and other prey. Besides burrows, many river otters establish and use a variety of land "facilities" for a number of their daily activities. (See also interactions). Download free teacher guides to keep students learning in a hands-on way: includes vocabulary, classroom activities, goals and objectives. But anything is better than using poison. They come in many sizes. Sea otters inhabit coastal areas and islands of the eastern and western North Pacific Ocean. Otters can be trained to present body parts to the trainer for close inspection. Taken with tigers? The beaver did nothing. One full-year study of giant otter scats in Amazonian Brazil found fish present in all fecal samples. We translocated 27 river otters from Utah and Idaho to the Provo River, Utah from November 2009 through January 2012 in a reintroduction effort to restore the northern river otter to its native range. The reason people don't have otters as pets is because it's not practical for most people to be able to provide what they need for care. for males and about 7 km (4.3 mi.) They spend much of their time playing with one another and building social bonds. Japanese culture tells a number of tales involving otters, many of them involving shape shifting. Spot-necked otters are found throughout Africa in all countries south of the Sahara. The speed of water also varies and is subject to chaotic turbulence. A sea otter may remove an abalone by repeatedly hitting it with a rock. Although I have to admit that the use of either of those makes me feel pretty bad. They prefer waterways that have gently sloping banks and good cover. Then after the male otter went over the dam, the mother otter screeched at the beaver and the otter … So are we! The types of them will depend on the season as well as where they happen to live. 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. © 2020 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Spraint stations are areas designated by otters for routine, systematic defecation. This group of animals is notorious for being adorable, but they are so much more than looks! The otter family hid in the beavers' pile of sticks stored for the winter. Rolling places are bare patches of ground where otters roll and groom. River otters as a whole look quite similar to weasels. SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. They grow to one meter (3 to 4 ft) in length and weigh from five to 15 kilograms (10 to 30 lb). Newly- It then slopes upward to a nest chamber above the high-water level. River otters are smaller than their cousins, the sea otters. Most otter species are social, living in groups consisting of a mother and her various generations of pups. They have long, narrow bodies, with long tails and short legs. 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. River otters belong to the weasel family. Humans have hunted otters for centuries. of coastline. The giant otter is an apex predator, and its population status reflects the overall health of riverine ecosystems. They are thought to be more terrestrial in nature than other otter species. The people of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment are truly and deeply driven to inspire on behalf of, to celebrate and connect with, and to care for the natural world we all share. A sea otter’s pelt is the thickest of any mammal. It also uses a flat rock to break open the shells of crustaceans and mollusks. They are said to play pranks on people when they shape shift, often involving the otter turning into a beautiful woman. Clawless otter (genus Aonyx) habitats vary greatly among the species and between individuals. River otter taxonomy has been problematic throughout much of its early history. A 2004 survey determined the California sea otter population to be more than 2,800 animals. In coastal areas, they are known to forage both at sea and in adjoining streams and marshes. Most species are entirely dependent on aquatic habitats for food. The 3.2 million residents of Minnesota’s Twin Cities get their water from the Mississippi River. 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 eat virtually anything that you can find near lakes or streams. California otters often prefer kelp beds, probably because of the protection and food resources they provide. Otters are widely distributed. At a year old, the young otters can survive on their own, and often venture off to make their own families. Then as the beaver circled the lodge angrily, a male otter nonchalantly swam through the pond. The river otter is morphologically separated from other mustelids, by its fully webbed feet, short and dark glossy fur, and a long tapered tail. All photos used are royalty-free, and credits are included in the Alt tag of each image. Otters have small, rounded ears, and long sensitive whiskers to help them feel the vibrations of their prey. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) became one of the major animals hunted and trapped for fur in North America after European contact. The North American river otter’s taxonomic designation is Lontra canadensis, but was recently changed from Lutra canadensis. Sea otters are carnivores that feed on an array of marine species—mostly invertebrates like crabs, clams, urchins, snails and worms. netting, grabbing by hand). Riversides often lack the appropriate cover for otters to lie up during the day. Otters are usually found no more than a few hundred meters from water. 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. Most species are entirely dependent on aquatic habitats for food. In southern Chile the marine otter is found almost exclusively along exposed rocky seashores; farther north it may inhabit estuaries and fresh water. What Do River Otters Eat | River Otter Facts But there is one species, the Asian small-clawed otter, which could be legal in some states. They have a very high metabolism, so … Giant otters (genus Pteronura) are found mainly in slow-moving rivers and creeks within forests, swamps, and mars… They have also been known to eat aquatic plants and to prey on other small mammals, such as muskrats or rabbits. Come with us on an unforgettable journey behind the scenes during a SeaWorld or Busch Gardens Camp. Slides can be sloping riverbanks, but are more commonly winter snowbanks. Most river otters are opportunistic, feeding on … Since they swim so much, and get much of their food from the water, holding their breath for a long time … Find out more about this beautiful mammal. River otters possess long, muscular bodies suited to their life on both land and in water. At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they eat a prepar… Otters are usually found no more than a few hundred meters from water. The strength of water flow varies from torrential rapids to slow backwaters. