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The rhinarium is bare, with an obtuse, triangular projection. Eyes of the animal are small and placed anteriorly. A short, broad rostrum for exhaling and a long, broad cranium define the relatively flat skull. The pelage has a high luster and varies from light brown to black. The throat, chin, and lips are grayer than the rest of the body.

Fur of senescent river otters may become white-tipped, and rare albinos may occur. A clinical reduction in size may exist from north to south along the Pacific coast, but not from east to west. Note the inconspicuous ears. The North American river otter is physically well-equipped for aquatic life. The ears are short, the neck is the same diameter as the head, the legs are short and powerful, the toes are fully webbed, and the tail one-third of body length is tapered.

These qualities give the North American river otter a streamlined profile in water, but reduce agility on land. The smell and hearing abilities of the North American river otter are acute.

The North American river otter has a delicate sense of touch in the paws in addition to great dexterity. North American river otters have transparent nictitating membranes to protect their eyes while swimming. Reduced lobulation of the lungs is presumed to be adaptive for underwater swimming. In addition, the length of the trachea of the North American river otter is intermediate between that of terrestrial carnivores and marine mammals.

The mean tracheal length of the North American river otter is A shorter trachea may improve air exchange and increase lung ventilation in diving mammals. Also, North American river otters have large molars used for crushing hard objects, such as the shells of molluscs.

Additional premolars may be present. North American river otter at the River dart Behavior[ edit ] North American river otters are active year-round, and are most active at night and during crepuscular hours. They become much more nocturnal in the spring, summer, and fall seasons, and more diurnal during winter. They may migrate as a result of food shortages or environmental conditions, but they do not migrate annually. The tail, which is stout and larger in surface area than the limbs, is used for stability while swimming and for short bursts of rapid propulsion.

It must remain in motion to maintain its position at the surface. Note the long, tapered tail. On land, the North American river otter can walk, run, bound, or slide.

Foot falls during walking and running follow the sequence of left limb, right limb, right limb, left limb. During walking, the limbs are moved in a plane parallel to the long axis of the body. Bounding is the result of simultaneous lifting of the limbs off the ground.

As the front feet make contact with the ground, the back feet are lifted and land where the front paws first contacted the ground, producing a pattern of tracks in pairs typical of most mustelids. Sliding occurs mostly on even surfaces of snow or ice, but can also occur on grassy slopes and muddy banks. Sliding across snow and ice is a rapid and efficient means of travel, and otters traveling over mountain passes, between drainages, or descending from mountain lakes often slide continuously for several hundred meters.

Rear leg paddling enables continuous sliding where gravity is an insufficient or an opposing force. Daily movements of yearling males and females in Idaho averaged 4. Daily movements of family groups averaged 4. Both males and family groups travel drastically less during winter. Otter play mostly consists of wrestling with conspecifics. Chasing is also a common game.

North American river otters rely upon play to learn survival skills such as fighting and hunting. Several North American river otters may even cooperate while fishing. Small fish are eaten at the surface, but larger ones are taken to the shore to be consumed.

Live fish are typically eaten from the head. North American river otters dry themselves and uphold the insulative quality of their fur by frequent rubbing and rolling on grass, bare ground, and logs. A highly active predator, the North American river otter has adapted to hunting in water, and eats aquatic and semiaquatic animals. The vulnerability and seasonal availability of prey animals mainly governs its food habits and prey choices. For instance, an Alberta, Canada study involved the collection and analysis of 1, samples of North American river otter scats collected during each season.

Crustaceans may even be consumed more than fish. When a copious supply of food dwindles or other prey becomes available, North American otters either transfer to a new location or convert their dietary choices to the most adequate prey.

Likewise, the potential predatory impact of otters may be considerable whenever fish are physically confined most commonly in smaller ponds offering sparse cover or other escape options. Even in larger bodies of water, they may take disproportional advantage of any seasonal concentrations of fish when and where only very limited areas of suitable spawning, low-flow, or over-wintering habitat may exist.

Even such fast-swimming species as trout become lethargic in extremely cold water, with a commensurate increase in their vulnerability to predation. As such, careful consideration of any threatened, endangered, or fish species of special interest is warranted prior to reintroduction of otters to a watershed. Although other prey species are of temporary significance to the North American river otter, the deciding factor whether the North American river otter can establish itself as a permanent resident of one location is the year-round availability of fish.

