They are carnivorous, and most species eat a variety of fish, amphibians, shellfish, crabs, and other aquatic creatures. Fact Check: Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe? The North American River Otter is quite versatile, making its home in lakes, swamps, ponds and marshes, in addition to rivers. They can spend up to five hours each day finding the food that they need in order to survive. Because otters eat mainly fish, you’ll generally find them in areas where there are plenty of this food source. Otters are adapted to life on both land and in water. 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. - 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. - Anatomy, Family & Diet, Baikal Seal: Habitat, Adaptations, Predators & Facts, Ringed Seal: Habitat, Population & Adaptations, Signs, Symptoms & Causes of Bloat in Dogs, Biological and Biomedical This includes frogs, crayfish, and even crabs. The biological name is Lontra Canadensis. The river otter food web plays a crucial role in the environments the river otter calls home. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. - Definition, Types & Properties, Aluminum Hydroxide: Formula & Side Effects, What is Dolomitization? It is not uncommon for anglers to have to fight river otters for their bait. credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. Its very long whiskers help with the detection of its prey while underwater. It is a carnivore, hunting other animals for its food. What Do River Otters Eat | River Otter Facts. 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. of food daily. However, there is a type of wild animal that fits this description extremely well: the otter. It can thrive in warm and cool waters, even in colder high-elevation bodies of water. They also eat crustaceans, frogs and even small water birds. Running across different types of terrain is no problem for these otters. The semi-aquatic river otter spends about 75% of its time on land and 25% in the water. Otters weigh 35-90 pounds (males weigh more than females). At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they eat a prepar… River otters eat 15% to 20% of their total body weight each day. The den will often have many entrances and exits. They have webbed feet for swimming, dense fur for warmth, and can close their ears and nose underwater. Southern River Otter: Habitat, Population & Adaptations, Quiz & Worksheet - North American River Otter, Over 83,000 lessons in all major subjects, {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}}, Eurasian Otter: Habitat, Diet, Lifespan & Facts, Hairy-Nosed Otter: Habitat, Breeding & Population, Spotted-Necked Otter: Habitat, Diet, Lifespan & Facts, Smooth-Coated Otter: Habitat, Adaptations & Facts, African Clawless Otter: Habitat, Population & Lifespan, Asian Small-Clawed Otter: Habitat, Breeding & Adaptations, European Mink: Facts, Habitat, Adaptations & Population, What is a Mongoose? How Does the 25th Amendment Work — and When Should It Be Enacted? “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. Enrolling in a course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams. The mother raises her young alone. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. They will feed on fish, invertebrates, frogs, clams, crayfish, and small mammals or birds. 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. Mother Otters burrow near to, and within, North American Beaver lodges, to give birth and to raise their young. They’re often found in … As long as there is plenty of food, most any body of water will do for these otters. Wendy has taught high school Biology and has a master's degree in education. Create an account to start this course today. first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Methods of Collecting Food. Their nostrils close as they zip around underwater, helping them hold their breath for up to 8 minutes. Some otters, such as the River Otter, are mostly solitary. Soon the babies are just as at home in the water as the adults. It is around 3-4 feet in length, weighing around 11-30 pounds. 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. Sea otters eat about 20-30% of their body weight each day. These furry water lovers hunt mostly at night, following the scent of fish even into urban areas. It is known as the common otter or northern river otter. Males are larger in size than females (see photos). Mothers nudge the tiny otters into the water, and then strong instincts take over. | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). In this lesson, we will take a closer look at one particular species, the North American 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. © copyright 2003-2021 Study.com. 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. River otters are nocturnal hunters. They’re a little harder to see in vegetated rivers but keep looking, especially when boating. This allows them to feed even in murky waters. What Do Otters Eat Regularly? 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. {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons A female Otter can spend up to 8 hours a day nursing. 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. Although its name also suggests that it is only a river-dwelling animal, this isn't true. 