Critter Corner - River
DID YOU KNOW:
The North American River Otter's whiskers are extremely sensitive
and help the otter locate prey underwater.
and crayfish are river otters' favorite food, but they also eat
frogs, earthworms, salamanders, snakes, clams, turtles and even
ducks. They swim along the surface until they spy a fish,
then dive down and use amazing swimming skills to outmaneuver
their prey. They love to eat it head first.
Mom Otter gives birth to two to four babies that are blind and
toothless, but fully furred. Mom provides milk and
encircles her babies with her body to keep them warm. They
are born in the spring and stay in the den for about 12 weeks.
otters are found across the United States and Canada in rivers,
streams, lakes and some coastal areas. Because of past
trapping and habitat loss, the population is now much smaller
than it was when the settlers first arrived.
At first glance, river otters seem cute and playful, but they
are fierce fighters with sharp teeth and they can defeat even a
dog in combat.
River otters are probably the most adept swimmers of all
They have sleek bodies and powerful, webbed back feet.
They can swim 7 miles per hour, dive 50 feet and stay
underwater up to 4 minutes.
To learn more about
(Photo credits: Otter
drinking, Carol DeRuse; all others, Deb Hilburn)