Amazing And Astonishing River Otter Fun Facts | Kidadl


Amazing And Astonishing River Otter Fun Facts

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Nature provides us with some fascinating facts.

While scientists talk about the compositions, behaviors, and origin of species, and other technical terms, the lay person seeks aesthetic pleasure from them. Whether we discuss the bodies in Space or the plants that grace the Earth, everything given by nature has a meaning, an advantage, and a special role to be played in life.

River otters, for example, are semi-aquatic mammals that are found in freshwater and are an integral part of the marine ecosystem. River otters' build is perfect for aquatic life as they have a streamlined body, webbed feet, short legs, and the thickest fur to keep them warm.

The river otter can grow up to 3.3 ft (1 m) from head to tail and can weigh up to 31 lb (14 kg). River otters have gender-specific growth, with males bigger than females. These otters have a lifespan of eight to nine years, however, if they are living in captivity, then they might survive up to 20 years.

River otters, as the name suggests, are found in freshwater or marine bodies of water and belong to the subfamily Lutrinae, with 13 species. There are 11 species of river otter that predominate freshwater, and just two species that are adapted to the marine ecosystem.

Otters try to avoid human contact as much as possible, and this makes them difficult to be spotted. However, not being able to be seen doesn’t mean they are Under Threat or Endangered; they have a very stable and healthy population on this planet.

If you love learning all about aquatic animals, keep reading to find out more interesting facts about river otters, from their diet to their habitat, as well as some interesting fun facts about river otters!

Where do river otters live?

Learn all about the habitats of these small mammals and their pups here. River otters are found from estuaries to lakes, and you can find out more here!

The river otter establishes its habitat near estuaries and lakes, as well as inland wetlands, and more! As the title suggests, river otters are freshwater creatures and are found in and around rivers where there is plenty of the type of food they like to consume.

River otters are known to live on land, as well as near water. The river otter has small ears and is known to have a high metabolism; they will eat out fish and mammals.

The conservation status for otters is that of Least Concern at present. Since there are a lot of otters living on the planet, their conservation is not a concern. If water quality standards are not enforced, water pollution and other degradation of aquatic and wetland ecosystems may limit distribution and pose long-term hazards, however.

These mammals can be found in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. The ecosystem in which they live will have plenty of crayfish, frogs, mussels, crabs, and fish, which the river otter likes to feed on. As these animals are semi-aquatic, they have both features that are adapted to living on land and in water.

River otters live in holes in the riverbank, called holts. In early spring, expectant moms begin looking for a holt in which to give birth. Otters give birth around late winter and their gestation period is between early spring and late winter. River otters are very common in North American and have names like the common otter or northern river otter. This species ranges from 11-31 lb (5-14 kg) in weight. Due to a reduction in their natural habitat, the population of the northern river otter has reduced.

What do they eat?

Learn all about the diet of river otters here. From fish to plants, these otters eat a varied diet that is fascinating to learn about!

River otters favor fish and are natural predators. They are great hunters who prefer to hunt in shallow waters rather than deep water. While fish is their favorite, they also like to eat crabs, salamanders, frogs, and turtles.

They also consume aquatic plants and even mammals like rabbits and muskrats found along rivers. River otters are shy, so of course, humans are not on their menu. However, they have been known to attack and bite humans if you were to encroach on their territory. River otters also carry diseases, such as salmonella, so don't make good pets.

The most common fish rivers otters consume is the perch. They locate their prey while running on their small legs or by swimming on the water's surface. They have very agile hunting techniques for aquatic animals.

River otters don’t really live in packs. They are solitary animals who are only ever found in small groups, with only the female with young otters often seen together.

Apart from rivers, these otters are found in lakes, streams, marine waterways, and coastal bogs.

How long do river otters live?

Do you know how long river otters live? Find out the answer to this question and much more here.

A normal river otter will survive not more than eight or nine years in its wild habitat, but otters living in captivity can live as long as 20 years.

Otters gather together during the mating season, which lasts from late winter to late spring, where the female otter gives birth to any number of otters between one and six.

River otters live in a holt on the riverbank, where the mother cares for her offspring until they can start to live on their own, which is around 15 months. At 17 months of age, river otters can start having babies.

River otters have strong social bonds and are monogamous, and are found in family groups. They are dark brown with clawed feet, strong tails and are found in freshwater aquatic areas such as rivers, canals, lakes, and marshes. They have strong scent glands and are known for their water play. Mammals do not lay eggs, rather they give birth to young ones. Not only this, but mammal mothers feed their babies and take care of them after birth, and the same happens with river otters. Once the young ones are ready to leave, the female otter is again ready for the next mating process.

Fun Facts About The River Otter

After discovering some basic information about these river otters, it is now time to have a look at some amazing facts about these creatures. Which of these fun facts about river otters is your favorite?

They are both predators and prey. As part of the food chain, the river otter is both a predator of smaller animals and acts as a food for carnivores. In North America, this includes bobcats, alligators, coyotes, raptors, and other large predators.

River otters are very good at swimming and can survive for eight minutes underwater with a swimming speed of 6.8 mph (11 kph).

They are well adapted to land. As much as they are good at swimming, river otters can walk and run on the land as comfortably as they can swim. They can run at a speed of 15 mph (24 kph).

While these animals are human shy, they are reasonably social in a small family environment. They are playful and like wrestling. Otter pups are very cute, with their small ears and fluffy paws. While the females can be spotted with their pups, they are sometimes found living in small groups.

The holts in which these river otters reside are very cozy, with many entrances both from land and in water. These holts are close to the river or the lake with grass, moss, and leaves to provide comfort.

They are near the top of the food chain as they are relatively large animals. They also act as an indicator for a healthy ecosystem; where there is a healthy otter population, the ecosystem is healthy.

Like humans, river otters wash their paws after every meal.

River otters are good swimmers and they can dive up to a depth of 60 ft (18 m).

May 30 is World Otter Day. Why not celebrate World Otter Day by sharing some of these interesting otter facts with your friends and family, or perhaps by helping to aid the conservation of river otters and other species that they live alongside?

A group of otters is known as a raft, bevy, lodge, or romp.

Kidadl Team
Written By
Kidadl Team

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