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