North American River Otter
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.
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.
Where to see them:
3.2 to 3.9 ft
11 to 33 lbs
10 to 15 yrs
Freshwater rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, marshes, swamps, and coastal waters
Fish, crayfish, ducklings, turtles, and other small animals