Shape The World. Avoidance is a very significant factor in river otter social behavior. The giant otter or giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is a South American carnivorous mammal. River otters can also close their ears and nostrils using valve-like flaps to keep water out while swimming and diving. The species occurs broadly across much of North America and is considered reasonably secure overall. Mammal. However, that streamlined physique is also an asset: it lends efficiency to aquatic hunting. River otters generally live along rivers, as their name implies, but they're also found near streams and lakes.Otters prefer water bordered by woods and with wetlands, such as marshes, nearby. Their toes are webbed, they have short legs and they boast a tapered tail ranging up to 15 inches long. Hi Lori! I too am looking forward to the 1st. Mating takes place in early spring, but embryos remain dormant and free floating in the uterus for 8-9 months, before attaching and developing. Interesting Facts: • North American river otters can dive to depths of 60 feet. 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 are the only river otter that is found north of Mexico. The species occurs broadly across much of North America and is considered reasonably secure overall. The weight of a North American river otter measures around 5 – 14 kg (11 – 31 lb). The otter closes its nostrils and small ears when submerged. They can hold their breath for up to eight minutes. Without the additional energetic demands of pregnancy, her own chances of surviving winter are enhanced. She enjoys writing about health, medicine, education and home and garden topics. Its fur ranges in color from white and gray to brown and black. What Adaptations Help Jackrabbits Stay Cool in the Desert? A layer of fat sits below the slick coat, providing the otters with added insulation. A fast metabolic rate requires river otters to eat frequently during the day. Young stay with their mother through their first winter. Williams is also a certified emergency medical technician. Sharing a den with her helps them keep warm, hunting with her helps them meet the increased caloric demands of maintaining body temperature in a cold environment, and mutual grooming helps them keep those dense, warm coats in good condition. What Adaptations Help Elephants Keep Cool? Their body shape aids in helping them make sudden turns to catch fish and other prey. 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. It’s interesting to note that the density of the mink’s fur is about 290 hairs per square millimeter, which is intermediate between the otter and the two terrestrial predators. River otters are able to travel on land at speeds of up to 29 miles per hour, according to SeaWorld. It does this by rolling in snow and grooming to maintain trapped air between the fibers, which makes the coat a good insulator. 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. They are well adapted for swimming, with their streamline bodies and valved ears and nose. Awesome video! The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) occurs in streams, lakes and reservoirs, wetlands, and marine coasts. Otters are members of the weasel (Mustelid) family. As always, I read each and every one of your postings with avid interest and joy. Some of them are not very big but because they are often defending the territory. Most remarkably, river otters dig passages through beaver dams so they can easily move under the ice between adjacent water bodies. 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