Many otters prefer living in lakes and ponds and areas where humans live because there they may get a constant supply of food. The Otter is a mammal so it hibernates. Otters eat a variety of small aquatic organisms such as fish, clams, muskrats, and turtles. North American river otters are semiaquatic mammals that do not hibernate when winter comes around. The River Otter's Adaptation to the Environment. Empower Her. North American river otters do not generally handle prey of a large size relative to themselves but there are occasions where they've been observed ambushing and killing adult common snapping turtles while the large turtles (which are roughly equal in average body weight to … But our local species is on the rebound. Otters have been known to show characteristics of human behavior, such as holding hands. North American river otters, also called Canadian otters, have long, muscular, streamlined bodies with short legs and fully webbed feet bearing non-retractable claws. Yet unlike some of its cousins, the otter does not hiberate. (Also, cute photos, of course). River Animals and Harsh Winter Conditions, Alice’s Garden: Solutions for Clean Water in Milwaukee, Year of the River: The Elwha and White Salmon. Answer for question: Your name: Answers. Unlike bears, they do not hibernate in winter; rather they may sleep for several consecutive days. River otter dens are along the water in abandoned burrows or empty hollows. As the name suggests, the giant otter is the world's largest otter species and is well-known from wildlife documentaries. Find out more about this beautiful mammal. Many otters prefer living in lakes and ponds and areas where humans live because there they may get a constant supply of food. They store branches of trees underwater, sticking the chewed bases into the mud next to their lodges, (check out a photo here). Food. The otter is lithe and slender with short legs, a strong neck, and a long flat tail that helps propel it gracefully through water. Otter Dens. Excellent and lithe swimmers, the young are in the water by 10 weeks of age. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. The playfulness of otters is mostly … 100% Upvoted. Photo by Andrea Westmoreland Otters are semi-aquatic animals that do not hibernate. 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. Otters can transmit rabies to humans and pets. The India smooth-coated otter, giant otter, hairy-nosed otter and southern river otter have been listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. The elusive otter is one of our top predators, feeding mainly on fish (particularly eels and salmonids), waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans. Otters are nocturnal creatures, but they become diurnal in winter, becoming active during the day and sleeping at night. 1101 14th Street NW, Suite 1400 Washington, DC 20005 | Phone: ©2019 American Rivers, All Rights Reserved. What Is the Difference Between Otters & Beavers. In warmer times, you may also see otters sliding down a riverbank. Currently, otters have one the most valuable pelts of all of our furbearing species. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. Otters around the world have faced centuries of decline due to hunting, trapping, and habitat loss. During the summer, the swans inhabit shallow ponds, lakes, and rivers in northern Canada. Food. It makes its lodges in lakes, streams, and rivers, and those are typically made of sticks, twigs, rocks, and mud. Choose the right trap There are several traps available in … 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. 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. River otters feed mostly on fish but will also eat frogs, crabs, crayfish, and small mammals such as young muskrats. To survive the cold weather, otters must eat up … Activity is greatest at night, but where wolverines are relatively common, sighting a wolverine during daylight hours might be expected. Their sensory perception combined with retractable claws and quick reflexes, make otters master hunters in shallow waters. Shape The World. 430. After a few bumps, they can slide up to 22 feet on the ice. Though river otters are not strictly nocturnal, they are generally more active at night, particularly in the spring, summer, and fall. What is the 5,000 Miles of Wild Campaign? Otters are a conservation success story and winter offers a better chance of seeing these sleek swimmers. According to Defenders of Wildlife, otters have the densest fur in the animal kingdom. Most are dark brown in color, with lighter patches on their throats and chests. The cubs will remain with the parents through the first winter, but separate the next spring. They uses their long whiskers to detect prey underwater. Due to having large lungs and being able to slow down their heartbeat, otters can … Otters eat a variety of small aquatic organisms such as fish, clams, muskrats, and turtles. North American river otters are semiaquatic mammals that do not hibernate when winter comes around. The brown trout is a medium-sized fish that lives in lakes, rivers, and streams, and it thrives in cold weather. Otters survive the winter by changing their behavior and taking advantage of their incredible fur. They breathe on the surface of open water, in their dens or from air pockets lodged against the underside of the ice. These otters are vocal, having basic calls of greeting, alarm and mating, and up to 12 further calls. Do you know how else river otters differ from their sea otter cousins? River otters use openings in the ice, and will sometimes even break through beaver dams, to gain access to rivers and other waters. 