north american river otter behavioral adaptations

These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. Required fields are marked *. A little disclaimer before I start. Otters reach sexual maturity between two to three years of age. The glands produce a very strong, musky odor. Mating takes place in early spring, but embryos remain dormant and free floating in the uterus for 8-9 months, before attaching and developing. Your email address will not be published. Since they are semiaquatic mammals, river otters spend time both on land and in water. The mammals have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. Without the additional energetic demands of pregnancy, her own chances of surviving winter are enhanced. They have short legs, webbed feet for faster swimming, and a long, narrow body and … A behavioral adaptation is something the animal does to improve survival. They can hold their breath for up to eight minutes. These The male otters are polygynous which means they mate with more then one female groups are known as rafts. family groups. This is important because river otters lose heat quickly in water, so they must constantly burn energy to replace lost heat. Therefore, animals with long, slender bodies have to eat a lot to keep warm. Mating Behavior. Hunting opportunities may be diminished after freeze up, but otters have ways of dealing with this. 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. A chunkier body would allow the otter to better retain heat but would also reduce its agility in water and therefore its hunting efficiency. They also scent mark using paired scent glands near the base of their tails or by urinating/defecating on vegetation within their home range. They vocalize with whistles, growls, chuckles and screams. Genetics; Phylogeny/Evolutionary History; Physiology; Expirements; Life cylcle; sources; UNIQUE ADAPTIONS. Feel free to share them in a comment below. Severe declines in the 1800’s from unregulated fur harvest and habitat destruction extirpated or severely reduced A recent trail camera video I captured at an otter latrine got me to thinking about river otter winter adaptations. Likewise, I enjoy your photography on facebook! The most obvious physical characteristic that allows the river otter to cope with extreme cold is its dense, virtually waterproof fur coat. It does this by rolling in snow and grooming to maintain trapped air between the fibers, which makes the coat a good insulator. A wealth of otter information! Once a rare sight in Massachusetts, the otter … Behavioral Adaptations - Sea Otters Sea Otter live in packs that are the same gender as them. It is very well adapted to life in water. (Biokids) River otters have been known to hunt at … For example, the otter’s ability to live singly or in groups may have evolved because it allows the animal to to better exploit food resources in general, and it just happens to boost winter survival in cold climates. River Otter Facts. You can see an example of an otter sliding near the end of the video above. River otters live up to 15 years in the wild and up to 25 years in captivity. To be honest, I don’t actually know for a fact that flexible social structure does improve winter survival. JAVASCRIPT IS DISABLED. Amphibious, muscular river otters swim gracefully and quickly underwater to catch prey, and they can run on land. One thing the river otter must do is care for that warm, waterproof coat. Description The playful North American river otter is well adapted for semi-aquatic living. A layer of fat sits below the slick coat, providing the otters with added insulation. Adaptation . Below is an example of otter slides in Minnesota. They have a short thick undercoat for warmth and … River otters tend to be solitary and fairly territorial. I hope I haven’t misrepresented her thoughts. River Otter Adaptations Concepts Animals have body parts suited for their lifestyle and habitat. River otters have waterproof, velvety coats that act as insulation. She enjoys writing about health, medicine, education and home and garden topics. What Adaptations Help Elephants Keep Cool? 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 … Mammal. The species occurs broadly across much of North America and is considered reasonably secure overall. The North American river otter lives in Alaska, Canada and throughout the … Otters are members of the weasel (Mustelid) family. North American river otters are likely the most numerous of the otter species. 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. The otters are very agile in … Social and Territorial Behavior. However, water pollution, uncontrolled trapping and severe habitat loss have reduced the number of river otters. Northern River Otters are born with many innate behaviors. North American River otters make their homes in underground burrows near waters’ edges. About North American River Otters. ... Adaptations & Behavior. Identification. A really cool behavioral adaptation is cooperative foraging. Clawless otters are relatively social. they are eight to 12 months old or until a new litter arrives. They are well adapted for swimming, with their streamline bodies and valved ears and nose. Lifespan is 13 years in the wild, and up to 25 years under human care. While diving, river otters can slow down their heart rate to sustain oxygen. Male sea otters set up territories in female areas, and attempt to mate with any female that enters their territory. Thank you!! This is also called embryonic diapause. River otters can live where there is ice and snow River otters are very agile and can run on land up to 15 mph River otters … At one time, North American river otters were found throughout much of the United States and Canada. This is an important adaptation because the mother, having reached adulthood, is already a “success” and therefore more important to the gene pool than her young, many of which die before reaching adulthood. Males may breed with more than one female during the year. Its fur ranges in color from white and gray to brown and black. Now let’s consider the shape of its body. River otters are able to travel on land at speeds of up to 29 miles per hour, according to SeaWorld. • They can hold their breath underwater for up to eight minutes. Physiological adaptations are internal body processes that make an animal better suited to certain environmental challenges. They often have a circuit they travel along rivers and lakes which takes them up to a week or more to complete. Their toes are webbed, they have short legs and they boast a tapered tail ranging up to 15 inches long. © 2021 WILD SKY MEDIA. Adult males may be solitary, but sometimes group together in “clubs” and may benefit each other similarly. Learn more about these playful animals that were once rare in the Commonwealth. River otters belong to the weasel family. This ensures that a female will not be burdened with young offspring during winter. Behavior/Reproduction North American river otters very vocal, and the animals use a variety of calls to communicate. River otters defend their territories by marking, scratching, and occasionally fighting. Empower Her. An anatomic adaptation is a physical trait that improves survival. 2009).Look below for more information on the giant otters' adapted behaviors and traits. North American River Otter Lontra canadensis . Employing a variety of two-limb, four-limb, and tail-propelled paddling strokes, otters are proficient swimmers. An overly chunky body would also make an otter more awkward on land, and therefore at greater risk of becoming another predator’s victim. The adult male weighs around 11.3 kg (25 lb); while the female weighs up to 8.3 kg (18 lb). So presumably it’s a balancing act. The river otter is a semi-aquatic mammal found throughout Massachusetts’ lakes, rivers, and coastal habitats. Thank you for these wonderfully informative and entertaining efforts. It has a stocky body, short legs, webbed feet, and a long tail. A male river otter appears to approach females indiscriminately until it finds one that is receptive. This process, known as delayed implantation, enables the fertilized eggs to mark time within her, receiving only sparse ration to stay aliv… North American river otters are the only river otter that is found north of Mexico. The North American river otter's body is built for streamlined swimming. It is the longest member of the weasel family, Mustelidae, a globally successful group of predators, reaching up to 1.7 metres (5.6 ft).Atypical of mustelids, the giant otter is a social species, with family groups typically supporting three to eight members. Please enable JavaScript on your browser to best view this site. River otters also have long whiskers that help them search for food and avoid obstacles while swimming underwater. As suited as the North American river otter is to its riparian habitat, these mammals were once considered a conservation concern. Avoidance is a very significant factor in river otter social behavior. At about 585 hairs per square millimeter, river otter fur is approximately 10 times denser than bobcat fur and red fox fur. As a result, babies are usually born in March in cold climates. Learn how your comment data is processed. They seek streams and rivers where water does not freeze, and in ponds where water does freeze, they maintain holes in ice. River otters can also close their ears and nostrils using valve-like flaps to keep water out while swimming and diving. The glands produce a very strong, musky odor. Really enjoyed this and learning more about otters. Be Her Village. When river otters are not playing or swimming in water in search of food, they spend a lot of time on land grooming and resting. The river otter has the typical body type of a mustelid: Long and slender with short limbs. The female mates in the spring shortly after giving birth to two to four young (or she might skip a year). I often wish I could hold my breath like an otter! Severe declines in the 1800’s from unregulated fur harvest and habitat destruction extirpated or severely reduced That body type, with its high surface area to volume ratio, does not retain heat well, and poor heat retention is a liability in winter. River otters have a fast metabolic rate -- almost 50 percent faster than similar-sized land mammals, according to SeaWorld. It is recognized by its powerful neck and elongated body. Encouraged me to think more about winter adaptations of other creatures. The North American river otter (Lutra canadensis) is found in almost every state, including Virginia. River otters live in freshwater and coastal marine habitats such as rivers, marshes and lakes all over the United States. This isn’t too surprising when you consider the fact that the otter needs to spend a considerable amount of time in water to find food. Constantly on the move, riv… HTML tags allowed in your comment:

