River Otter

Lontra canadensis


The most aquatic member of the weasel family, they live in and along rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes. Otters like to slide in the mud grass, and snow, and can swim underwater for ¼ mile.

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This carnivore primarily eats fish, particularly slower-swimming fish like suckers and minnow, but will also eat crayfish and other shellfish, and occasionally turtles, snakes, muskrats, and young beavers.

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Distinctive Characteristics

About three to four feet long from nose to tail, the northern river otter has sleek, dark brown, waterproof fur, short legs, and a long, thick, tapered tail.

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Mostly active at night.

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Reproduction & Family Structure

Two to three kits are born in April in a den near the water.

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