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Encyclopedia > Northern River Otter
Wikipedia:How to read a taxobox
How to read a taxobox
Northern River Otter

Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Subfamily: Lutrinae
Genus: Lontra
Species: L. canadensis
Binomial name
Lontra canadensis
(Schreber, 1777)

The Northern River Otter, Lontra canadensis, is a North American member of the Mustelidae or weasel family. It is also known as the North American River Otter. It is a common animal in North American waterways. However, its numbers have significantly dropped since Europeans came to the Americas.[1] Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2262x2048, 4017 KB) North American River Otters, Lontra canadensis (per Schreber, 1777. ... The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive either in the present day or the future. ... Image File history File links Status_iucn3. ... Least Concern (LC) is an IUCN category assigned to extant species or lower taxa which have been evaluated but do not qualify for any other category. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. ... “Animalia” redirects here. ... Typical Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Subclasses Subclass Allotheria* Order Docodonta (extinct) Order Multituberculata (extinct) Order Palaeoryctoides (extinct) Order Triconodonta (extinct) Order Volaticotheria (extinct) Subclass Prototheria Order Monotremata Subclass Theria Infraclass Trituberculata (extinct) Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria Mammals are a class of vertebrate animals characterized by the production of milk in females for the nourishment of... This tigers sharp teeth and strong jaws are the classical physical traits expected from carnivorous mammalian predators A carnivore (IPA: ), meaning meat eater (Latin carne meaning flesh and vorare meaning to devour), is an animal that eats a diet consisting mainly of meat, whether it comes from live animals... Subfamilies Lutrinae Melinae Mellivorinae Taxidiinae Mustelinae Mustelidae is a family of carnivorous mammals. ... Genera Amblonyx Aonyx Enhydra Lontra Lutra Lutrogale Pteronura Otters are aquatic or marine carnivorous mammals, members of the large and diverse family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, polecats, badgers and others. ... Genera Amblonyx Aonyx Enhydra Lontra Lutra Lutrogale Pteronura Otters are aquatic or marine carnivorous mammals, members of the large and diverse family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, polecats, badgers and others. ... In biology, binomial nomenclature is the formal method of naming species. ... Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber (1739 - 1810) was a German naturalist. ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... Subfamilies Lutrinae Melinae Mellivorinae Taxidiinae Mustelinae Mustelidae is a family of carnivorous mammals. ...

Contents

Taxonomy

The Northern River Otter is a species of otter, or the family lutrinae. It is a member of the genus lontra, which is comprised of North American otters. It was previously included, with the other members of lontra, included in the genus lutra, but was placed in a newly-created genus when it was determined that the North American otters are more closely related to the genera Lutrogale and Pteronura than to the other species in Lutra. Genera Amblonyx Aonyx Enhydra Lontra Lutra Lutrogale Pteronura The otter (lutrinae) is a carnivorous aquatic or marine mammal part of the family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, polecats, badgers, as well as others. ... Genera Amblonyx Aonyx Enhydra Lontra Lutra Lutrogale Pteronura Otters are aquatic or marine carnivorous mammals, members of the large and diverse family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, polecats, badgers and others. ... Genera Amblonyx Aonyx Enhydra Lontra Lutra Lutrogale Pteronura Otters are aquatic or marine carnivorous mammals, members of the large and diverse family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, polecats, badgers and others. ... Binomial name Lutra lutra (Linnaeus, 1758) The European Otter, Lutra lutra, is a European member of the Mustelidae or weasel family, and is typical of freshwater otters. ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ...


Description

A river otter in the pacific tide pools in Olympic National Park.
A river otter in the pacific tide pools in Olympic National Park.

The Northern River Otter has a streamlined, muscular body with short legs, webbed toes and a long muscular tail. The North American river otter’s body measure is somewhere between 25.98" to 42.13", and its tail measure is between 12.40" to 18.11";a river otter’s tail makes up 30 to 40% of the total length of its body. It can weigh between 6 and 31 pounds. The river otter has have a round, small head, short yet powerful legs, and large whiskers. Otters display sexual dimorphism, as the male otter is larger than the female. Its fur is glossy and dark brown fur, and the throat is often silver grey. The otter is a powerful swimmer, but can also travel quickly on land and often propel itself into a rapid slide on its belly on snow or ice; it also likes to slide down river banks into the water. The North American River Otters has nostrils which close underwater and its fur is soft and dense; both of these adaptations help it to live underwater. Image File history File linksMetadata Olympic_Nat_Park_River_Otter. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Olympic_Nat_Park_River_Otter. ... For other meanings of Pacific, see Pacific (disambiguation). ... A tide pool on Gabriola Island, British Columbia showing ochre sea stars Tide pools (also tidal pools or rock pools) are rocky pools by oceans that are filled with seawater. ... Olympic National Park is located in the U.S. state of Washington, in the far northwestern part of the state known as the Olympic Peninsula. ... Female (left) and male Common Pheasant, illustrating the dramatic difference in both color and size between the sexes Sexual dimorphism is the systematic difference in form between individuals of different sex in the same species. ...


