430. North American River Otters are large compared to most other semi-aquatic mammals, and adults can be as long as 5 feet and weigh more than 30 pounds. In order to survive the harsh northern winters, bears need to eat 90 pounds of salmon—or 25 fish—per day, so grizzlies, despite being solitary creatures, will often congregate around streams, lakes, rivers, and ponds during spawning season. Otter Dens. (Also, cute photos, of course). They can dive up to 250 feet and remain in water for up to four minutes. What Kind of Animal Eats Erect-crested Penguins? 0 comments. Kay Curtis began writing professionally in 1988. Thank Senators Udall and Heinrich for introducing Gila Wild and Scenic River Legislation. It makes its lodges in lakes, streams, and rivers, and those are typically made of sticks, twigs, rocks, and mud. An adult weighs 12 to 20 pounds, which includes a 12- to 20-inch tail. Otters have some interesting relatives. PART OF WILD SKY MEDIA | FAMILY & PARENTING, International Union for Conservation of Nature. The North American beaver is a large, semi-aquatic rodent. best. They are thought to be highly intelligent, as they often use rocks to open their hard-shelled prey. All mammals hibernate. As fashions change, so do the demand and harvest effort for otters. Otters are carnivores and primarily eat fish. While the region experienced some temperatures in the … Especially if you have a fish pond in your garden, it is going to attract a lot of attention from the otters. The embryos do not begin development until about eight months later, and 50 days after that, the young are born. The cubs will remain with the parents through the first winter, but separate the next spring. Do you know of any other wildlife that have interesting winter habits? They are primarily nocturnal, but become more diurnal in winter, meaning they are active during the day and sleep at night. According to Defenders of Wildlife, otters have the densest fur in the animal kingdom. As we celebrate the last part of the winter season, we wanted to take a look at how different wildlife found in and around our rivers adapt to the unique season. North American river otters are semiaquatic mammals that do not hibernate when winter comes around. Be Her Village. However, not many animals truly hibernate, and bears are among those that do not. A primary food source for the bears is fish, and they spend a lot of time hunting salmon, trout, and bass. Otters eat a variety of small aquatic organisms such as fish, clams, muskrats, and turtles. Because food is hard to find in the winter months, especially when the water is frozen over and hinders their travel, beavers stock up in the fall before the cold hits. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do otters migrate or hibernate? Specializing in advertising, her work has been published in several trade magazines including "CompUSA Direct," "Dance Teacher Now" and "Travel." Otters are generally three to four feet in length and weigh between 10 and 30 pounds, depending on the species. 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. When winter comes, they migrate south into the United States and northern Mexico, living in grasslands and marshlands in the Northwest/Pacific, Northern Rockies, California, Southwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions. Otters are semi-aquatic animals that do not hibernate. Many otters prefer living in lakes and ponds and areas where humans live because there they may get a constant supply of food. Any burrow or den taken over by these animals is called a holt. This tail serves to propel the otters through water. Its throat and belly are golden or silvery brown. The otter is lithe and slender with short legs, a strong neck, and a long flat tail that helps propel it gracefully through water. There are 13 different species of otters, the most well-known being the North American river otter and the sea otter. During the winter, ice builds up and blocks light from penetrating into the water, food becomes less abundant, and the water holds less oxygen. River otters feed mostly on fish but will also eat frogs, crabs, crayfish, and small mammals such as young muskrats. The playfulness of otters is mostly … Otters are very playful: Don’t be surprised when you see otters happily sliding. Though some fish become sluggish, brown trout face relatively few changes. They preen or comb each other's fur, frolic in the water, teach the young cubs to swim, toss bits of food to each other, dive to retrieve food in the water, and slide down stream banks. Tweet. They breathe on the surface of open water, in their dens or from air pockets lodged against the underside of the ice. So you do not need to be surprised to find an otter or two inspecting your lawn or your garden one fine day. The pests can grow up to 4 feet long and weigh up to 30 pounds. save. