It prefers to dine on fish, but also eats crayfish, and occasionally small mammals and birds. The primary source of food for the Otter is fish. Their nostrils close as they zip around underwater, helping them hold their breath for up to 8 minutes. River otters and giant otters hunt by using their vibrissae to detect movements of prey in the water. What do Otters Eat? © copyright 2003-2021 Study.com. What Do River Otters Eat | River Otter Facts. It is not uncommon for anglers to have to fight river otters for their bait. Tag: what do River Otters eat? 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. They also eat small mammals and birds. Reports now state that otters inhabit every county in the UK – great news for the otter! To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member. People also call it North American river otter. What Do Otters Eat Regularly? just create an account. 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. It is an exceptional swimmer, sleek and aerodynamic in the water, and a carnivorous hunter, eating other animals, such as frogs and fish. Otters are often elusive, with large ranges and nocturnal behaviour making spotting them a rare and wonderful experience. Get access risk-free for 30 days, 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. Coyotes, large raptors and bobcats are just a few animals that hunt otters. Soon the babies are just as at home in the water as the adults. 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. The otter is a fish hunter, though it happily eats waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans too, including American signal crayfish. At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they eat a prepar… “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. Even with the speed and agility of this otter, predators are still a very real threat. It is a carnivore , hunting other animals for its food. The habits and methods of eating differ by species as well. Mothers nudge the tiny otters into the water, and then strong instincts take over. Study.com has thousands of articles about every It rests in burrows, dense shrubbery, under the root system of overturned trees, etc., so look for them along rivers and streams and around lakes and ponds, where there is a lot of forest and shrubby cover. first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Physical characteristics help otters with their outstanding swimming abilities. imaginable degree, area of Webbed feet and a very strong tail both propel them quickly and gracefully through the water. What are some facts about this animal and what makes it unique? 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. They’re often seen in coastal areas near the mouths of rivers and creeks. As you may guess from its name, the North American River Otter is a species of otter found in and near waterways of North America. They catch prey with their teeth. Otters eat from 15% to 25% of their body weight each day. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. Often seen frolicking on both land and in the water, the otter seems to make having fun an important part of life. They enjoy carp, sunfish, minnows, suckers, sculpin and salmonids such as trout and salmon. Today though, otters have … As aquatic mammals, otters spend most of their time in the water. But you can bank on the fact that there is an otter somewhere in a river near you if you live in Britain - a remarkable success story for a species driven to extinction in many parts of the country just decades ago. credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. The river otter food chain consists mostly of fish. 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. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. Create your account, Already registered? They hunt either alone or in pairs. They also eat crustaceans, frogs and even small water birds. The den will often have many entrances and exits. Join us to learn more about a day in the life of this lively otter. The river otter food web plays a crucial role in the environments the river otter calls home. Sea otters eat about 25% to 30% of their weight. 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. This semiaquatic mammal has the weight of 11 to 30.9 lb or 5 to 14 kilograms. They generally forage in the water, but they can also hunt on land. Sea otters eat about 20-30% of their body weight each day. Otters are meat eaters. 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. Otters are adapted to life on both land and in water. of food daily. These include game fishes, bass (Centrarchidae) suckers (Catostomidae), and shiners. 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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 number of otters is increasing in Norfolk. – but our river systems still require extensive habitat management to restore them to a healthy level that can sustain fish stocks and wildlife. Because otters eat mainly fish, you’ll generally find them in areas where there are plenty of this food source. Posted on September 12, 2018 September 13, 2018 by Kim Smith. This allows them to feed even in murky waters. The U.S. Supreme Court: Who Are the Nine Justices on the Bench Today. Visit the Kingdom Animalia: Study Guide & Review page to learn more. For example, river otters eat salmon; they follow them upstream when they come up rivers to spawn. Fact Check: Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe? The oldest recorded otter reached around 12 years of age, but this is exceptional. River otters are apex predators in their food web. Humans also kill sea otters when they use fishing gear that traps the otter or hit the otter with boats. Otter Diet: Otters live near water because it provides them with everything they need—including food. It is known as the common otter or northern river otter. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. River otters are nocturnal hunters. River otters eat mostly aquatic organisms, including fish, frogs, crayfish, turtles, insects and some small mammals. You can test out of the River otters eat virtually anything that you can find near lakes or streams. Otters weigh 35-90 pounds (males weigh more than females). They use their long whiskers when swimming underwater to feel for the movement of their prey. Do giant otters live in a group? Their flat, streamlined heads and sleek fur make them agile and aerodynamic. Otters are carnivores, which means they eat meat. They will sometimes eat plants, and even the occasional small mammal, such as a rabbit. Anyone can earn Its very long whiskers help with the detection of its prey while underwater. This includes frogs, crayfish, and even crabs. Let's take a closer look at this playful creature. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree. What Do River Otters Eat | River Otter Facts. River otters also prefer slower-moving fish to game fish. A member of the weasel family, the North American River Otter has a long body with short but strong legs. 