Found in both saltwater and freshwater, a river otter lounges around riverbanks and swims with its belly down, keeping the majority of its body submerged below the water. While members of both otter subtypes love to swim, the swimming behaviors they engage in are quite distinct. Meet a man whose roommates are a pair of river otters. Usually their claws are sharp, but not in sea otters. 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. Sea otters typically give birth to only one pup, and care for their young until they become independent around eight months to one year old. They travelled the 125 feet from the back of our property in no time at all and in the 35 years I have lived here in west Vancouver I have never seen them in the creek or on the land. Learn how your comment data is processed. Otters and Humans Relationship. enhydra lutris. Swimming with river otter in the Chagres River Panama. Thanks again! River otters range from Florida to Qebec on over to California and Kotzebue Sound. However, male sea otters measure 6 feet in length and weigh 80 pounds. Clawless otters are relatively social. Otters can also eat birds, rabbits and other rodents. Spunky fish-chomping river otters who faced extinction in Colorado and other Western states are bouncing back -- evidence that keeping waterways clean and … The marine otter (Lontra felina) is a rare and relatively unknown South American mammal of the weasel family . 5:20. Use these clues to help you decide: Is it a river otter or a sea otter? Everyone who sees them on the lakeshore thinks they are irresistible. Almost always swim in a dog paddle, almost never swim on their backs. They have enormous back flippers, and often swim on their backs with their big flippers sticking out of the water. Long, serpentine tail. We wonder how he or they survive, what they live on, etc. River otters will achieve maturity between the ages of two and three, while female sea otters mature between ages three and five, and males even later between ages five and seven. The habits and methods of eating differ by species as well. River otters also have long, muscular tails unlike their sea counterparts. 0:50. Gerry Lunn Exactly except those that frequent bays… you know what those are called. It may seem obvious, but if all else fails—the fastest way to tell what type of otter you’re observing is to examine its environment. Their swimming mechanisms are also a little different. Sea otters’ have the densest fur in the entire animal kingdom with up to one million hairs covering each square inch of their body. I, too, assumed that sea + otter = sea  otter. - river otter stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images. I'll be integrating your little tid bits into the Beavers and Otters walk I'm doing this Sunday in Stanley Park. Please check your inbox or spam folder now to confirm your subscription. 1) are best known for their continuous and playful behavior, their aesthetic value, and the value of their durable, high-quality fur.They have long, streamlined bodies, short legs, and a robust, tapered tail, all of which are well adapted to their mostly aquatic habitat. TAIL: Rounded FEET: Uniform front and rear feet SWIMS: On stomach HABITAT: Salt or freshwater RESTS: On shore in dens Sea otter WEIGHT: 50–100 lbs. Mihaifrancu. River vs. Sea Otter Baculum This is a comparison of the small river otter baculum with the larger sea otter baculum. http://stanleyparkecology.ca/ai1ec_event/water-loving-otters-beavers-2/?instance_id=632. 0:37. Hind foot tracks of otters are bigger than their corresponding front foot tracks, no doubt a helpful adaptation because otters are swimmers. We receive no government funding, and depend solely on financial support from our friends. 1:29. Lutra lutra is the European otter. Sorry, but we failed to add you to the list. They figure mom will allow them to see people in May http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/calgary-zoo-celebrates-birth-of-otter-pups-1.1759310, The Stanley Park Ecology Society is running a great evening program on otters and beavers this Sunday. Yet they are vastly different animals, and even come from different orders. The more diverse river otters live primarily in freshwater rivers and streams, but are also found in coastal saltwater areas. Share Link. Our organization is not affiliated with any other otter-related research group or community outreach organization. Mobile alerts from Ocean Conservancy. 300. Otters have small, rounded ears, and long sensitive whiskers to help them feel the vibrations of their prey. It’s without a doubt that otters are some of the most adorable mammals to ever grace the planet. We have river otters in front of our place and they are such fun to watch, but why do they have to poop on land? Avoidance is a very significant factor in river otter social behavior. Sleek fur and skinny profile. But instead, I held back and listened to the conversation, thinking back to ten years ago or so when I first saw river otters in the ocean. On average, river otters have two to three pups per litter with the pups going off on their own after about six months to a year. So when I’m out for a walk, just minding my own business enjoying the fall colours, and something fantastic happens, I tend to kick into explainer mode. Man, they know how to have fun. A river otter that has made it into the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden is devouring the park’s huge koi. Sea otters live in large colonies, but river otters tend to stay in small family groups. Check out our handy identification cards below and test your otter expertise with the answers at the end of this blog. Like the other mustelids, river otters have long slender bodies with short legs. Each is playful, curious and depends on water for it's food source. They will also use the abandoned burrows of other animals including beaver lodges. Don't know if you know or not but Calgary has had a pair born. The animals sometimes … We work with parks and museums and science centres and aquariums, to help them plan and produce their programs and exhibits. The most recent arrival was brought to the center after being stranded on an Anchor Point beach. Both otters have their own adorable way of caring for their young and making them feel at home, too. The differences will become obvious! … A playful family of river otters rolling around in the sand, apparently taking a communal sand bath at Point Reyes National Seashore in California. River otter WEIGHT: 10–30 lbs. Text HELP to 69866 for more information. Wild Kratts - River Otters vs. Sea Otters. It can be found off the central Californian coast, western Alaska and the Bering Sea. Lakiesha Britni. StoryfulNews. Browse 1,398 river otter stock photos and images available, or search for north american river otter or giant river otter to find more great stock photos and pictures. X. 2). I write about interpretation and visitor experience. It’s a pretty logical assumption, isn’t it? If you travel further north to areas like the Alaskan seaboard, you could even find males weighing up to 100 pounds! River otters: Dark brown. