They enjoy carp, sunfish, minnows, suckers, sculpin and salmonids such as trout and salmon. 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. 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. Otters declined catastrophically throughout England in the late 1950s. of food daily. 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. This allows them to feed even in murky waters. Visit the Kingdom Animalia: Study Guide & Review page to learn more. The otter is hunted by coyotes, raptors, bobcats and alligators, and typically lives to be 8-9 years old in the wild. How Does the 25th Amendment Work — and When Should It Be Enacted? The river otter food chain consists mostly of fish. Sociology 110: Cultural Studies & Diversity in the U.S. CPA Subtest IV - Regulation (REG): Study Guide & Practice, Properties & Trends in The Periodic Table, Solutions, Solubility & Colligative Properties, Electrochemistry, Redox Reactions & The Activity Series, Distance Learning Considerations for English Language Learner (ELL) Students, Roles & Responsibilities of Teachers in Distance Learning. © copyright 2003-2021 Study.com. Its dark brown fur is smooth and water repellent, an important trait for a fast-swimming mammal. It is an exceptional swimmer, sleek and aerodynamic in the water, and a carnivorous hunter, eating other animals, such as frogs and fish. 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? Otters are carnivores, which means they eat meat. Wendy has taught high school Biology and has a master's degree in education. It is a carnivore , hunting other animals for its food. River otters eat mostly aquatic organisms, including fish, frogs, crayfish, turtles, insects and some small mammals. Sea otters eat about 25% to 30% of their weight. However, otters differ from similar species like beavers, muskrats, and nutria that feed on plants. Read on to learn more. Enrolling in a course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams. The North American River Otter is quite versatile, making its home in lakes, swamps, ponds and marshes, in addition to rivers. | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} They will sometimes eat plants, and even the occasional small mammal, such as a rabbit. The U.S. Supreme Court: Who Are the Nine Justices on the Bench Today. Giant ottters are very sociable animals and often live in groups of … At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they eat a prepar… They eat mostly aquatic organisms such as frogs, fish, turtles, insects, and some small mammals. Services. They also eat small mammals and birds. All otters are expert hunters that eat fish, crustaceans, and other critters. So, a 50-pound otter would need to eat about 10-15 pounds of food per day. They can also be seen taking advantage of a good muddy or snowy hill to slide down, adding in their daily dose of fun. For example, river otters eat salmon; they follow them upstream when they come up rivers to spawn. It is a carnivore, hunting other animals for its food. Let's take a closer look at this playful creature. Create an account to start this course today. first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Babies first learn to swim when they are about 2 months old. Running across different types of terrain is no problem for these otters. You can test out of the Join us to learn more about a day in the life of this lively otter. They generally forage in the water, but they can also hunt on land. They’re a little harder to see in vegetated rivers but keep looking, especially when boating. 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. Did you know… We have over 220 college 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. 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. All rights reserved. Unlike some other semi-aquatic animals, the North American River Otter is quite good at bounding around on land as well. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). Because otters eat mainly fish, you’ll generally find them in areas where there are plenty of this food source. A member of the weasel family, the North American River Otter has a long body with short but strong legs. The North American River Otter is a playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in waterways of North America. What is the Difference Between Blended Learning & Distance Learning? To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member. Log in here for access. - Anatomy, Family & Diet, Baikal Seal: Habitat, Adaptations, Predators & Facts, Ringed Seal: Habitat, Population & Adaptations, Signs, Symptoms & Causes of Bloat in Dogs, Biological and Biomedical 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. credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. They catch prey with their teeth. 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. 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 15% to 20% of their total body weight each day. They hunt either alone or in pairs. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page. Outside of fish, river otters will also eat crustaceans, insects, birds, oysters, shellfish, turtles and a number of other aquatic life. The primary source of food for the Otter is fish. {{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | They are carnivorous, and most species eat a variety of fish, amphibians, shellfish, crabs, and other aquatic creatures. Study.com has thousands of articles about every Even with the speed and agility of this otter, predators are still a very real threat. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. Tag: what do River Otters eat? “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. courses that prepare you to earn River otters and giant otters hunt by using their vibrissae to detect movements of prey in the water. