what eats river otters

The river otter food web plays a crucial role in the environments the river otter calls home. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. The oldest recorded otter reached around 12 years of age, but this is exceptional. River otters are happy in fresh, brackish and salt water. What Do Otters Eat Regularly? 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The river otter food chain also consists of mussels, bivalves, snails, cr… They can grow to be more than a meter long, from head to tail, and weight up to 14 kg. It is around 3-4 feet in length, weighing around 11-30 pounds. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page. They can also be seen taking advantage of a good muddy or snowy hill to slide down, adding in their daily dose of fun. Otters eat from 15% to 25% of their body weight each day. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. Facts about River Otters talk about an animal, which can be found on the coasts or waterways of North America. Get the unbiased info you need to find the right school. Wendy has taught high school Biology and has a master's degree in education. A member of the weasel family, the North American River Otter has a long body with short but strong legs. Even with the speed and agility of this otter, predators are still a very real threat. It prefers to dine on fish, but also eats crayfish, and occasionally small mammals and birds. Tag: what do River Otters eat? The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. Otters are adapted to life on both land and in water. The semi-aquatic river otter spends about 75% of its time on land and 25% in the water. Unlike some other semi-aquatic animals, the North American River Otter is quite good at bounding around on land as well. first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Fact Check: Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe? Because otters eat mainly fish, you’ll generally find them in areas where there are plenty of this food source. River otters don’t breed until they’re at least five years old. – but our river systems still require extensive habitat management to restore them to a healthy level that can sustain fish stocks and wildlife. 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. The otter is a fish hunter, though it happily eats waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans too, including American signal crayfish. Join us to learn more about a day in the life of this lively otter. Let's take a closer look at this playful creature. What is the Difference Between Blended Learning & Distance Learning? They’re a little harder to see in vegetated rivers but keep looking, especially when boating. You can test out of the 's' : ''}}. This semiaquatic mammal has the weight of 11 to 30.9 lb or 5 to 14 kilograms. 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. They also eat crustaceans, frogs and even small water birds. Webbed feet and a very strong tail both propel them quickly and gracefully through the water. Amazing behaviors. What Do River Otters Eat | River Otter Facts. How Does the 25th Amendment Work — and When Should It Be Enacted? With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. 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. What are some facts about this animal and what makes it unique? However, otters differ from similar species like beavers, muskrats, and nutria that feed on plants. Otters declined catastrophically throughout England in the late 1950s. Read on to learn more. They’re often seen in marshes and wetlands. River otters eat virtually anything that you can find near lakes or streams. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. study Outside of fish, river otters will also eat crustaceans, insects, birds, oysters, shellfish, turtles and a number of other aquatic life. The North American River Otter is a playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in waterways of North America. imaginable degree, area of 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 are often elusive, with large ranges and nocturnal behaviour making spotting them a rare and wonderful experience. What Do River Otters Eat | River Otter Facts. OTTER KIT STEALS FROG FROM OTTER MOM? Its very long whiskers help with the detection of its prey while underwater. © copyright 2003-2021 Study.com. When we think of animals that are playful, we often imagine domesticated pets, such as cats and dogs. However, there is a type of wild animal that fits this description extremely well: the otter. River otters eat 15% to 20% of their total body weight each day. Running across different types of terrain is no problem for these otters. Visit the Kingdom Animalia: Study Guide & Review page to learn more. The mother raises her young alone. They eat mostly aquatic organisms such as frogs, fish, turtles, insects, and some small mammals. Coyotes, large raptors and bobcats are just a few animals that hunt otters. They generally forage in the water, but they can also hunt on land. The river otter food chain consists mostly of fish. For example, river otters eat salmon; they follow them upstream when they come up rivers to spawn. Log in here for access. It can thrive in warm and cool waters, even in colder high-elevation bodies of water. The North American River Otter is an animal with a very high metabolism, so it must eat quite often. A large male may consume as much as 11 kg (25 lb.) They hunt either alone or in pairs. of food daily. Create your account, Already registered? It is known as the common otter or northern river otter. 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 this lesson, we will take a closer look at one particular species, the North American River Otter. 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? In certain areas, alligators will nab them as well. They will also consume lizards and other items they can find on land when they need to. 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. Otters weigh 35-90 pounds (males weigh more than females). At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they eat a prepar… {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons flashcard set{{course.flashcardSetCoun > 1 ? Its dark brown fur is smooth and water repellent, an important trait for a fast-swimming mammal. What do Otters Eat? The North American River Otter is quite versatile, making its home in lakes, swamps, ponds and marshes, in addition to rivers. Soon the babies are just as at home in the water as the adults. Their nostrils close as they zip around underwater, helping them hold their breath for up to 8 minutes. 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. credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. 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. Although its name also suggests that it is only a river-dwelling animal, this isn't true. 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. 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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. {{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you. It is a carnivore, hunting other animals for its food. Often seen frolicking on both land and in the water, the otter seems to make having fun an important part of life. The den will often have many entrances and exits. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. 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. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. Mothers nudge the tiny otters into the water, and then strong instincts take over. All rights reserved. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal 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. As aquatic mammals, otters spend most of their time in the water. The habits and methods of eating differ by species as well. They enjoy carp, sunfish, minnows, suckers, sculpin and salmonids such as trout and salmon. They can spend up to five hours each day finding the food that they need in order to survive. Anyone can earn Those that have offspring may hunt more because it takes a great deal of milk to feed their young. River otters also prefer slower-moving fish to game fish. Humans also kill sea otters when they use fishing gear that traps the otter or hit the otter with boats. It is an exceptional swimmer, sleek and aerodynamic in the water, and a carnivorous hunter, eating other animals, such as frogs and fish. River otters eat mostly frogs, crabs, crayfish, fish and mollusks. “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. 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. River otters and giant otters hunt by using their vibrissae to detect movements of prey in the water. In Norfolk by the 1970s most traditional otter sites were deserted and whole river systems no longer supported any otters. The primary source of food for the Otter is fish. By Staff Writer Last Updated Apr 2, 2020 3:00:50 AM ET. Mother Otters burrow near to, and within, North American Beaver lodges, to give birth and to raise their young. Posted on September 12, 2018 September 13, 2018 by Kim Smith. Enrolling in a course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams. Otter Diet: Otters live near water because it provides them with everything they need—including food. Get access risk-free for 30 days, Sea otters eat about 20-30% of their body weight each day. The North American River Otter is a playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes of North America. Some other common items that they will eat include invertebrates, birds, and small sized animals. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. 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 biological name is Lontra Canadensis. As long as there is plenty of food, most any body of water will do for these otters. So, a 50-pound otter would need to eat about 10-15 pounds of food per day. The otter is hunted by coyotes, raptors, bobcats and alligators, and typically lives to be 8-9 years old in the wild. They have webbed feet for swimming, dense fur for warmth, and can close their ears and nose underwater. Today though, otters have … Physical characteristics help otters with their outstanding swimming abilities.

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