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River otters live in freshwater and coastal marine habitats such as rivers, marshes and lakes all over the United States. The River Otter's Adaptation to the Environment. North American river otters are one of the most populous otter species now, but were once considered extinct in some of their geographic ranges in the 1980’s due to fur trapping and polluted water. Their tiny ears close under water, and their thick fur helps keep them warm in cold water. They are very flexible and can make sharp, sudden turns that help them catch fish. River otters use their scent to mark their territorial boundaries. River otters (genus Lutra) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as well as estuaries and marine coves. Genus: Lutra Species: canadensis. The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is delighted to welcome a new otter into its fold. MANTEO, N.C. – The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island has welcomed a new otter. The otter closes its nostrils and small ears when submerged. The mammals have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. Like sea otters, river otters also display thickest furs that ensure a limited heat loss. They prefer unpolluted water with a minimal human disturbance. DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - One of the oldest residents of a northeast Iowa aquarium has died, according to officials. The river otters' fur and layer of fat underneath their fur assists in slowing heat loss while swimming. Anywhere, any time. North American river otters were hunted and trapped extensively for their fur in the 19th and 20th centuries, and are still hunted in some places. Otters have sharp claws on their feet to catch prey. River otters have waterproof, velvety coats that act as insulation. It is a member of weasel family. An otter is muscular, streamlined and solidly built. The playful North American river otter is well adapted for semi-aquatic living. The face is broad, and the eyes protrude slightly. River otters are frequently caught in beaver traps on accident. Males are generally larger than females. Their nostrils and ears will close completely when they submerge underwater to look for food. Swimming and Diving. The conservation status of the North American River Otter is classified as least concern. ... stream, waterfalls and cascades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive. North American River Otter Webcam. A layer of fat sits below the slick coat, providing the otters with added insulation. Williams is also a certified emergency medical technician. These features enable river otters to swim up to 9 miles per hour. Their underbody is usually lighter in colour. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at East Stroudsburg University in May 2013. The otters deposit their spraint evenly throughout an otter’s range. They prefer bog lakes with banked shores containing semi aquatic mammal burrows and lakes with Beaver lodges. It builds its habitat in the swamps, rivers, lakes, tidal flat and coastal shoreline; in the form of burrows. In the wild, river otters live up to eight or nine years. River otters breed in late winter or early spring. They can also weigh anywhere from 11 to 30 pounds. All of these adaptations combine to make river otters supreme swimmers in their native habitats. They have long bodies, and long whiskers that are used to detect prey in dark waters. Bobcats, alligators, coyotes, raptors, and other large predators will sometimes prey on North American river otters. The female litters one to six babies in thes underground burrows. North American river otters have long whiskers, which they use to detect prey in dark or cloudy water, and clawed feet for grasping onto slippery prey. The climate is cold, rainy, and snowy. However habitat destruction and water pollution still puts these animals at great risk, especially because they are so specialized. This animal’s lovely waterproof pelt, which allows it to regulate its temperature, in the 1700s-1800s, a regular part of French fur trade, has meant this animal has been hunted for hundreds of years. Momma, a North American river otter that was originally brought to the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in the fall of 2004, has died. The river otter is the largest member of the weasel family (Mustelidae). They have scent glands at the base of their tail, and they deposit their musky scent on their dung, which is called spraint. A long, strong tail helps propels the otter through the water. While diving, river otters can slow down their heart rate to sustain oxygen. Search, discover, and learn about wildlife. Otter fur is a rich, dark brown and is lighter on th… More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The Buttonwood Park Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for North American River Otters. They can live eight to nine years in the wild but have lived up to 21 years in captivity. The pelage is short and very dense, ranging from pale brown to black. River otters eat a variety of aquatic wildlife, such as fish, crayfish, crabs, frogs, birds’ eggs, birds and reptiles such as turtles. Its height at the shoulder is about 10 inches. In southern Chile the marine otter is found almost exclusively along exposed rocky seashores; farther north it may inhabit estuaries and fresh water. Now this male and female otter have become fast friends. Playful mothers. What Adaptations Help Jackrabbits Stay Cool in the Desert? River otters have waterproof, velvety coats that act as insulation. The best way to learn about the behavioral and physical adaptations that help this mammal survive is to watch an otter on land and in the water. River otters (Lutra canadensis, Fig. The river otter has a long and agile body with a muscular tail and large hind feet that propel them through the water. Playful Slider : The North American River Otter, Paperback by Esbensen, Barbara Juster; Brown, Mary Barrett (ILT), ISBN 0816677654, ISBN-13 9780816677658, Like New Used, Free shipping in the US Explores the world of the North American river otter, describing the … Long whiskers help them find fish, clams, insects and other aquatic animals. They can be between 2.5 to 5 feet long, although females are typically smaller than males. Housed in our Flooded Forest Habitat, these young and playful