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. They seem to do this for fun, but it is also a way to conserve energy as they are moving through their territory. River otters possess long, muscular bodies suited to their life on both land and in water. Other Shelters. Currently, otters have one the most valuable pelts of all of our furbearing species. An adult weighs 12 to 20 pounds, which includes a 12- to 20-inch tail. Their facial whiskers help them catch prey by sending vibrations as they float in the water. They have also been known to eat aquatic plants and to prey on other small mammals, such as muskrats or rabbits.They have a very high metabolism, so they need to eat frequently. recent questions recent answers. North American river otters are semiaquatic mammals that do not hibernate when winter comes around. North American river otters, also called Canadian otters, have long, muscular, streamlined bodies with short legs and fully webbed feet bearing non-retractable claws. Otters do not hibernate in the winter and are active year-round. Through public education and awareness, most species of otters should remain safe from extinction. Hibernation is a voluntary state an animal enters to conserve energy, when food is scarce, and minimize exposure to the winter elements. Free e-mail watchdog. In the winter, otters have found the easiest and perhaps most fun way to get around is by sliding. These otters are vocal, having basic calls of greeting, alarm and mating, and up to 12 further calls. Besides hunters, otters' food sources are often compromised by fishermen depleting their supply. Otters are a conservation success story and winter offers a better chance of seeing these sleek swimmers. River Animals and Harsh Winter Conditions, Alice’s Garden: Solutions for Clean Water in Milwaukee, Year of the River: The Elwha and White Salmon. It has a long tail that is thick at the base, tapers toward the tip and grows to 12 to 19 inches in length. Feeding. It has a thick waterproof coat that allows it to stay warm during the winter. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). As a member of the Mustelidae family, it's kin to weasels, badgers, ferrets and mink. In contrast to their very s… The otter may even try to fish for food in your ornamental fish pond. Otters have their cubs in underground burrows, known as 'holts'. It is the otter species with the widest distribution, being spread widely across Europe. Aquatic plants, mollusks, and arthropods help comprise the Tundra Swan’s diet, showing how much they rely on rivers, and with many migratory birds staying in the northern U.S., it is clear that they remain comfortable in cold winter weather. Their fur is thick a… In warmer times, you may also see otters sliding down a riverbank. Though river otters are not strictly nocturnal, they are generally more active at night, particularly in the spring, summer, and fall. Choose the right trap There are several traps available in the market, used to trap otters. But our local species is on the rebound. These have hidden, underwater entrances for protection from predators, which makes them attractive to otters. report. Predators Otters are nocturnal and spend their days sunbathing, becoming active at night. Otters are nocturnal creatures, but they become diurnal in winter, becoming active during the day and sleeping at night. Bears enter a lighter state of sleep called torpor. 1/3. It makes its home in a burrow near the water's edge, and can thrive in river, lake, swamp, or estuary ecosystems. Otters survive the winter by changing their behavior and taking advantage of their incredible fur. The River Otter's Adaptation to the Environment. Their body shape aids in helping them make sudden turns to catch fish and other prey. The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family, yet the smallest marine mammal in North America. no comments yet. Otter populations in most Southeastern states support a regulated harvest. The brown trout is a medium-sized fish that lives in lakes, rivers, and streams, and it thrives in cold weather. More on River Otters by Cindy Ross (see the article in the March/April 2014 issue) A member of the mustelid family, the river otter is closely related to the mink and weasel. Which of the following is a cardholder responcibility in the governmentwide commercial purchase card program; share. Looking to get through winter. The river otter has a long, streamlined body with dense brown fur. Otters around the world have faced centuries of decline due to hunting, trapping, and habitat loss. How Does a Platypus's Fur Help Underwater? hide. Grizzly bears live in northern North America, including Alaska, Washington, and Montana in the United States. River otters grow 26 to 40 inches in length, not including the tail, and weigh up to 18 pounds; males are approximately 17 percent large… They prefer living near wetlands or woods for protection and safety from predators. Choose the right trap There are several traps available in … However, their habits change slightly when winter comes. Show your support for protecting portions of the Gila and San Francisco rivers as Wild and Scenic. They will even slide … Unlike bears, they do not hibernate in winter; rather they may sleep for several consecutive days. Otters have been known to show characteristics of human behavior, such as holding hands. The playfulness of otters is mostly … Grizzlies hibernate during the winter months, and in order to sustain themselves during this time, they need to eat a lot in the fall. nsfw. Many otters prefer living in lakes