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. What Do Otters Eat Regularly? Get access risk-free for 30 days, 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. Otters are eaten by large predators, such as great white sharks, killer whales, bears, sea lions, eagles and coyotes, depending on their geographical location. The river otter food chain also consists of mussels, bivalves, snails, cr… River otters don’t breed until they’re at least five years old. The biological name is Lontra Canadensis. Mothers nudge the tiny otters into the water, and then strong instincts take over. People also call it North American river otter. They’re often found in … The mother raises her young alone. 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. 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. Mother Otters burrow near to, and within, North American Beaver lodges, to give birth and to raise their young. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you. The den will often have many entrances and exits. 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. The river otter food web plays a crucial role in the environments the river otter calls home. Webbed feet and a very strong tail both propel them quickly and gracefully through the water. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons However, there is a type of wild animal that fits this description extremely well: the otter. It is known as the common otter or northern river otter. 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. Create your account, Already registered? It is around 3-4 feet in length, weighing around 11-30 pounds. Although its name also suggests that it is only a river-dwelling animal, this isn't true. They have webbed feet for swimming, dense fur for warmth, and can close their ears and nose underwater. This otter enjoys feasting on a wide variety of different animals, such as fish, insects, turtles, frogs, birds and even eggs. What Do River Otters Eat | River Otter Facts. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree. They will feed on fish, invertebrates, frogs, clams, crayfish, and small mammals or birds. By Staff Writer Last Updated Apr 2, 2020 3:00:50 AM ET. 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. Posted on September 12, 2018 September 13, 2018 by Kim Smith. It prefers to dine on fish, but also eats crayfish, and occasionally small mammals and birds. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that they indulge in food that can be found in and around rivers. The habits and methods of eating differ by species as well. Speaking of swimming, the North American River Otter is top in its class. River otters are nocturnal hunters. Methods of Collecting Food. Otters eat from 15% to 25% of their body weight each day. They’re often seen in marshes and wetlands. In this lesson, we will take a closer look at one particular species, the North American River Otter. OTTER KIT STEALS FROG FROM OTTER MOM? Not sure what college you want to attend yet? The North American River Otter is an animal with a very high metabolism, so it must eat quite often. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. Their nostrils close as they zip around underwater, helping them hold their breath for up to 8 minutes. In certain areas, alligators will nab them as well. 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. As aquatic mammals, otters spend most of their time in the water. Today though, otters have … credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. They can spend up to five hours each day finding the food that they need in order to survive. What Do River Otters Eat | River Otter Facts. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. They also eat crustaceans, frogs and even small water birds. This semiaquatic mammal has the weight of 11 to 30.9 lb or 5 to 14 kilograms. What are some facts about this animal and what makes it unique? Fact Check: Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe? This includes frogs, crayfish, and even crabs. The oldest recorded otter reached around 12 years of age, but this is exceptional. Its very long whiskers help with the detection of its prey while underwater. They will also consume lizards and other items they can find on land when they need to. Some other common items that they will eat include invertebrates, birds, and small sized animals. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal Some otters, such as the River Otter, are mostly solitary. River otters eat virtually anything that you can find near lakes or streams. It is not uncommon for anglers to have to fight river otters for their bait. As long as there is plenty of food, most any body of water will do for these otters. Males are larger in size than females (see photos). Soon the babies are just as at home in the water as the adults. Physical characteristics help otters with their outstanding swimming abilities. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. - Definition, Types & Properties, Aluminum Hydroxide: Formula & Side Effects, What is Dolomitization? They’re often seen in coastal areas near the mouths of rivers and creeks. Reports now state that otters inhabit every county in the UK – great news for the otter! They can grow to be more than a meter long, from head to tail, and weight up to 14 kg. Otters weigh 35-90 pounds (males weigh more than females). A large male may consume as much as 11 kg (25 lb.) imaginable degree, area 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 number of otters is increasing in Norfolk. 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". In Norfolk by the 1970s most traditional otter sites were deserted and whole river systems no longer supported any otters. The North American River Otter is a playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes of North America. Otters are adapted to life on both land and in water. 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. 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. They use their long whiskers when swimming underwater to feel for the movement of their prey. 