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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Northern River Otter (Lontra canadensis)




Northern River Otter | Lontra canadensis photo
Photographed at National Zoo, DC

Photograph by Greg Mano. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Northern River Otter | Lontra canadensis photo
Northern River Otter eating fish, Washington.

Photograph by Minette Layne. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Northern River Otter | Lontra canadensis photo
Northern River Otter, Washington.

Photograph by Minette Layne. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Northern River Otter | Lontra canadensis photo
North American River Otters, San Francisco Zoo

Photograph by Dmitry Azovtsev. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

NORTHERN RIVER OTTER FACTS

Description
The Northern River Otter has a long slender streamlined body, thick tapered tail, and short legs. The face is short with small ears. The fur is dark brown or almost black above with lighter underside. The throat and cheeks are usually golden brown. The fur is dense and soft for insulation in the water. The feet are completely webbed. The Northern River Otter is related to weasels, fishers, martens and mink,

Other Names
Common Otter, North American River Otter

Size
Length 90cm - 130cm, Males are larger than females. Tail length: 30cm - 50cm. Weight: 5kg - 14 kg. Males are larger than females.

Environment
rivers, lakes, marshes, swamps, coastal estuaries. They build dens in places such as abandoned burrows of other animals, under logs or holes in river banks. The den has an underwater entrance

Food
crayfish, crabs, fish, birds, frogs, small mammals, sometimes eat water plants.

Breeding
Most births are in March and April. One to six young (average two or three) are born in a den near the water. They are born with fur, but are helpless. Their eyes open after one month and they are weaned at about 3 months.

Range
Found throughout most of Canada. Used to be found in most of United Stats but is now rare or extinct in most of the eastern, central, and southern United States.

Notes
20,000 - 30,000 per year are killed commercially for their fur.

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Mustelidae
Genus:Lontra
Species:canadensis
Common Name:Northern River Otter