Ranging over much of North America, the North American river otter (Lutra canadensis) 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.
- Where to see them: Canada and North America
- Length: 3.2 to 3.9 ft
- Weight: 11 to 33 lbs
- Lifespan: 10 to 15 yrs
- Habitat: Freshwater rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, marshes, swamps, and coastal waters
- Diet: Fish, crayfish, ducklings, turtles, and other small animals