North American River Otters rarely stop moving. Adaptations Velvet Coat The otter’s thick velvety fur is the most durable North American fur. The Taiga is an area that is rocky, a bit icy, and has lots of pine trees. A North American river otter's home range can be as large as 30 square miles (78 square kilometers), but a typical territory is 3 to 15 square miles (4.8 to 24 square kilometers). It has a stocky body, short legs, webbed feet, and a long tail. 1) are best known for their continuous and playful behavior, their aesthetic value, and the value of their durable, high-quality fur. The goal of the SSP is to cooperatively manage animal populations within AZA accredited zoos to ensure the sustainability of a healthy and genetically diverse population while enhancing the conservation of this species in the wild. The tail makes up about a third of their total length. They can stay underwater for as many as eight minutes. A mature male otter weighs 10 to 25 pounds and is 30 to 40 inches in length, plus a 12- to 15-inch tail. About one-third of the animal's total length consists of a long, t… What Kind of Adaptions Does a Dolphin Have? Latin Name: Lontra canadensis Other Names: North American Otter, or Northern Otter. The North American river otter can be found in and along the waterways and coasts of much of the North American continent. Shape The World. Officials at the aquarium estimated her age at around 19 years old. River otters live up to 15 years in the wild and up to 25 years in captivity. Scent Communication. They are well adapted to swimming and hunting. They can thrive in any water habitat, such as ponds, marshes, lakes, rivers, and estuaries—in cold, warm, or even high-elevation areas—as long as the habitat provides adequate food. Attend a virtual roundtable to learn about the challenges Black people face when accessing and enjoying the outdoors, and learn about ways in which we can address barriers and challenges. It is around 3-4 feet in length, weighing around 11-30 pounds. On land a river otter can run at speeds of up to 15 miles (24 kilometers) an hour—they can slide even faster. An average adult male weighs about 11.3 kilograms (25 lb) against the female's average of 8.3 kilograms (18 lb). The North American river otter occurs in much of Canada and the United States, except for portions of the Southwest, and in Mexico in the Rio Grande and Colorado River delta areas. They feed primarily on fish and create their dens in natural hollows or burrows made by other animals. Their ability to travel quickly on land is essential for escaping predators, such as alligators and coyotes, who might consider an otter a tasty snack. In contrast to the European otter, the North American river otter has a longer neck and narrower face. Most species are entirely dependent on aquatic habitats for food. North American river otters are the only river otter that is found north of Mexico. One of the animals that can be found in the North American Taiga is the river otter. North American river otters can close their nostrils to keep water out during long dives. Females are about 25 percent smaller than males. River otters generally live alone or in small social groups. To function in a dual environment, river otters have evolved several important adaptations that help them to thrive. The species occurs broadly across much of North America and is considered reasonably secure overall. Adults generally give birth to between one and three pups, which are blind and helpless when born. They first learn to swim after about two months. They have a short thick undercoat … North American River Otter Mammals ... it dry and warm, is made up of two types of hair. Th… The new otter, Olive, is a female North American river otter … The North American River Otter is a stocky mammal with a long, fusiform body, short legs, muscular neck no smaller than the head, and a long tail that is thick at the base and tapers to a tip. River otters also have long whiskers that help them search for food and avoid obstacles while swimming underwater. To travel better in water, river otters developed adaptations such as four webbed feet and a propeller-like tail. They have a very high metabolism, so they need to eat frequently. PART OF WILD SKY MEDIA | FAMILY & PARENTING, SeaWorld: Otters - Adaptations for an Aquatic Environment, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department: River Otter, Children's Zoo at Celebration Square: North American River Otter, University of Michigan: North American River Otter. The mammals have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. A fast metabolic rate requires river otters to eat frequently during the day. They also scent mark using scent glands near the base of their tails that produce a strong, musky odor. Empower Her. They have long, streamlined bodies, short legs, and a robust, tapered tail, all of … Their webbed feet and tail will give them propulsion, and they can move their bodies to help them move through the water as well. River Otter. That home range shrinks drastically during breeding and rearing season. River otters are able to travel on land at speeds of up to 29 miles per hour, according to SeaWorld. The otter population has been reduced by water pollution, uncontrolled trapping, and severe habitat loss. River otters make use of dens created by other animals, including beavers, and always give birth to their young between February and April. When it nears time for an otter to give birth, she begins searching for a den. River otter dens are along the water in abandoned burrows or empty hollows. Their fur is dark brown over much of the body, and lighter brown on the belly and face. Giant otters (genus Pteronura) are found mainly in slow-moving rivers and creeks within forests, swamps, and marshes. they are eight to 12 months old or until a new litter arrives. The longer outer hairs, called guard hairs, are water repellent. Its fur ranges in color from white and gray to brown and black. Threats. She enjoys writing about health, medicine, education and home and garden topics. In 4 seconds, you will be redirected to nwfactionfund.org, the site of the National Wildlife Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization. 