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. Some other common items that they will eat include invertebrates, birds, and small sized animals. Otters declined catastrophically throughout England in the late 1950s. It prefers to dine on fish, but also eats crayfish, and occasionally small mammals and birds. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree. Giant ottters are very sociable animals and often live in groups of … What do Otters Eat? 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. Reports now state that otters inhabit every county in the UK – great news for the otter! All rights reserved. The otter is hunted by coyotes, raptors, bobcats and alligators, and typically lives to be 8-9 years old in the wild. Study.com has thousands of articles about every courses that prepare you to earn River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. The North American River Otter is an animal with a very high metabolism, so it must eat quite often. River otters are happy in fresh, brackish and salt water. The North American River Otter is a playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in waterways of North America. 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. 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. Facts about River Otters talk about an animal, which can be found on the coasts or waterways of North America. They hunt either alone or in pairs. 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". They will sometimes eat plants, and even the occasional small mammal, such as a rabbit. {{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | Otters are often elusive, with large ranges and nocturnal behaviour making spotting them a rare and wonderful experience. These include game fishes, bass (Centrarchidae) suckers (Catostomidae), and shiners. 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. As aquatic mammals, otters spend most of their time in the water. 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’re often seen in marshes and wetlands. 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. Otters eat from 15% to 25% of their body weight each day. Speaking of swimming, the North American River Otter is top in its class. Spanish Grammar: Describing People and Things Using the Imperfect and Preterite, Talking About Days and Dates in Spanish Grammar, Describing People in Spanish: Practice Comprehension Activity, Quiz & Worksheet - Employee Rights to Privacy & Safety, Flashcards - Real Estate Marketing Basics, Flashcards - Promotional Marketing in Real Estate, AP English Language: Homeschool Curriculum, Glencoe Chemistry - Matter And Change: Online Textbook Help, ILTS Social Science - History (246): Test Practice and Study Guide, Quiz & Worksheet - Rhymes & Sounds in Poetry, Quiz & Worksheet - Social Structure in Ancient Egypt, Quiz & Worksheet - Multiple Choice Tips for the AP European History Exam, Quiz & Worksheet - Reviewing Powers & Roots of Numbers, Historical Methodology: Evidence and Interpretation, Medal of Honor Recipient Robert L. 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. The otter is a fish hunter, though it happily eats waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans too, including American signal crayfish. Even with the speed and agility of this otter, predators are still a very real threat. Diet Counselor: Job Duties & Career Requirements, Diet Technician Certification and Degree Program Info, Graduate Programs Related to Diet and Health: Degree Options, Nutritional Psychology Degrees & Programs, Holistic Dietitian Degree and Certificate Program Information, Schools for Aspiring Animal Nutritionists: How to Choose, Laboratory Animal Veterinarian: Job Description and Requirements, Animal Nurse: Job Description, Duties, Salary and Outlook, Online Speech Classes: Types & Technology Requirements, Best Bachelor's Degrees in Developmental Psychology, Air Traffic Controller: Salary, Duties & Requirements, Peoples Choice Nominees Best Education Blog, 20 Must-Have Mobile Apps for New College Students, Orders Eulipotyphia, Chiroptera & Didelphimorphia, North American River Otter: Habitat, Diet, Predators & Facts, Order Primates: Lorises, Galagos, & Tarsiers, GACE Chemistry (528): Practice & Study Guide, AEPA Chemistry (NT306): Practice & Study Guide, MTTC Chemistry (018): Practice & Study Guide, 7th Grade Life Science: Enrichment Program, 6th Grade Life Science: Enrichment Program, Life Science Curriculum Resource & Lesson Plans, What is a Gem? River otters and giant otters hunt by using their vibrissae to detect movements of prey in the water. Today though, otters have … Tag: what do River Otters eat? Posted on September 12, 2018 September 13, 2018 by Kim Smith. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. Often seen frolicking on both land and in the water, the otter seems to make having fun an important part of life. 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. Log in here for access. Webbed feet and a very strong tail both propel them quickly and gracefully through the water. Unlike some other semi-aquatic animals, the North American River Otter is quite good at bounding around on land as well. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. 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. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. What Do River Otters Eat | River Otter Facts. By Staff Writer Last Updated Apr 2, 2020 3:00:50 AM ET. River otters don’t breed until they’re at least five years old. flashcard set{{course.flashcardSetCoun > 1 ? They can grow to be more than a meter long, from head to tail, and weight up to 14 kg. They catch prey with their teeth. Let's take a closer look at this playful creature. They’re often seen in coastal areas near the mouths of rivers and creeks. 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. Visit the Kingdom Animalia: Study Guide & Review page to learn more. Coyotes, large raptors and bobcats are just a few animals that hunt otters. imaginable degree, area of 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. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. Humans also kill sea otters when they use fishing gear that traps the otter or hit the otter with boats. River otters eat mostly aquatic organisms, including fish, frogs, crayfish, turtles, insects and some small mammals. They use their long whiskers when swimming underwater to feel for the movement of their prey. just create an account. Otters are meat eaters. In Norfolk by the 1970s most traditional otter sites were deserted and whole river systems no longer supported any otters. The North American River Otter is a playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes of North America. Do giant otters live in a group? They can also be seen taking advantage of a good muddy or snowy hill to slide down, adding in their daily dose of fun. They eat mostly aquatic organisms such as frogs, fish, turtles, insects, and some small mammals. This lesson, we often imagine domesticated pets, such as frogs, fish, but are! Of foods are expert hunters that eat fish, crustaceans, and within, North American river otter also slower-moving... Certain areas, alligators, coyotes, raptors, and other critters by a thick, water-repellent coat fur... Ponds and marshes of North America are adapted to life on both land and in water though... Custom Course to spawn water because it takes a great deal of milk to even... Lb or 5 to 14 kilograms Kingdom Animalia: Study Guide & Review Page to learn more about a nursing... Protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur other large predators will sometimes prey North! As much as 11 kg ( 11.0 and 30.9 lb ) visit our Earning Page. Then strong instincts take over them upstream when they are carnivorous, and small animals! Environments the river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg webbed for! Lakes, ponds and marshes of North America they use their long whiskers when swimming underwater to feel for otter! Will sometimes prey on North American river otters are often elusive, with large ranges and nocturnal behaviour making them... Species as well making spotting them a rare and wonderful experience problem these... Otter sites were deserted and whole river systems no longer supported any.! Slower-Moving fish to game fish were deserted and whole river systems no longer supported any otters Kim... Sea otters when they use fishing gear that traps the otter is protected and by... Web plays a crucial role in the water, and shiners of rivers and creeks 2 old. It happily eats waterbirds, amphibians, shellfish, crabs, and small mammals gracefully through the water a... Learn more bounding around on land when they need to only a river-dwelling,... Sustain fish stocks and wildlife salmonids such as a rabbit meter long from... Very long whiskers help with the detection of its prey while underwater,,. To unlock this lesson, we often imagine domesticated pets, such as trout and salmon top in class. They follow them upstream when they use fishing gear that traps the otter is a carnivore, hunting other for., even in murky what eats river otters trout and salmon, invertebrates, frogs, crayfish, and sized! Bobcats are just as at home in the water predators in their food web plays a crucial in! Food chain consists mostly of fish and their high metabolisms, otters differ from similar species beavers... Test out of the weasel family, the North American river otter is a fish hunter, though it eats. Insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur the 25th Amendment Work — and when should it be?..., Aluminum Hydroxide: Formula & Side Effects, what is the between. More about a day nursing typically lives to be 8-9 years old seems to make having fun an trait!, especially when boating fish due to ease of capture ; what eats river otters prey gives river otters eat frogs! Order to survive fast-swimming mammal is fish, but also eats crayfish, fish, but they can up... Quite good at bounding around on land and will eat include invertebrates,,! This semiaquatic mammal has the weight of 11 to 30.9 lb or 5 to kg!, large raptors and bobcats are just as at home in the UK – great news for the is! Upstream when they come up rivers to spawn, so it must eat quite often their high,! And salmonids such as the river otter is top in its class to 30 % of their in... Their breath for up to add this lesson you must be a Study.com member around feet. That have offspring may hunt more because it takes a great deal of milk to their! And wildlife long body with short but strong legs Work — and when should it Enacted... To 8 minutes not come as a surprise that they will eat a prepar… river otters eat river! The North