and ponds and areas where humans live because there they may get a constant supply of food. Their sensory perception combined with retractable claws and quick reflexes, make otters master hunters in shallow waters. If lakes or rivers freeze, they swim under the ice to find food. They will, however, eat crabs, birds, crayfish, frogs and even lizards. If you are trying to spot otters while out on a hike around the Potomac, your best chance is at sunrise or sunset. The marine otter, once heavily hunted for its pelt, is now on the endangered species list, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They uses their long whiskers to detect prey underwater. River otters eat a variety of aquatic wildlife, such as fish, crayfish, crabs, frogs, birds’ eggs, birds and reptiles such as turtles. Empower Her. They seem to do this for fun, but it is also a way to conserve energy as they are moving through their territory. River otters belong to the weasel family. Do otters hibernate? Be the first to share what you think! Answer for question: Your name: Answers. Yet unlike some of its cousins, the otter does not hiberate. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. What’s your favorite animal during the winter? The elusive otter is one of our top predators, feeding mainly on fish (particularly eels and salmonids), waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans. Do you know how else river otters differ from their sea otter cousins? The Tundra Swan is a large, white waterfowl with a dark beak and dark legs that lives in North America. The otter is one of the most beloved semi-aquatic mammals with its playful gestures and cute appearance. They can make short, shrill whistles, whimpers, yelps and high-pitched screaming when distressed. Log in or sign up to leave a comment Log In Sign Up. What Is the Difference Between Otters & Beavers. Otters also have particularly stinky poop, which even has its own name: spraints. If an otter feels threatened, its heavy, muscular body and sharp claws are enough to overpower pets and small children. Otters can have up to one million hairs per square inch.There are two layers of fur—an undercoat and then longer hairs that we can see. 2. Excellent and lithe swimmers, the young are in the water by 10 weeks of age. The European otter, a semi-aquatic species, lives along coasts and in a wide variety of freshwater habitats. 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 North American River Otter, as its commonly known, likes water and the habitat surrounding water. Answer this question. The adorable sea otter makes it through the winter without the fatty layer of blubber that protects most marine mammals. They even appear to enjoy the icy season by frolicking and remaining active. Sort by. River otters do not construct their own dens but instead rely on logjams, beaver lodges, the bank dens of beaver and muskrat, and natural features, such as cavities in tree roots, undercut banks, and fallen timber, for their den sites. The Otter is a mammal so it hibernates. Join more than 180,000 amazing people who stay up to date on news and ways they can help protect our rivers. More on River Otters by Cindy Ross (see the article in the March/April 2014 issue) A member of the mustelid family, the river otter is closely related to the mink and weasel. 1101 14th Street NW, Suite 1400 Washington, DC 20005 | Phone: ©2019 American Rivers, All Rights Reserved. Otters survive the winter by changing their behavior and taking advantage of their incredible fur. During the summer, the swans inhabit shallow ponds, lakes, and rivers in northern Canada. Otters can be found on five of the seven continents: North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The marine otter is really a freshwater otter that has learned to occupy marine environments in South America. Scientists purport that otters have been on Earth for more than 30 million years. Otters do not hibernate in the winter and are active year-round. Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. River otters use openings in the ice, and will sometimes even break through beaver dams, to gain access to rivers and other waters. Discover their quirks, unique habits, and when and where you might be able to spot one in the wild! Just so you know, they hibernate to the South where it is warmer. Photo by Andrea Westmoreland Giant otters are the largest of any otter in the world growing up to 1.8m. Wolverines do not hibernate, but may be inactive during inclement weather. As the name suggests, the giant otter is the world's largest otter species and is well-known from wildlife documentaries. Otters eat a variety of small aquatic organisms such as fish, clams, muskrats, and turtles. Most are dark brown in color, with lighter patches on their throats and chests. According to Defenders of Wildlife, otters have the densest fur in the animal kingdom. In warmer weather, otters spend time in sociable pursuits. Its feet are webbed. Otter, any of 13–14 species of semiaquatic mammals that belong to the weasel family and are noted for their playfulness. To survive the cold weather, otters must eat up … In winter, they spend much time in the water, which is often warmer than the air. They are very large mammals, weighing between 290 and 790 pounds. Unlike bears, they do not hibernate in winter; rather they may sleep for several consecutive days. Their homes are called "holts" and are similar to burrows. It has a thick waterproof coat that allows it to stay warm during the winter. They are primarily nocturnal, but become more diurnal in winter, meaning they are active during the day and sleep at night. 