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. 0 comments. They seem to do this for fun, but it is also a way to conserve energy as they are moving through their territory. Otters are part of the Mustelidae family, which is a family of carnivorous mammals that includes skunks, weasels, wolverines and badgers. It is a European branch of the weasel or Mustelidae family. River otters belong to the weasel family. 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. Mountain Meadow Restoration in California, Pharmaceuticals & Personal Care Products in Our Water, Integrated Water Management Resource Center. They are thought to be highly intelligent, as they often use rocks to open their hard-shelled prey. Be the first to share what you think! recent questions recent answers. Like most wildlife, otters may be hostile when confronted. The dens have entrances underwater so they can be easily accessed from the water. An adult weighs 12 to 20 pounds, which includes a 12- to 20-inch tail. Choose the right trap There are several traps available in the market, used to trap otters. They will, however, eat crabs, birds, crayfish, frogs and even lizards. So you do not need to be surprised to find an otter or two inspecting your lawn or your garden one fine day. Otters are very playful: Don’t be surprised when you see otters happily sliding. The river otter has a long, streamlined body with dense brown fur. no comments yet. Yet unlike some of its cousins, the otter does not hiberate. Unlike bears, they do not hibernate in winter; rather they may sleep for several consecutive days. It has a thick waterproof coat that allows it to stay warm during the winter. 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. save. Otters can be found on five of the seven continents: North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. All mammals hibernate. River otters are smaller than their cousins, the sea otters. They seem to do this for fun, but it is also a way to conserve energy as they are moving through their territory. Kay Curtis began writing professionally in 1988. Are Otters Dangerous to Humans? Two species are marine; the others live mostly in fresh water. Its throat and belly are golden or silvery brown. The embryos do not begin development until about eight months later, and 50 days after that, the young are born. 1/3. The adorable sea otter makes it through the winter without the fatty layer of blubber that protects most marine mammals. Predators Cute, savvy and intelligent -- what's not to love about otters? Otters have the densest fur of any animal—as many as a million hairs per square inch in places. Otters also have particularly stinky poop, which even has its own name: spraints. Looking to get through winter. 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. This allows them to easily access food even in the harshest of weather. Bobcats, alligators, coyotes, raptors, and other large predators will sometimes prey on North American river otters. 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. Giant otters are the largest of any otter in the world growing up to 1.8m. Which of the following is a cardholder responcibility in the governmentwide commercial purchase card program; These otters depend on rivers for sustenance, and one-third of their winter diet is comprised of crayfish. Otters have their cubs in underground burrows, known as 'holts'. Do you know of any other wildlife that have interesting winter habits? 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. The embryos do not begin development until about eight months later, and 50 days after that, the young are born. 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. Their homes are called "holts" and are similar to burrows. Their thick fur is both water-repellent and an effective insulator against temperature extremes. While the region experienced some temperatures in the … The playfulness of otters is mostly … Do otters migrate or hibernate? It makes its home in a burrow near the water's edge, and can thrive in river, lake, swamp, or estuary ecosystems. The pests can grow up to 4 feet long and weigh up to 30 pounds. best. As a member of the Mustelidae family, it's kin to weasels, badgers, ferrets and mink. In warmer weather, otters spend time in sociable pursuits. The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family, yet the smallest marine mammal in North America. Do otters hibernate? Free e-mail watchdog. Though some fish become sluggish, brown trout face relatively few changes. If you are trying to spot otters while out on a hike around the Potomac, your best chance is at sunrise or sunset. However, not many animals truly hibernate, and bears are among those that do not. Their facial whiskers help them catch prey by sending vibrations as they float in the water. 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