The North American river otter is more social than most mustelids. In all habitats, their basic social group is the family, consisting of an adult female and her progeny. Adult males also commonly establish enduring social groupings, some documented to comprise as many as 17 individuals.

In coastal areas, males may remain gregarious even during the estrous period of females. Family groups may include helpers, which can be made up of unrelated adults, yearlings, or juveniles. Male North American river otters do not seem to be territorial, and newly dispersing males may join established male groups.

North American river otters living in groups hunt and travel together, use the same dens, resting sites, and latrines , and perform allogrooming.

In freshwater systems, groups occur most often in autumn and during early winter. From mid-winter through the breeding season, adult females move and den alone.

River otters are not territorial, but individual North American river otters of different groups portray mutual avoidance. Home ranges of males are larger than those of females, and both sexes exhibit intra- and intersexual overlap of their domains. Scent marking is imperative for intergroup communication. The North American river otter scent-marks with feces, urine, and possibly anal sac secretions.

Musk from the scent glands may also be secreted when otters are frightened or angry. When at play or traveling, they sometimes give off low, purring grunts. The alarm call, given when shocked or distressed by potential danger, is an explosive snort, made by expelling air through the nostrils.

North American river otters also may use a birdlike chirp for communication over longer distances, but the most common sound heard among a group of otters is low-frequency chuckling. Males are sexually mature at two years of age. Copulation lasts from 1673 minutes and may occur in water or on land.

During the breeding, the male grabs the female by the neck with his teeth. Copulation is vigorous, and is interrupted by periods of rest. Females may caterwaul during or shortly after mating. Female estrus lasts about a month per year, [41] and true gestation lasts 6163 days.

Because the North American river otters delay implantation for at least eight months, the interval between copulation and parturition can reach 1012 months. The female otters do not dig their own dens; instead, they rely on other animals, such as beavers, to provide suitable environments to raise their offspring.

When the mothers have established their domains, they give birth to several kits. The kits open their eyes after 3038 days. The newborns start playing at five to six weeks, and begin consuming solid food at 910 weeks. Weaning occurs at 12 weeks, and females provide solid food for their progeny until 3738 weeks have transpired.

The maximum weight and length of both sexes are attained at three to four years of age. When the pups are about two months old and their coats grow in, their mother introduces them to the water.

North American river otters are natural swimmers and, with parental supervision, they acquire the skills necessary to swim. Prior to the arrival of the next litter, the North American river otter yearlings venture out in search of their own home ranges. The North American river otter is found throughout North America, inhabiting inland waterways and coastal areas in Canada, the Pacific Northwest , the Atlantic states , and the Gulf of Mexico.

North American river otters also currently inhabit coastal regions throughout the United States and Canada. North American river otters also inhabit the forested regions of the Pacific coast in North America. The species is also present throughout Alaska, including the Aleutian Islands , and the north slope of the Brooks Range.

However, urbanization and pollution instigated reductions in range area. Reintroduction projects have expanded their distribution in recent years, especially in the Midwestern United States. Since their reintroduction to Kentucky in the early 90s, they have recovered to the point that a trapping season was started in , and the species is now found in all major waterways. In addition, riverine habitats in interior regions supported smaller, but practical, otter populations.

Although commonly called a "river otter", the North American river otter is found in a wide variety of aquatic habitats, both freshwater and coastal marine, including lakes, rivers, inland wetlands, coastal shorelines, marshes, and estuaries. It can tolerate a great range of temperature and elevations. However, it is sensitive to pollution, and will disappear from tainted areas. An entrance, which may be under water or above ground, leads to a nest chamber lined with leaves, grass, moss, bark, and hair.


The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or the common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent found in and along its waterways and coasts. An adult North American river otter can weigh between and 14 kg ( and lb). The river otter is protected . discreet encounters - Free Dating, Singles and Personals. Love Ultimate Fighting!!!Looking for opem minded women seeking adventure and pure erotic encounters.I'm educated, discreet and believe that women are the most treasured thing on .

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