North American River Otter

North American River Otter

Feral to North America, the 7 subspecies of the North American river otter is found along the waterways and coasts, and is also known as the Northern river otter or the Common otter.

Scientific Name – Lontra canadensis

Classification – Lontra

Gender Names – Male – male; Female – female; Baby – whelp, pup

Collective Noun – Family, raft, romp

Length/Size – 66 to 107 centimetres (26 to 42 in)

Weight – 5 to 14 kilograms (11 to 31 lb)

Top Speed – Swimming speed: 7 miles per hour; running speed: 18 miles per hour (max)

Life Expectancy – 8-9 years; up to 21 in captivity

Gestation Period – 61–63 days

Special Features  Protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur

Social Structure – Basic social group is their own family comprising of an adult female and her offspring. Adult males also establish groups enduring social groupings with as many as 17 individuals

Geographical Distribution – Varies between subspecies

Natural Habitat – Both freshwater and coastal marine, including inland wetlands, coastal shorelines, marshes, lakes, rivers, and estuaries

Conservation Status – Least Concern

Diet – Amphibians, fish, turtles, crayfish, crabs, and other invertebrates; occasionally birds, bird eggs, and small terrestrial mammals

Predators – Bobcats, coyotes, birds of prey, alligators etc.