Are Otters Predators? 'Otterly' Amazing Facts About This Apex Predator | Kidadl


Are Otters Predators? 'Otterly' Amazing Facts About This Apex Predator

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Otters are carnivorous animals living partially on the land and water.

Although otters can be predatory in nature, few of them are known to fall prey to groups of larger fish. Fishes like the white sharks and the killer whales are known to feed on this wild species.

Considering the fact that river otters live partially live in water, they mostly feed on the creatures found underwater. Predominantly, otters are seen in rivers, lakes, and ponds as aquatic predators hunting aquatic animals. Apart from aquatic species, they do eat birds and other species which reside on the adjacent trees. The water quality in which the otters live is not very upgraded and can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle for this species.

During the breeding season, the female otters are the ones to nurture and protect the young otters, while the male members of the species usually engage themselves in protecting the land the arranging the food for the baby.

Recently, it has been discovered that the populations of the otters are on the verge of Extinction, and they are facing critical survival threats. The threats include pollution of their natural habitat and hunting their populations down for the thick fur. The biggest threat to this community is humans and their day-to-day lifestyle. The otters from the rivers of South America are currently Endangered, and proper conservation methods have been regulated for their well-being.

If you like reading this, you might want to read about river otter vs. sea otter and giant otter size.

Otter Hunting Habits

Otters can have unique habits when it comes to hunting. For example, the river otters and the sea otters are known to use different techniques to the mammals or the reptiles living on the land and water.

When river otters attack alligators, the entire view can be pretty thrilling. First, river otters ride on the back of the alligator and get hold of the neck. Then the otter kills the reptile by biting the neck and injecting lactic acid through their sharp teeth. The alligator might try to defend for a while but eventually loses due to the overdoses of the lactic acid induced in their bodies by the otters. Once they are dead, the river otters drag the prey to the shore and divide the body into multiple chunks.

On land, the otter usually attacks mammals or birds by piercing their teeth and killing them. For birds, the North American river otter is seen to float and act dead then when a bird sits on the river otter, it grasps the bird and breaks its neck. Hence, when it comes to unique hunting habits, the North American river otter surely has innovative ideas to attack.

Are otters aggressive?

Needless to say, otters can be extremely cute and adorable when it comes to their appearances. Considering their playful appearance and quiet nature, we might assume that this species can not cause any harm to other animals or humans. However, this assumption might not be valid exactly.

There have been pieces of evidence regarding the otters being aggressive when they are triggered or attacked. So we can say under certain conditions, the otters can be harmful and will attack. However, apart from the smaller fish that the species eat, few North American river otters are known to attack snakes to meet an adequate diet.

When under attack, if an otter feels scared or threatened, they are known to use their heavy body and sharp claws to attack other creatures. The species have been known to be aggressive towards small kids. The bite can be harmful and might spread rabies to humans or the affected animals.

The aggressive nature of this creature leads to the attention of coyotes and bobcats. In general, these animals make the residential areas unsafe for humans. In case of an attack by the otter, immediate medical surveillance is required in order not to get any serious diseases.

Are otters apex predators?

Yes, the otter can be an apex predator, even though not every member of the family can be considered an apex predator. When it comes to hunting, sea otters are better predators than river otters.

The North American river otters usually live near the shores feeding on both aquatic and land creatures. They feed on small mammals like raccoons, rabbits, and beavers on land. Underwater, the species hunt for the crabs and fishes. When it comes to sea otters, they are apex predators by nature. They move around the marine environment feeding on the sea urchins and grazers, which can be an alternative to a proper diet.

Giant Otter in the water eating a fish

River Otters Are Both Predator and Prey

Rivers otters are not similar to sea otters. Sea otters are confined to the sea and the wild habitat, while the river otters are restricted to the waters of the lakes and the murky water.

A major difference between the two otters is that the sea otter is an apex predator. In comparison, the river otters are a predator as well as prey to the predators of the local ecosystem or habitat. Usually, river otters can be identified by their webbed feet and long tail. They are known to be extremely fast swimmers hunting on creatures like fish, crabs, and turtles. Although they are great predators, they get hunted on by natural predators like killer whales, sharks underwater. In the case of land, the black bears, wolves, and coyotes can be considered a threat to this species.

Save the River Otters

Rivers otters have been victims of hunting by humans over the last few centuries. Considering this fact, there has been a decrease in the population trend of the otters, especially the South American river otter than the North American river otter.

The North American river otter has been in a stable situation in terms of the population, whereas the South American river otters are considered to be Endangered at the moment. Recently, there has been a decrease in the population trend of this species. The reason goes back to the 1500s when the species hunted not only for the flesh but for the fur as well.

Until the last two centuries, with the help of traps set, the species have been killed and captured for fur. Other indirect human activities like water pollution, oil spills, and so on, have affected the habitat of the creature. Few wildlife conservation policies adapted have made the capturing of the otters for fur be restricted. The policies include the proper conservation of the species in order to ensure growth and development.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for are otters predators then why not take a look at otter lifespan, or otter facts?

<p>With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature.&nbsp;</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?