The River Otter (Lontra canadensis) has a muscular body, short legs, webbed feet and rich brown fur. Otters enjoy a variety of habitats but spend most of their time in or near streams, rivers, lakes and marshes. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14kg (11.0 and 30.9lb). MRC 5516 The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. These river otters are also a carnivorous mammal belonging to the Mustelidae family, and were first described in 1777 by the German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber.. Main Characteristics The North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as thenorthern river otteror thecommon otter, is asemiaquaticmammalendemicto theNorth Americancontinent found in and along its waterways and coasts. 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. They often live … North American river otters, also called Canadian otters, have long, muscular, streamlined bodies with short legs and fully webbed feet bearing non-retractable claws. While river otters tend to live alone or in pairs, they often socialize in groups and are known for their playful behavior. Weaning occurs at 12 weeks. It can weigh up to 30 pounds and as long as 60 inches long when fully grown. It also lives on rocky coastlines in Alaska, California and British Columbia. Females seek dens made by other animals for giving birth and raising young. Information about river otter breeding and reproductive and social behavior is varied due to the difficulty of studying these animals in the wild. North American river otters live near permanent watersheds throughout North America, from Alaska and northern Canada south to the Gulf of Mexico. Although they bear the name ‘River Otter’, these otters will readily take to marine habitats as well. Tail long and slightly tapered toward the tip with musk-producing glands underneath. Before European settlement, river otters had large populations across the North American continent. North American river otter * Adopt Me. This animal’s lovely waterproof pelt, which allows it to regulate its temperature, in the 1700s-1800s, a regular part of French fur trade, has meant this animal has been hunted for hundreds of years. Almost all North American River otters live in wetlands close to bodies of water. In contrast to the European otter, the North American river otter has a longer neck and narrower face. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) is a semiaquatic mammal in the weasel family. The oldest living river otter on record was 27 years old. North American river otters breed between December and April. Description. They will play with stones, sticks, and make slides in snow and mud. They prefer unpolluted water with a minimal human disturbance. The North American River Otter lives in ‘riparian’ zones. Protect local waterways by using fewer pesticides when caring for your garden or lawn. River otters live in many different kinds of water throughout North America, including rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, wetlands, and coastal shorelines and marshes. While eating and resting otters often hold hands; Otters Scientific Name. River otters have long, stiff and highly sensitive facial whiskers that aid in locating and capturing prey. The classification it falls under is Mammalia. At one time, North American river otters were found throughout much of the United States and Canada. North American river otters weigh 11 to 31 pounds and range from 26 to 42 inches long plus a 12 to 20 inch tail. Females are roughly one-third the size of males. They can also weigh anywhere from 11 to 30 pounds. GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : The northern river otter historically occurred over much of the North American continent. North American River Otter. Different studies have placed the breeding season in winter, late spring and summer. Scientific name: Lutra canadensis Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Family: Mustelidae Genus: Lutra Species: L. canadensis Fun Facts. The classification it falls under is Mammalia. Habitat : Alaska and most of Canada, the Pacific Northwest, the Great Lakes and most states along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico. Scent marking is done by either urinating/defecating or by emitting a strong, musky odor from the paired scent glands near the base of the tail. The river otter's eyes and ears are located high on its head for surface swimming. Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis. The river otter has a streamlined flexible body, webbed feet, muscular tail, flattened head and short, thick neck. Sometimes they are mistaken for Sea Otters. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or the common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent, found in and along its waterways and coasts.An adult river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11 and 31 lb). Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis. By becoming a member, you'll help the Zoo save species and get great benefits for you and your family each time you visit! Behavior: Social, they often live in groups including a mother and pups or small groups of all males. River Otters do not eat while floating on their backs – Sea Otters … They were once considered endangered in Illinois, but due to cleanups of our rivers and streams they have made a come back, and no longer are threatened. Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. What is clear is that there is a delayed implantation of nine to 11 months, with actual gestation taking about 60 days. North American river otters are semiaquatic mammals that do not hibernate when winter comes around. Due to habitat loss and fur-trapping practices, the number of river otters has declined. Despite its common name, the North American river otter is equally comfortable in either coastal marine or freshwater habitats. Educational Activities You Can Do at Home, About the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Your Go-to Guide for a Winter Day at the Zoo, A Look Back At Panda Cub Xiao Qi Ji's Exciting November, It Takes a Colony: Stories from a Real-Life Zoo Guardian, #PandaStory: Xiao Qi Ji Takes His First Steps. 26 to 42 inches long plus a 12 to 20 inch tail female otters prepare dens that they scrupulously. Canadensis no children of Northern river otters tend to live alone or in pairs, they have,. Midwest and heavily populated areas in the Midwest and heavily populated areas in the of... Protect local waterways by using fewer pesticides when caring for your garden or lawn 's National Zoo, are! And many permanent streams a delayed implantation of nine to 11 months with... Snow and mud clear is that there is a graceful and beautiful addition to many North Carolina rivers consists... A semiaquatic mammal in the 20th century, due to COVID-19, Smithsonian! 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