North American River Otter

Lutra canadensis

Ranging over much of North America, the river otter survives anywhere with access to abundant prey and clean water. With a streamlined body, webbed feet, muscular tail, flexible body, and waterproof fur, otters are designed for swimming in search of fish, crayfish, and other aquatic creatures to eat.

More info

Otters den in a riverbank burrow, under a rock pile, in a thicket, or even in another animal’s home such as a beaver’s lodge. The river otter is famous for its playful antics – mud sliding, water sports and manipulating objects – which increases coordination and sharpens hunting skills.

  • An otter has 450,000 hairs per square inch.
  • While underwater, an otter’s ears and nostrils close up tight to keep out water.
  • An otter can dive as deep as 60 feet.
  • An otter can hold its breath underwater for eight minutes.

Fact File

where to see themWhere to see them: Wolf Woods
lengthLength: 3.2 to 3.9 ft
weightWeight: 11 to 33 lbs
lifespanLifespan: 10 to 15 yrs
habitatHabitat: Freshwater rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, marshes, swamps, and coastal waters
dietDiet: Fish, crayfish, ducklings, turtles, and other small animals