2 3 SUMMARY OF KEY COMPONENTS FOR CONSERVATION OF THE NORTH AMERICAN RIVER OTTER Status The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) occurs in streams, lakes and reservoirs, wetlands, and marine coasts. River otters communicate with whistles, yelps, growls, and screams, as well as touch and body posture. According to SeaWorld, diving river otters are able to hold their breath for up to 8 minutes before they need to resurface. This species is adapted for terrestrial and aquatic life. They have also been known to eat aquatic plants and to prey on other small mammals, such as muskrats or rabbits. River and waterway pollution and habitat destruction are major factors affecting the river otter population. Instead of digging their own dens, otters often rely on the dens of other animals. President and CEO Collin O’Mara reveals in a TEDx Talk why it is essential to connect our children and future generations with wildlife and the outdoors—and how doing so is good for our health, economy, and environment. They have brown, water-repellent fur, webbed feet and long tails. This is important because river otters lose heat quickly in water, so they must constantly burn energy to replace lost heat. Its body length ranges from 66 to 107 centimetres (26 to 42 in). Otters are usually found no more than a few hundred meters from water. The dens have entrances underwater so they can be easily accessed from the water. The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. What Adaptations Help Elephants Keep Cool? When river otters are not playing or swimming in water in search of food, they spend a lot of time on land grooming and resting. River otters can also close their ears and nostrils using valve-like flaps to keep water out while swimming and diving. Ditch the disposables and make the switch to sustainable products. On average, otters range from 36 to 50 inches long from their head to the tip of the tail. Amanda Williams has been writing since 2009 on various writing websites and blogging since 2003. The North American river otter is a stocky animal of 5 to 14 kilograms (11 to 31 lb), with short legs, a muscular neck (no smaller than the head) and an elongated body that is broadest at the hips. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. These semiaquatic mammals also developed fur on the bottoms of their feet, which provides them with warmth and better traction. Olive is a female North American river otter that came into the aquarium’s care from a wildlife rehabber in Scotland County who took her in following an injury. It uses its long vibrissae (whiskers) to find prey in murky water. These adorable animals are adapted to living in and near water. An otter's tail is long and tapered, thickest where it joins the body and furred its entire length. An extremely adaptable animal, otters tolerate hot and cold climates, as well as high elevations and lowland coastal waters. River otters are playful creatures found throughout aquatic habitats in North America. The River Otter's Adaptation to the Environment Physical Adaptations. Habitat and Range: Throughout Canada and northern United Stated down through the east coast to Florida. It has a long, slender body covered in brown, water proof fur. When traveling on land between waterways -- especially during the winter when water solidifies into ice -- river otters depend on their feet pads to provide traction when running or sliding. Be Her Village. A member of the weasel family, the North American River Otter has a long body with short but strong legs. l i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock.com By Tom … How Does a Platypus's Fur Help Underwater? Uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world, Inspire a lifelong connection with wildlife and wild places through our children's publications, products, and activities, National Wildlife Federation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. They were extirpated from portions of their range, but conservation and reintroduction efforts are helping populations to recover. The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island has welcomed a new otter into the fold. What Kind of Special Skills Does the Polar Bear Have? Historically, North American river otters were widely distributed throughout Alaska, Canada, and the contiguous United States. North American River Otter . River otters have a fast metabolic rate -- almost 50 percent faster than similar-sized land mammals, according to SeaWorld. Since they are semiaquatic mammals, river otters spend time both on land and in water. A river otter can grow three to four feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) long including its tail and weigh between 11 and 30 pounds (5 to 14 kilograms). The playful North American river otter is well adapted for semi-aquatic living. Once born, otter pups begin playing at 5-6 weeks old. As suited as the North American river otter is to its riparian habitat, these mammals were once considered a conservation concern. Both orphaned at a young age in different areas of Iowa, it was determined that neither of them were good candidates for release. Their back is dark brown while their belly is white. They have short legs, webbed feet for faster swimming, and a long, narrow body and flattened head for … 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. Their playful snow and mud sliding, tail chasing, water play, and snow burrowing activities also serve other purposes—they help strengthen social bonds and let young otters practice hunting techniques. They have short legs, webbed feet for faster swimming, and a long, narrow body and flattened head for streamlined movement in the water. © 2020 WILD SKY MEDIA. Ranges in color from white and gray to brown and black new otter into its fold or empty.! 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And severe habitat loss slide even faster the playful North American river otter dens are along waterways! And water pollution still puts these animals at great risk, especially because they are so specialized four feet. Otters, river otters also have long bodies, and screams, as well as and! Trapping, and a propeller-like tail species occurs broadly across much of the weasel family, North. Can live eight to nine years dark brown over much of the weasel family, the American. Water-Repellent fur, webbed feet, which are blind and helpless when born that propel them the! To replace lost heat they can be found in and along the waterways and coasts much.

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