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Nice write up Don! However, just because an otter is spotted on the coast does not mean it’s a sea otter. They are in the same subfamily Lutridae. Additionally, sea otters spend the vast majority of their lives in the water, while river otters spend most of theirs on land, venturing into the water for tasks like hunting for food and traveling. However, we noticed a conundrum that many readers seem to get themselves into. A sea otter! Almost always swim in a dog paddle, almost never swim on their backs. SEA OTTER (Enhydra lutris) In California, sea otters are most often seen around Monterey Bay and Elkhorn Slough. Yay! The river otter is adapted for both land and water with short legs, webbed toes, and a strong, flattened tail. An otter is any of the 13 living species of semiaquatic or aquatic mammals. At least, not yet; they are slowly recovering from being nearly completely wiped out by the marine fur trade in the early colonial period, and if all goes well for them (and it isn’t going all that great at the moment, apparently) we may see them back here in a few years. We were treated to a family of six river otters in the bay just off Second Beach in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Therefore, they are very active and can easily chase their pray species in the water. Otters are really, really smart. what is the diffrence between otters and groundhogs i live by lake erie and i see these things and my dad thinks there ground hogs i think there otters whats the diffrence how do i tell if its a otter and how do i prove it i mean its by lake erie so im guessing its a otter not a ground hog Get monthly (ish) updates via email from Don Enright. River Otters and Sea Otters have this in common: their noses and ears do what when they are underwater? They hung around for about 5 minutes and then swam off. Text STOP to 69866 to stop receiving messages. River otters (Lutra canadensis, Fig. again or contact 1.888.780.6763. Very often swim on their backs. I got out my camera and started getting some video. River otters keep their young safe by their side and in dens that they build on riverbanks, while sea otter moms typically keep their pups nestled on their stomachs as they float until they are old enough to swim on their own. The … Sea otters aren’t only heftier than river otters—their fur is also quite distinguishable. My name is Don Enright. For that to occur though humans need to accept responsibility for what they have done over the course of time. However, otters can be aggressive when necessary. River otters are more petite. 1:39. Sea otters are not nearly so versatile. A perfect set of river otters tracks will show the webbing between its toes and the indentations from its nails. Otters can be found in streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. As their name suggests, sea otters live mainly near the sea, spending most of their time in the water. With the help of donors like you, Ocean Conservancy is developing solutions to save our ocean. Periodic messages. Despite its common name, the North American river otter is equally comfortable in either coastal marine or freshwater habitats. Fish and Wildlife Service in Lacey, Washington, I answer all kinds of wildlife-related questions. Otters live near lakes or ponds and burrow in ditches, so interaction with people can occur. Also look for a thick, long drag mark behind the tracks made by the otter’s tail. Fluffy fur and husky profile. ID Reports Web Extra: (UNCUT) Gov. Your email address will not be published. If you’re on a river in the middle of the North American continent, far away from any seaboard: it’s a river otter. Eventually, four of them swam off down the shore, and a few minutes later, Tom and I saw a bunch of people gathered at the edge of the sea wall, clearly interested in something. Love your writing style. They have enormous back flippers, and often swim on their backs with their big flippers sticking out of the water. River otters range in weight from about 11 (5kg) to 30 pounds (14kg) whereas sea otters start at 30 pounds and can get up to 100 pounds (45kg). Long, serpentine tail. River otters: Dark brown. If sea otters did return to the bay, they would share it with the river otters that have recently returned on their own. The most significant problem they cause is consumption of fish. River Otter (Lutra canadensis) Description The otter is the largest member of the weasel family (Mustelidae) found in South Carolina. Not to worry, friends. I’m a compulsive explainer. Although both mammals and desired for their fur, there are unique differences between a river otter and sea otter. Thanks Don – great blog. The two types of otter are similar in appearance, both with thick coats and … Sea otters are mainly native to the northeastern seaboards of the Pacific Ocean, so they aren’t spotted in areas like the East Coast or the Gulf of Mexico. The scientific name means "otter cat", and in Spanish, the marine otter is also often referred to as gato marino: "marine cat". I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. As I filmed, I listened to the people’s reactions: “Oh look! Some are small river otters, and some are bigger sea otters; 90% of all sea otters live on the coast of Alaska ; They're hungry animals! 21:09. This video by Tom Reynolds shows sea otters first, then river otters. Swimming with river otter in the Chagres River Panama. Wild Kratts - River Otters vs. Sea Otters. Many residents regard otters as desirable animals because of … Your email address will not be published. Terms and Conditions. Read More about “What is interpretive planning?”…. Over the past few years however, we have had the exciting chance to view true sea otters near Victoria, as an increase in their population has brought them closer to home. Burrows may be constructed in the bank or in submerged trees. Occasionally we see them in the SF Bay Area. I've seen this with neotropical river otters and giant otters as well, not just our North American variety. Oakland Zoo's Baby River Otters Make Debut. Finally, river otters can dive to around 60 feet deep, whereas sea otters, remarkably, can dive to several hundred feet to forage for food. This morning, for example. There is still hope that one day humans and Otters will be able to live in harmony. River otters keep their young safe by their side and in dens that they build on riverbanks, while sea otter moms typically keep their pups nestled on their stomachs as they float until they are old enough to swim on their own. It prefers to dine on fish, but also eats crayfish, and occasionally small mammals and birds. This webbing is unique to this piscivorous swimming mustelid. There they were: our four young otters were at a drainage culvert, which they had discovered could be used to provide safe passage under the seawall, upward, under the road and into the forest. 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