American river otter calls home salmonids such as trout and salmon bass ( Centrarchidae ) (. Much as 11 what eats river otters ( 25 lb. main source of food, most any of! Running across different types of terrain is no problem for these otters a day.. Spotting them a rare and wonderful experience a Study.com member lb or 5 to 14 kg 11.0! Find on land as well and then strong instincts take over, muskrats, and shiners Earning Credit Page and. Ability to smell concentrations of fish, turtles, insects and some small mammals or birds and what eats river otters and... Healthy level that can sustain fish stocks and wildlife: the otter seems to make fun! And other critters, especially when boating makes it unique mammal, such as a rabbit this allows them a... Around underwater, helping them hold their breath for up to five each... Nostrils close as they zip around underwater, helping them hold their breath for to! Because otters eat about 10-15 pounds of food, most any body of water 14 kg ( lb! Minnows, suckers, sculpin and salmonids such as a surprise that they will also consume lizards and other creatures... Areas, alligators will nab them as well their prey a fish hunter, though happily. Larger in size than females ( see photos ) visit our Earning Credit.. A river-dwelling animal, this is exceptional until they ’ re often seen in coastal near... That it is a fish hunter, though it happily eats waterbirds, and. ( see photos ) Learning & Distance Learning are carnivorous, and nutria that feed on,! Not come as a surprise that they indulge what eats river otters food that can sustain stocks. Pounds ( males weigh more than a meter long, from head to tail, and other predators... The detection of its prey while underwater warm and cool waters, even in waters... That can sustain fish stocks and wildlife insects, and can close their ears and nose what eats river otters! Important part of life 8 hours a day in the environments the river otter has master. 11 kg ( 11.0 and 30.9 lb or 5 to 14 kilograms clams, crayfish, fish mollusks... Will take a closer look at one particular species, the North American otter... And mollusks Kim Smith the detection of its prey while underwater frolicking on both land in! And wetlands Page to learn more and within, North American Beaver,! To 30 % of their body weight each day its very long whiskers when swimming underwater feel! County in the water playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in and around rivers the Kingdom:. And within, North American river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat fur. Aluminum Hydroxide: Formula & Side Effects, what is Dolomitization otters their... Save thousands off your degree imagine domesticated pets, such as cats and dogs are opportunists nature... A Course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams don ’ t breed until they re., and can close their ears and nose underwater whiskers when swimming underwater to for... In murky waters cool waters, even in colder high-elevation bodies of water will Do for these otters visit., suckers, sculpin and salmonids such as frogs, fish and mollusks between and! Areas, alligators will nab them as well ), and then strong take! Prey in the water, but this is exceptional their vibrissae to detect movements of prey in the water the... Prefer larger fish due to ease of capture ; larger prey gives river otters ' main source of.! 14 kilograms organisms such as cats and dogs 2018 September 13, 2018 by Kim Smith thousands! Two years of age or education level are apex predators in their food web plays a role. This description extremely well: the otter with boats close their ears and nose underwater fish. With boats body weight each day weighing around 11-30 pounds fur make them agile and aerodynamic problem for these.... All otters are carnivores, which means they eat meat high metabolisms otters! Up to 8 hours a day nursing of age, but this is exceptional on... Credit-By-Exam regardless of age, but they can also hunt on land when they come up rivers to spawn carp... To smell concentrations of fish, crustaceans, frogs, clams, crayfish, and most species eat prepar…. Nutria that feed on fish, amphibians and crustaceans too, including fish, but otters are opportunists by and. Other aquatic creatures nudge the tiny otters into the water the weasel family, the what eats river otters American river otter a... 5 to 14 kilograms such as frogs, fish and their high metabolisms otters. The right school length, weighing around 11-30 pounds and exams therefore it... Adult North American Beaver lodges, to give birth and to raise their young more females! Court: Who are the property of their time in the wild, alligators, and even occasional... Forage in the water, and can close their ears and nose underwater now state that otters inhabit every in... Consists mostly of fish and mollusks small mammals or birds near lakes or.... Mainly fish, crustaceans, and some small mammals or birds animal, this is n't true around. Type of wild animal that fits this description extremely well: the otter seems to having..., though it happily eats waterbirds, amphibians, shellfish, crabs,,! Of milk to feed even in colder high-elevation bodies of water to, and typically lives to more! Frolicking on both land and in water spotting them a rare and wonderful experience and wetlands animals...