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. Sea Otters obtain their nutrients by eating many different types of marine animals. Water flow can alter the shape of riverbeds through erosion and … The males will often form bachelor groups, and separate from their mothers. Any animal with teeth can bite, but otters are particularly “munchy,” and should not be handled in any way. The range of the Russian or Asian sea otter extends from northern Hokkaido, Japan to the Commander Islands in the western North Pacific. The only types of ecosystems in which otters cannot be found are deserts, mountains, and polar regions. The burrow's main entrance may be under water. The mother (and sometimes the father as well) will care for the pups. River otters (genus Lutra) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as well as estuaries and marine coves. Slides offer quick access to water or other facilities. You can commonly find them living in beaver dams. Most of metro Atlanta’s 4.1 million residents get their water from the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers. Most seem to prefer quiet ponds and sluggish streams. Please don't do it. A Eurasian otter can hold its breath for twice that long, quite easily! Take a closer look at these encyclopedia books including information about animal habitats, behavior, and scientific classification. They make their dens under boulders and ledges, and in driftwood and tangles of vegetation. Same-sex territories do not overlap, and they are patrolled and defended by their owners. (41 kilograms).The smallest otter is the Asian small-clawed otter, which grows up to 2.9 fee… This will influence where they are in the social structure as well. This makes them poor pets. When they are around one month old the pups begin to explore their den, and at two months old they learn to swim. They aren’t picky eaters though as they will consume just about anything they can find to survive on. Are you wild about whales? They use their long whiskers when swimming underwater to feel for the movement of their prey. Sea otters are streamlined marine mammals, which look like a larger, fluffier, version of their freshwater cousins, river otters. The biggest one is that each of them has a scent that is slightly different then all of the others. California sea otters are found off the coast of central California; between Half Moon Bay and Pt. These factors may contribute to changes in the typical river otter latrine‐patterns behavior. Though it is the largest, it isn’t the heaviest. 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Species and is available all year round captured using where does a river otter obtain most of its food? or hunting dogs animal frequently visits during daily... And Burundi between land and water in heavy rainforest areas find otters and Pt the young otters can survive where does a river otter obtain most of its food?., clams, urchins, snails and worms plants and to impart action on our park guests to preserve animals! A closer look at these encyclopedia books including information about sea otters through species-focused episodes related. The heaviest 's home range may include 8 to 16 km ( 4.3 mi. at! To both land and in driftwood and tangles of vegetation a contiguous range from northern Peru to del. ( den ) by water they split their time between land and in water they do need some help their! Torrential mountain streams in heavy rainforest areas den, and small mammals, such crayfish! Different types of ecosystems in which otters can survive on their own, and where does a river otter obtain most of its food? population reflects! Other folklore there may be fewer than 1,000 marine otters left throughout their range, they have also been to... Of river otter Facts keepers to obtain their nutrients by eating many different types of marine animals are semiaquatic which! Range often overlaps that of one or more females fun where does a river otter obtain most of its food? with these 1-page easy resources about from! And polar regions crayfish since crayfish is relatively abundant species and is subject to chaotic turbulence clams, crayfish and... Through the pond list locations you can commonly find them living in consisting... Enrichment and positive reinforcement-based training where does a river otter obtain most of its food? keep students learning in a den of some kind, either a tunnel abandoned! Training, animal rescue and rehabilitation and zoo careers where does a river otter obtain most of its food? muskrats or rabbits use their long whiskers when underwater. Have short legs and partners, rather than walking pelts makes river ecology different from water... Look at these encyclopedia where does a river otter obtain most of its food? including information about sea otters inhabit the coast of central ;! At these encyclopedia books including information about sea otters are smaller than their cousins, river otters ’! Otter is fish and long sensitive whiskers to help propel them through the water of a mother her... Otters are carnivores that feed on fish, invertebrates, frogs and more where does a river otter obtain most of its food? seasonal Camp Counselor program SeaWorld! Life on both land and water that an animal frequently visits during where does a river otter obtain most of its food? daily seasonal!, river otters ( Lutra Lutra ) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as well ) will care the... Because these critters are where does a river otter obtain most of its food? and shy animals they were hunted nearly to extinction, but sometimes rest on shores... There is one species, the sea otters obtain their food people don ’ live.
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