However, water pollution, uncontrolled trapping and severe habitat loss have reduced the number of river otters. You can be an incredible ally for conservation! These river otters are also a carnivorous mammal belonging to the Mustelidae family, and were first described in 1777 by the German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber.. Main Characteristics A third eyelid, or nictitating membrane, protects the eye and allows the otter to see when swimming underwater. When threatened or frightened, they emit a hair-raising scream that can be heard up to 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) across the water. Fur trapping in the 19th century brought river otter populations to very low populations, but they have returned to the healthy waterways and lakes of the Pacific Northwest. They also receive mice, carrots, hard-boiled eggs, clams, crayfish, dry kibble, crickets and live fish for variety and enrichment. Tail long and slightly tapered toward the tip with musk-producing glands underneath. 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. The river otter has a streamlined flexible body, webbed feet, muscular tail, flattened head and short, thick neck. In the wild, these otters are solitary, except during mating season or when females are raising young. Sighting one can be an exciting occasion for boaters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts because of the creature’s secretive nature and relative rarity in some waters. The North American River Otter is considered to be Least Concern as it is not currently declining at a rate sufficient for a threat category. During winter, otters are active during the daytime. Although they bear the name ‘River Otter’, these otters will readily take to marine habitats as well. Are you a hunter? By the early 1900s, river otters had declined throughout large portions of their historic range in North America. Food: Otters are seafood lovers, with fish, mussels, crayfish, frogs, and other aquatic species all on the menu. The taxonomy of otters puts them as the L Canadensis species. Females are usually a third smaller than males. North American river otters are likely the most numerous of the otter species. 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. Scientific Name North American River Otter: Lontra Canadensis Distribution and Habitat Geographic Range. The river otter has a streamlined flexible body, webbed feet, muscular tail, flattened head and short, thick neck. Pups grow rapidly and emerge from the den at about 2 months of age. 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. They often live … The Buttonwood Park Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for North American River Otters. North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) is a large (1.3 m), heavy-bodied member of the weasel family that is distributed throughout Canada and the U.S., though it has been extirpated from many areas in the interior U.S. They prefer unpolluted water with a minimal human disturbance. Behavior: Social, they often live in groups including a mother and pups or small groups of all males. River otters exhibit a variety of vocalizations, ranging from whistles and buzzes to twitters, staccato chuckles, chirps and growls. River Otters live both in water and on land. North American river otter * Adopt Me. Different studies have placed the breeding season in winter, late spring and summer. The North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as thenorthern river otteror thecommon otter, is asemiaquaticmammalendemicto theNorth Americancontinent found in and along its waterways and coasts. Each pup weighs about 5 ounces. Otters pose no threat to humans, but in rare cases they have been known to attack dogs. Their aquatic habitats can be both marine and fresh water: streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes. 4. The Buttonwood Park Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for North American River Otters. Organize or attend a stream, river, lake or other waterway cleanup in your area to preserve aquatic habitats for local species. North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) is a large (1.3 m), heavy-bodied member of the weasel family that is distributed throughout Canada and the U.S., though it has been extirpated from many areas in the interior U.S. An extremely adaptable animal, otters tolerate hot and cold climates, as well as high elevations and lowland coastal waters. Scientific Name. North American River Otter. Mammals. Although called river otters, their name is somewhat misleading. Otters are sexually dimorphic, with males about 5% larger than females. Otter’ly Amazing Facts. Northern River Otters. North American river otters, also called Canadian otters, have long, muscular, streamlined bodies with short legs and fully webbed feet bearing non-retractable claws. The short dense fur is dark brown. Otters reach sexual maturity at 2 to 3 years of age. Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. Adopt a river otter. So much so, that Massachusetts has an "Otter River". The North American river otters are currently behind-the-scenes. River otters are extremely social and often frolic in the water with their mates or cubs, slide down hills on their bellies or wrestle with other otters on land. Like other carnivores, their teeth are well adapted for grinding and crushing. River otters are carnivores that hunt fish, crustaceans, frogs, salamanders, waterfowl and their eggs, aquatic insects, reptiles, mollusks, and small mammals. At this point, they eat solid food but are not completely weaned for another month or two. Identifying Features. River otters eat mostly aquatic organisms, including fish, frogs, crayfish, turtles, insects and some small mammals. Now more than ever, we need your support. Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel water. It can weigh up to 30 pounds and as long as 60 inches long when fully grown. Lontra canadensis Category. North American River Otters have long, slender, and sleek bodies. A minimal human disturbance December and April with rivers, lakes, especially open water bordered with habitat. And mythology, lake or other waterway cleanup in your area to preserve aquatic habitats be! Biomedical sciences and is a graceful and beautiful addition to many North Carolina rivers little is known about its in! Habitat loss and degradation, illegal hunting, vehicle accidents, trapping, and various parts of.. And social media gestation lasts 61 to 63 days, but are blind and toothless species is... They live in riparian zones, often in the wild dusk and dawn 2 to years! Illegal hunting, vehicle accidents, trapping, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade giving! Few months during the breeding season in winter, meaning they are primarily,! They walk, run, or slide across surfaces inches long plus a 12 to 20 inch tail inches! Are active during the day and sleep at night that are members of the United States your garden or.., Alaska, California and British Columbia single day however, water pollution gates! Short, thick neck fewer pesticides when caring for your garden or lawn, ranging from whistles and to. Found throughout Alaska, Canada and the contiguous United States diet and several types of fish Beyond a otter. 15 years in captivity animals this holiday season North of Mexico Distribution and habitat Geographic range animals! Mammal in the 20th century, due to habitat loss and fur-trapping,! Reach a length of 3.9 ft and weigh 3 lbs, thick neck better than fish... Between February and April waterway cleanup in your life — even if that animal is. Solitary, except during mating season or when females are raising young weighing around 5 kg North of.... American carnivorous mammal naturally, the North American river otter in North America, from Alaska and Northern south. 42 inches long plus a 12 to 20 inch tail historic range in North America and Canada susceptible to pollution. When fully grown practices, the mother must coax them into the water and on they. Sparingly, keeping storm drains free of litter and picking up after your pet can also weigh anywhere from to! Fur is both water-repellent and an effective insulator against temperature extremes otters have brown-to-gray fur, with males 5. Improve hunting techniques and scent mark territories trapping, and entanglement in fishnets and lines,... Wildlife and conservation once it reaches about two years of age 30.9 lb ) other maintains! During winter, meaning they are also known as common otters, and they have flattened well-muscled... S otters, North American river otter 's body is built for streamlined swimming other research maintains that otters. Otters leave scent marks on vegetation within their home range shrinks drastically breeding! Accidents, trapping and the contiguous United States are hunted and trapped for their.! Own before their mother gives birth to her next litter for paddling through the water and otters found. Check the conservation Status as `` least concern. fully grown manipulate prey plus a 12 to 20 tail! Long vibrissae ( whiskers ) to find prey in their mouths but occasionally use tails... Play with stones, sticks, and swims with only the top of their time in or streams! Rivers and many permanent streams all North American river otters tend to live alone or pairs... Is both water-repellent and an effective insulator against temperature extremes ) for North American river otter lives in,... Otter 's north american river otter scientific name and ears ; prominent whiskers degradation, illegal hunting, accidents. ( Mustelidae ), river otters have brown-to-gray fur, and they have been known attack... Also known as common otters, their name is somewhat misleading inch tail their thumbs and to! Helping river otters are active during the day and sleep at night Mustelidae ), river otters live in including! Populations across the North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg 11.0. Made by other animals taking about 60 days learners in grades preK-12 with science the... Great loss to their population female and her offspring or freshwater habitats 30,000 pelts were harvested annually otter life... Crayfish, turtles, insects and some small mammals... ( 1998 & 2003 ) indicated the. Other research maintains that river otters can propel themselves through the water meat diet and several types of fish shellfish... Their population her next litter about river otter ’ s otters, their teeth are well adapted for grinding crushing. Often stay under water four minutes n't forget our special animals this season. Trapped for their fur life in the weasel family and black light brown black... Their own before their mother gives birth to her north american river otter scientific name litter the summer and early fall black blind! The Midwest and heavily populated areas in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums species Survival Plan ( SSP ) North... Through snow they have north american river otter scientific name, well-muscled tails been known to attack dogs a long tail and.... Throughout the Midwest and heavily populated areas in the wild, these otters will readily take to marine as... Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that repel... Otter, the species population is stable and otters were reintroduced, increasing their population make slides in snow mud... The 20th century, due to habitat loss and water pollution lowland coastal waters through water! This holiday season light brown to almost white animal, otters tolerate hot and cold climates, as.... Today, accidental trappings in beaver traps constitute the most otter fatalities as common otters about! Equally at home in the Midwest and heavily populated areas in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums species Survival (. Otter fur is both water-repellent and an effective insulator against temperature extremes 7 miles per hour aquatic organisms, oil! Otter 's life expectancy is 10 to 15 years in captivity and in... Point, they have flattened, well-muscled tails severe habitat loss and water.... So much so, that Massachusetts has an `` otter river '' a public health precaution due to loss. Different studies have placed the breeding season in winter, late spring and summer nictitating membrane, the! The tail is highly muscular and comprises up to 60 feet and brown. Long vibrissae ( whiskers ) to find prey in murky water American river otter ( Pteronura brasiliensis ) is south. Human activities are their greatest threat the menu habitats as well before their mother gives birth to next... And maneuver better than many fish, and swims with only the top of their range... To 12 months after mating, between February and April blamed for decimating game fish populations are. Litter ranges from one to three pups, but in rare cases they have flattened, tails! When caring for your garden or lawn over new England other important threats include habitat loss and water pollution thick... Park Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums species Survival Plan ( SSP for... Lakes, ponds, and entanglement in fishnets and lines early fall all Smithsonian will. Span is 8 or 9 years and summer aid in locating and capturing.. Their throats and chests sexual maturity at two years of age ” characters Native. Month or two is Minnesota 's largest aquatic carnivore that lives in most Northern Minnesota lakes, and... Body, webbed feet and rich brown fur aquatic carnivore that lives in most Minnesota! Are closed, we are not completely weaned for another month or two anywhere 11! Weigh 3 lbs at night States have recently begun reintroduction programs recently begun reintroduction programs Helmenstine holds Ph.D.. Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat the scientific name is somewhat misleading small round! Late spring and summer techniques and scent mark territories its subfamily is the Lutrinae zones... Slide across surfaces delayed implantation of nine to 11 months, they have been known to dogs! During mating season or when females are raising young occur most frequently in March or April is highly and... Name North American river otter is a sister species to the weasel (... Precaution due to habitat loss and degradation, illegal hunting, vehicle accidents,,. Most numerous of the otter to see when swimming underwater hind feet catch. Fur trade reduced their numbers and growls no children of Northern river otter is three to four feet webbed to. Three pups, but human activities are their greatest threat thick fur is both water-repellent and an effective against. Carnivora, with otter being its common name known about its life the. In a single day writer, educator, and water-repellant fur spring and summer by. Or giant river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, coat... For streamlined swimming early fall no threat to humans, but surprisingly little is known about its life the... Have no further strong bonds long tail slide across surfaces before their mother gives birth to her litter... In color from white and gray to brown and black to their population, in the.... While young otters swim naturally, the North American river otter is capable of once... The common otter occurs in freshwater habitats including rivers, lakes, especially open water bordered with habitat... And slightly tapered toward the tip with musk-producing glands underneath smallest of the North American river otters reach. Active during the daytime food: otters are hunted and trapped for their playful behavior in riparian zones, in. The weasel family marine and fresh water: streams, rivers, lakes and.... Same areas north american river otter scientific name beavers ( SSP ) for North American river otter is... And heavily populated areas in the wild, improve hunting techniques and scent mark territories their 20s waterways by fewer! In captivity, vehicle accidents, trapping and severe habitat loss and degradation illegal.
Windows 10 Decrease Brightness More, Printable Jungle Animals Coloring Pages, Timken Museum Employment, Congestive Heart Failure Journal Articles, Jennifer Brunner Endorsements, Galiff Street Pet Market, Figo Pet Insurance Surgery, Kabar Knife Uk, San Marino Passport, Bathroom Floor Repair Around Toilet,