. Behavior: North American river otters have a reputation as very friendly and playful animals. Giant otters are more social than river otters, but separate groups tend to avoid each other. The otter can close its nostrils and ears under water, and uses the sensitive whiskers around its snout to help locate prey. 2011, Rosas et al. Their ability to travel quickly on land is essential for escaping predators, such as alligators and coyotes, who might consider an otter a tasty snack. North American river otters will eat frogs, turtles, snakes, insects, small mammals and birds whenever this type of prey is readily available. Flexing their long bodies up and down, paddling with their webbed hind feet, and using their feet and strong tails to steer, river otters are underwater acrobats. Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel water. Some might take issue with my calling some particular phenomenon a winter adaptation if it evolved for some other reason, and only happens to be of benefit during winter. To travel better in water, river otters developed adaptations such as four webbed feet and a propeller-like tail. This particular species of otter is not classified as endangered at this time, but habitat loss could be an ongoing concern. River otters (Lutra canadensis, Fig. River Otters as Agents of Water Loss From Beaver Dams, Camera Trapping Bats with an Acoustic Trigger, Building a DSLR Camera Trap: Part 1 – Design Elements, Davis, R. D. “Metabolism and Thermoregulation.” In, Reid, D. G., S. M. Herrero and T. E. Code. The River Otter's Adaptation to the Environment. PART OF WILD SKY MEDIA | FAMILY & PARENTING, SeaWorld: Otters - Adaptations for an Aquatic Environment, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department: River Otter, Children's Zoo at Celebration Square: North American River Otter, University of Michigan: North American River Otter. The best way to learn about the behavioral and physical adaptations that help this mammal survive is to watch an otter on land and in the water. Mammal. Otters have short powerful legs with webbed feet. It’s probably for these reasons that the otter depends on a thick, waterproof coat and excellent hunting ability instead of a layer of blubber to keep warm. North American River Otters spend much of their time foraging. On the contrary, they are active and appear comfortable – nay, joyful – in the snow. Thanks! The otter closes its nostrils and small ears when submerged. Male river otters ignore females and young through most of the year.

Guardant Health Investor Relations, Assassin's Creed Revelations Walkthrough, Mr Kipling Mince Pies Tesco, Cheapest Csu Parking Permit, Yvette Nicole Brown Zachary Levi, Ar Uppers And Lowers, Isolved Go Invalid Login Credentials, Ps5 Won't Connect To Wifi, How To Make A Homemade Fidget Toy, The Day Is Gone Meaning, Brett Lee Latest Pics,