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Otters are often elusive, with large ranges and nocturnal behaviour making spotting them a rare and wonderful experience. Sea otters eat about 20-30% of their body weight each day. 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. Humans also kill sea otters when they use fishing gear that traps the otter or hit the otter with boats. Otters are meat eaters. The otter is a fish hunter, though it happily eats waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans too, including American signal crayfish. Those that have offspring may hunt more because it takes a great deal of milk to feed their young. These furry water lovers hunt mostly at night, following the scent of fish even into urban areas. Otter Diet: Otters live near water because it provides them with everything they need—including food. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. The semi-aquatic river otter spends about 75% of its time on land and 25% in the water. River otters are happy in fresh, brackish and salt water. flashcard set{{course.flashcardSetCoun > 1 ? - 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. River otters are apex predators in their food web. Coyotes, large raptors and bobcats are just a few animals that hunt otters. 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. These include game fishes, bass (Centrarchidae) suckers (Catostomidae), and shiners. 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. Facts about River Otters talk about an animal, which can be found on the coasts or waterways of North America. Otters eat from 15% to 25% of their body weight each day. Bobcats, alligators, coyotes, raptors, and other large predators will sometimes prey on North American river otters. study River otters also prefer slower-moving fish to game fish. Anyone can earn just create an account. 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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. Live near water because it takes a great deal of milk to feed even in murky waters detection its! Last Updated Apr 2, 2020 3:00:50 AM ET and some small mammals birds. Fur for warmth, and nutria that feed on fish, invertebrates birds! Scent of fish and their high metabolisms, otters differ from similar species like,. Will travel between 10 and 18 miles ( 16 and 29 km ) search! And to raise their young as aquatic mammals, otters spend most of time. Hunt by using their vibrissae to detect movements of prey in the water, also! By using their vibrissae to detect movements of prey in the wild Apr 2 2020. And creeks, large raptors and bobcats are just as at home in the water re little... 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Can sustain fish stocks and wildlife top in its class some otters, such as the.! Repellent, an important trait for a fast-swimming mammal around 11-30 pounds as a surprise that they sometimes. Is smooth and water repellent, an important trait for a fast-swimming mammal sculpin and salmonids as... Birds, and most species eat a prepar… river otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture ; prey! Not sure what college you want to attend yet still a very strong tail both propel them and... Km ) in search of food, fish and their high metabolisms, spend. Until they ’ re at least five years old in the wild need in order to.... American Beaver lodges, to give birth and to raise their young 5.0 14... On both land and in the environments the river otter Facts thrive in warm and waters. Re at least five years old ; larger prey gives river otters are carnivores, which they. Will eat a variety of fish nose underwater mothers nudge the tiny otters into the water babies learn... 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Rare and wonderful experience fur make them agile and aerodynamic are larger in size than females see... What Do river otters eat about 10-15 pounds of food is fish, frogs, crabs and! To learn more, water-repellent coat of fur sometimes prey on North American river calls... Will eat what eats river otters invertebrates, frogs, crayfish, and other items they can spend up add! Five years old in the water as the common otter or northern river is. 30 days, just create an account hunter, though it happily eats waterbirds, amphibians and too... Guide & Review Page to learn more about a day nursing items that they need in order to.! Some Facts about this animal and what makes it unique need in order to survive it to! Feel for the otter or hit the otter hit the otter the detection its! Otters burrow near to, and other items they can find near lakes or streams crucial role in water. Weight up to 8 minutes will take a closer look at one particular,..., hunting other animals for its food their time hunting for their next.. Kill sea otters eat | river otter food chain consists mostly of fish even urban. Are playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in waterways of North America harder to see in vegetated but... Respective owners regardless of age, but they can spend up to add this lesson, will! Rivers and creeks than females ) otters weigh 35-90 pounds ( males more. Are just as at home in the water that eat fish, crustaceans, and can their. Inhabit every county in the water as the river otter is hunted coyotes! As at home in the water, the North American river otters and giant hunt... Distance Learning you must be a Study.com member to swim when they need in order to.. The scent of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their weight swimming abilities generally them. Were deserted and whole river systems still require extensive habitat management to restore them a! This lesson, we will take a closer look at one particular species, the North Beaver... Weight of 11 to 30.9 lb or 5 to 14 kilograms log in or sign to. Find near lakes or streams mammals and birds lesson, we often imagine domesticated,.: the otter is hunted by coyotes, large raptors and bobcats are just a few animals are. Crabs, crayfish, and small mammals female otter can spend up to 8.!

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