On land, a Northern River Otter can run up to 18 miles per hour. Its life span is 10-15 years in the wild, but it may live up to 25 years in captivity. (Fact Sheet: North American River Otter)


Distribution and habitat

The Northern River Otter is found throughout North America, inhabiting inland waterways and coastal areas in Canada, Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the Atlantic states, and the Gulf of Mexico. Official language(s) none Capital Juneau Largest city Anchorage Area  Ranked 1st  - Total 663,267 sq mi (1,717,855 km²)  - Width 808 miles (1,300 km)  - Length 1,479 miles (2,380 km)  - % water 13. ... The Pacific Northwest from space This page is about the region that includes parts of Canada and the United States. ... The Atlantic Ocean is Earths second-largest ocean, covering approximately one_fifth of its surface. ... Gulf of Mexico in 3D perspective. ...


The Northern river otter is found in a wide variety of aquatic habitats, both freshwater and costal marine, including lakes, rivers, inland wetlands, coastal marshes, and estuaries. It can tolerate a great range of temperature and elevations; its main requirements are a steady food supply and easy access to a body of water. However, the the Northern river otter is sensitive to pollution, and will disappear from polluted areas. [2] Lake Clearwater, Ontario, Canada A lake is a large body of water, usually fresh water, surrounded by land. ... For the Second World War frigate class, see River class frigate The Murray River in Australia A waterfall on the Ova da Fedoz, Switzerland A river is a large natural waterway. ... A subtropical wetland in Florida, USA, with an endangered American Crocodile. ... This article is about marsh, a type of wetland. ... An estuary is a semi-enclosed coastal body of water which has a free connection with the open sea and within which sea water mixes with fresh water. ...


Like other otters, the Northern river otter lives in a den. The den is constructed in the burrows of other animals, or in natural hollows, such as under a log or in river banks. An underwater entrance or an above-ground entrance leads to a nest chamber which is lined with leaves, grass, moss, bark, and hair.[3] It often uses dens built by other animals, sometimes killing beavers or muskrats to take over their lodges. Look up den in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Binomial name Castor canadensis Kuhl, 1820 A taxidermied American Beaver The American Beaver (Castor canadensis) is a large semi-aquatic rodent native to Canada, most of the United States and parts of northern Mexico. ... Binomial name Ondatra zibethicus (Linnaeus, 1766) Muskrat range (native range in red, introduced range in green) I Muskrat lodge, middle Patuxent River marsh, Maryland The Muskrat or Musquash (Ondatra zibethicus), the only species in genus Ondatra, is a large aquatic rodent native to North America, and introduced in parts of...


Conservation status

Northern River Otters are trapped for their highly-prized fur. Over-harvest in the 1800s has led to its disappearance from many parts of its historical range. Trapping is still permitted in some areas where otters remain abundant. In other areas, the otter is being restored to places where it may have long since been extirpated, such as the Hudson River. The North American River Otter is not a nationally endangered species, but it is endangered in many states and it is threatened in others. Over-hunting, habitat destruction, and inadequate laws protecting the North American river otter are major factors where otters remain threatened. Since the discovery of the Americas, hunters have captured and killed the otters for their pelts. Hunting still continues today, otter pelts being worth over $100 (USD) each. Over 30,000 otter pelts are sold each year in the United States and Canada. The Hudson River, called Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk in Mahican, is a river that runs through the eastern portion of New York State and, along its southern terminus, demarcates the border between the states of New York and New Jersey. ... An endangered species is a species whose population is so small that it is in danger of becoming extinct. ... A pelt is the skin of a (generally) wild animal. ...

Efforts have been made to bring the otter back from endangerment. Since 1986, the National Park Service has reintroduced over 100 Northern River Otter back into the wild. (Linzey, 2002) Northern River Otter from US NPS Photo courtesy of the U.S. National Park Service. ... Northern River Otter from US NPS Photo courtesy of the U.S. National Park Service. ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The National Park Service (NPS) is the United States federal agency that manages all National Parks, many National Monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. ...


Behavior

A river otter swimming underwater
A river otter swimming underwater

The Northern River Otter is a highly active predator, like its relatives, the weasels. It is very playful, chasing, sliding, swimming, jumping, wrestling. This makes it popular for zoo exhibits. However, otters are not friendly towards humans if raised in captivity. Generally a captive-raised river otter becomes very aggressive towards humans when it reaches sexual maturity, and thus it does not make a good pet. There are times when otters have remained tame through their adult life, or have been taken from the wild as adults. However, "tame" is a relative term, even the most human-friendly otter will still bite and scratch, sometimes quite badly. They can be highly curious animals and have been known to follow trout fisherman along the opposite bank. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2567x1350, 1168 KB) [edit] Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Northern River Otter Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2567x1350, 1168 KB) [edit] Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Northern River Otter Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or... Giraffes in Sydneys Taronga Zoo A zoological garden, zoological park, or zoo is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures and displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred. ...