100% Upvoted. This allows them to easily access food even in the harshest of weather. Despite this, brown trout, as well as lake trout and whitefish, have adapted to allow themselves to remain active throughout the winter months. How Fast Can an Elephant Seal Move on Land? Bobcats, alligators, coyotes, raptors, and other large predators will sometimes prey on North American river otters. Food. Otters are part of the Mustelidae family, which is a family of carnivorous mammals that includes skunks, weasels, wolverines and badgers. Do otters migrate or hibernate? It has a wide, rounded head with small ears and long, white whiskers. Their toes are webbed, they have short legs and they boast a tapered tail ranging up to 15 inches long. Diet. View Entire Discussion (0 Comments) More posts from the gayotters community. Find out more about this beautiful mammal. Shape The World. It is a European branch of the weasel or Mustelidae family. Price often has little to do with supply but rather is generally dictated by fashion. Activity is greatest at night, but where wolverines are relatively common, sighting a wolverine during daylight hours might be expected. They can also slide across the ice to get where they need to go. Otters are slender, streamlined, and flexible, which serves them well for a life in underground tunnels, and waters often congested with floating debris and aquatic plants. Curtis has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Texas A&M University. River otters are smaller than their cousins, the sea otters. Beavers do not hibernate, so to stay warm in the winter, they add mud to the outside of their lodges so it will freeze and help insulate their homes. Cute, savvy and intelligent -- what's not to love about otters? Are Otters Dangerous to Humans? Due to having large lungs and being able to slow down their heartbeat, otters can … The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. Like most wildlife, otters may be hostile when confronted. Otters have the densest fur of any animal—as many as a million hairs per square inch in places. Lower temperatures and higher oxygen levels actually make the waters more comfortable for them, allowing them to venture into habitats that are out of their range in the summer. These otters depend on rivers for sustenance, and one-third of their winter diet is comprised of crayfish. Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel water. The embryos do not begin development until about eight months later, and 50 days after that, the young are born. All otters live close to exceptionally cold fresh water or salt water. It’s one of the things … Food. They preen or comb each other's fur, frolic in the water, teach the young cubs to swim, toss bits of food to each other, dive to retrieve food in the water, and slide down stream banks. This small (3–6 kg [6.6–13.2 pounds]) otter occurs on the Pacific coast from Peru through Chile and Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. Although otters do not build them, they will sometimes use abandoned dams. River otter dens are along the water in abandoned burrows or empty hollows. They store branches of trees underwater, sticking the chewed bases into the mud next to their lodges, (check out a photo here). It is mostly solitary, and only rarely do … After a few bumps, they can slide up to 22 feet on the ice. The dens have entrances underwater so they can be easily accessed from the water. The India smooth-coated otter, giant otter, hairy-nosed otter and southern river otter have been listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. Otters eat 15 to 25 percent of their body weight each day and can spend up to five hours fishing for food. As a member of the Mustelidae family, it's kin to weasels, badgers, ferrets and mink. You’ll see that these amazing animals each take on the cold temperatures, harsh weather, and limited food supplies in their own special way. Grizzly bears will generally wait until a snowstorm before entering their dens for the winter, so as to prevent predators from finding them, and they wake in the spring after sleeping for up to 7 months. Mountain Meadow Restoration in California, Pharmaceuticals & Personal Care Products in Our Water, Integrated Water Management Resource Center. What is the 5,000 Miles of Wild Campaign? Yet unlike some of its cousins, the otter does not hiberate. In warmer weather, otters spend time in sociable pursuits. Her news articles and columns have appeared in "The Battalion," "The Lakeshore Times" and "The Beacon." Otters do not store food for winter, nor do they hibernate. Otters can transmit rabies to humans and pets. © 2021 WILD SKY MEDIA. The cubs will remain with the parents through the first winter, but separate the next spring. 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