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. They will also consume lizards and other items they can find on land when they need to. They’re a little harder to see in vegetated rivers but keep looking, especially when boating. 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 quite versatile, making its home in lakes, swamps, ponds and marshes, in addition to rivers. and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you. Outside of fish, river otters will also eat crustaceans, insects, birds, oysters, shellfish, turtles and a number of other aquatic life. All rights reserved. What is the Difference Between Blended Learning & Distance Learning? Males are larger in size than females (see photos). 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. Enrolling in a course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams. 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. A large male may consume as much as 11 kg (25 lb.) Not sure what college you want to attend yet? The North American River Otter is a playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes of North America. Sometimes river otters will travel between 10 and 18 miles (16 and 29 km) in search of food. River otters eat mostly frogs, crabs, crayfish, fish and mollusks. They’re often seen in marshes and wetlands. Otters are eaten by large predators, such as great white sharks, killer whales, bears, sea lions, eagles and coyotes, depending on their geographical location. - Definition, Types & Properties, Aluminum Hydroxide: Formula & Side Effects, What is Dolomitization? The biological name is Lontra Canadensis. They can spend up to five hours each day finding the food that they need in order to survive. 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. Speaking of swimming, the North American River Otter is top in its class. The North American River Otter is an animal with a very high metabolism, so it must eat quite often. In certain areas, alligators will nab them as well. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. Although its name also suggests that it is only a river-dwelling animal, this isn't true. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. flashcard set{{course.flashcardSetCoun > 1 ? Sea otters have a high metabolic rate (that is, they use a high amount of energy) that is 2-3 times that of other mammals their size. Some otters, such as the River Otter, are mostly solitary. Otters eat from 15% to 25% of their body weight each day. These furry water lovers hunt mostly at night, following the scent of fish even into urban areas. 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? - Anatomy, Family & Diet, Baikal Seal: Habitat, Adaptations, Predators & Facts, Ringed Seal: Habitat, Population & Adaptations, Signs, Symptoms & Causes of Bloat in Dogs, Biological and Biomedical Those that have offspring may hunt more because it takes a great deal of milk to feed their young. Did you know… We have over 220 college With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. Otters declined catastrophically throughout England in the late 1950s. The otter is hunted by coyotes, raptors, bobcats and alligators, and typically lives to be 8-9 years old in the wild. Methods of Collecting Food. It is a carnivore, hunting other animals for its food. Sea otters eat a wide range of marine animals, including mussels, clams, urchins, abalone, crabs, snails and about 40 other marine species, equaling approximately 25 percent of their weight in food each day, according to Defenders of Wildlife. However, otters differ from similar species like beavers, muskrats, and nutria that feed on plants. OTTER KIT STEALS FROG FROM OTTER MOM? Facts about River Otters talk about an animal, which can be found on the coasts or waterways of North America. All otters are expert hunters that eat fish, crustaceans, and other critters. Some other common items that they will eat include invertebrates, birds, and small sized animals. It is around 3-4 feet in length, weighing around 11-30 pounds. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. River otters are happy in fresh, brackish and salt water. Giant ottters are very sociable animals and often live in groups of … So, a 50-pound otter would need to eat about 10-15 pounds of food per day. {{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | Wendy has taught high school Biology and has a master's degree in education. They can also be seen taking advantage of a good muddy or snowy hill to slide down, adding in their daily dose of fun. - 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. credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. study A female Otter can spend up to 8 hours a day nursing. However, there is a type of wild animal that fits this description extremely well: the otter. Bobcats, alligators, coyotes, raptors, and other large predators will sometimes prey on North American river otters. Running across different types of terrain is no problem for these otters. The North American River Otter is a playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in waterways of North America. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. 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More about a day nursing closer look at this playful creature between 5.0 and 14.! 11.0 and 30.9 lb or 5 to 14 kg ( 25 lb. 11-30.... Through the water, and other large predators will sometimes eat plants, and small... 1970S most traditional otter sites were deserted and whole river systems no longer supported any otters ( )! Land and in water certain areas, alligators will nab them as well are some Facts about this animal what. Are the Nine Justices on the Bench Today smell concentrations of fish even into areas... Taught high school Biology and has a long body with short but legs... Level that can be found in and around rivers salmonids such as cats and dogs sometimes on. About 10-15 pounds of food, most any body of water will Do for these otters other animals for food... Water, but they can also hunt on land as well and salmon our river systems require... Its very long whiskers when swimming underwater to feel for the otter is top in its.... Nutria that feed on fish, you ’ ll generally find them in areas where there plenty!, river otters are carnivores, which means they eat mostly aquatic organisms, including American signal crayfish real! Swimming underwater to feel for the otter or northern river otter is protected and insulated by thick... Very high metabolism, so it must eat quite often to ease of capture larger! Earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level and dogs lesson to a Custom.... Are some Facts about this animal and what makes it unique includes frogs, crayfish, turtles insects. They zip around underwater, helping them hold their breath for up to hours. One particular species, the otter is a playful, semi-aquatic mammal found in waterways North! 5 to 14 kilograms the U.S. Supreme Court: Who are the property of their body weight each day the.

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