Diet

A river otter in Asseteague Wildlife Refuge
A river otter in Asseteague Wildlife Refuge

The Northern River Otter mainly eats fish, but also eat insects, frogs, crustaceans and sometimes small mammals. On occasion some larger river otters will attack and kill water birds such as ducks, geese, and even herons. The Northern River Otter is capable of swimming in circles, which creates a whirlpool-like motion that brings fish from the bottom of the water up to the top. It is generally nocturnal or crepuscular, but is active during the day where undisturbed by human activity. It uses musk and urine to mark the land bordering their territories in a behavior called sprainting. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (3072x2048, 2384 KB) Lontra canadensis in Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge, Brian Gratwicke File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (3072x2048, 2384 KB) Lontra canadensis in Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge, Brian Gratwicke File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Classes & Subclasses Branchiopoda Phyllopoda Sarsostraca Remipedia Cephalocarida Maxillopoda Thecostraca Tantulocarida Branchiura Pentastomida Mystacocarida Copepoda Ostracoda Myodocopa Podocopa Malacostraca Phyllocarida Hoplocarida Eumalacostraca The nauplius larva of a dendrobranchiate Porcellio scaber, the common rough woodlouse, a terrestrial crustacean Pollicipes polymerus, the gooseneck barnacle Glyphea pseudastacus, a fossil glypheoid The crustaceans (Crustacea) are... Saltstraumen whirlpool A whirlpool in a glass of water A whirlpool is a large, swirling body of water produced by ocean tides. ... A nocturnal animal is one that sleeps during the day and is active at night - the opposite of the human (diurnal) schedule. ... Adult Firefly or Lightning Bug – a Crepuscular Beetle Photuris lucicrescens Crepuscular is a term used to describe animals that are primarily active during the twilight. ...


Reproduction

The Northern River Otter female evicts her mate while babies are still young, but the male will return later however to help care for the young when half-grown. (Dewey, 2004) North American river otters usually mate once a year in late winter or usually early spring. Males often mate with several females during the breeding season. They have a gestation period of 2 months, and the pups are weaned for 3 months. The size of the litter can range from 1-6 pups, but usually there are only 2-3. (Dewey, 2004) There is a delay in the implantation of the fertilized egg, so that the young are born in late winter or early spring. Mating occurs in water. Winter is one of the four seasons of temperate zones. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Gestation is the carrying of an embryo or fetus inside a female viviparous animal. ...


Care in captivity

This river otter at the National Zoo takes a break from swimming.
This river otter at the National Zoo takes a break from swimming.

Otters are only suited for professional exhibits or care. Their diet is flexible. Some groups feed their otters a variety of fresh water creatures in addition to live fish, while others live on a diet of pre-killed rodents. They need access to fresh water deep enough to swim and play in, and this water will need to be changed regularly or filtered. Some groups add chlorine to the water to reduce bacteria and algae growth, but this may result in skin problems for the otter. As they are very active, they are easy to train for medical exams, demonstrations, and behavioral enrichment. Common enrichment objects include ice with food frozen in it, floating balls, and segments of wide pipe. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixels Full resolution (3456 × 2304 pixel, file size: 4. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixels Full resolution (3456 × 2304 pixel, file size: 4. ... The elephant exibit at the National Zoo The Smithsonian National Zoological Park, commonly known in the United States as the National Zoo, is a zoo located in Washington, DC. Founded in 1889, it consists of two distinct installations: a 163 acre (0. ... Families Many, see text The order Rodentia is the most numerous of all the branches on the mammal family tree. ... Enrichment may mean: Education. ...


References

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List and Red Data List), created in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species and can be found here. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Lontra canadensis
Wikispecies has information related to:
Lontra canadensis
  • An Otter Family Album, a thorough chronicle of 23 years of otter colony observations by J. Scott Shannon
  • North American River Otter species profile by the Nature Conservancy
  • Nature: Yellowstone Otters, educational resources from the Public Broadcasting System
  • Lontra canadensis from the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology's "Animal Diversity Web"
  • North American River Otter fact sheet from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington (USA)
  • photo gallery at Otternet.com
  • River Otter species information from AnimalsArchive.com

  Results from FactBites:
 
Northern River Otter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1179 words)
These otters can be found all across North America including inland waterways and coastal bays in Alaska, Canada, the northern United States and the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the U.S However, their numbers have significantly dropped since Europeans came to the Americas.
Otters have sexual dimorphism, as the male is larger than the female.
Otters are powerful swimmers, but can also travel quickly on land and often propel themselves into a rapid slide on their bellies on snow or ice; they also like to slide down river banks into the water.
Otter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (818 words)
To survive in the cold waters where many otters live, the specialised fur is not enough: otters have very high metabolic rates and burn up energy at a profligate pace: Eurasian otters, for example, must eat 15% of their body weight a day; sea otters, 20 to 25%, depending on the temperature.
The northern river otter (Lontra canadensis) was one of the major animals hunted and trapped for fur in North America after contact with Europeans.
River otters eat a variety of fish and shellfish, as well as small land mammals and birds.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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