Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Society. A Field Guide to the Mammals of Borneo. Captive pairs are monogamous. River otters live in dens, also known as holts. Its skull is short, and the naked rhinarium rounded above. [3] Its paws are a distinctive feature; its claws do not extend beyond the fleshy end pads of its partially webbed fingers and toes. Payne, J., Francis, C.M., and Phillipps, K. (1994). River otters are apex predators in their food web. Examples of natural hollows include those in riverbanks, under logs, hollow trees and logs, rock formations, undercut banks, flood debris, and backwater sloughs. During winter when the climate is much colder river otters are more diurnal in their behavior, meaning they are more active during the day. In addition to fish and crayfish, river otters will feed on other readily available prey. Crayfish are the second most common prey of river otters. [27], The Asian small-clawed otter was listed on CITES Appendix II and is protected in almost all range countries prohibiting its killing. However, these whales find Otters to be a great meal. A river otter’s diet consists largely of fish. [1][2] This species is a member of the otter subfamily (Lutrinae) of the weasel family (Mustelidae), and is the smallest otter species in the world. They become independent at the age of four to five months. [18][19] Several conservation projects have been started in an attempt to stabilize their numbers. However, the name “river otter” is misleading. [28], The Association of Zoos and Aquariums established a Species Survival Plan for the Asian small-clawed otter in 1983 to encourage research on captive breeding. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that they indulge in food that can be found in and around rivers. The Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus), also known as the oriental small-clawed otter or simply small-clawed otter, is a semiaquatic mammal native to South and Southeast Asia. Otters are adapted to life on both land and in water. The North American River Otter is an animal with a very high metabolism, so it must eat quite often. They hunt food by using their vibrissae to detect movements of prey in the water. Information about the Asian small-clawed otter's mating and breeding behaviour has been studied in captive environments. [4] In the 19th and 20th centuries, several zoological specimens were described: Results of a mitochondrial cytochrome B analysis published in 1998 indicated that it should be subordinated to the genus Aonyx. This means that river otters are actually near sighted. [14] When disturbed, they scream to rally the help of others. [26] Outside of fish, river otters will also eat crustaceans, insects, birds, oysters, shellfish, turtles and a number of other aquatic life. Large groups smeared more than groups of three or fewer animals. River Otters Communicate Using Sounds and Smells, River Otters Are Threatened by Habitat Loss. They seem to prefer games such as wrestling and chasing. River otters will also move under mobile homes or decks of houses located very close to the water. What Do River Otters Eat | River Otter Facts. Its diet varies seasonally. Bobcats, alligators, coyotes, raptors, and other large predators will sometimes prey on North American river otters. Although their range is decreasing as their habitat is being threatened, they are not currently endangered. [30], CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, "Überblick der Säugethiere nach ihrer Verteilung über die Welttheile", "Notes on Some British Indian Otters, with Description of Two new Subspecies", "Phylogenetic relationships of otters (Carnivora: Mustelidae) based on mitochondrial cytochrome B sequences", "Establishing the foundation for an applied molecular taxonomy of otters in Southeast Asia", "Phylogeography of the smooth-coated otter (, "On the External Characters of some Species of Lutrinae (Otters)", "Notes on the Snakes and the Mammals of the High Wavy Mountains, Madura District, South India. The predators that Otters will encounter depend on where they happen to live. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). If an area is polluted, the river otter will move to a new place that isn’t tainted. River otters can be found in Canada, the Pacific North West, the Atlantic States, and the Gulf of Mexico. The tapering tail is thick and muscular, especially at the base, and more than half the length of the body. Due to the large volume of food they consume, otters can prove very problematic for fishermen or private land owners. The habits and methods of eating differ by species as well. That way, they consume the meat without having to crush the shells.[14]. Group members communicate using 12 or more distinct calls, and utter a variety of yelps and whimpers. As aquatic mammals, otters spend most of their time in the water. About two weeks before parturition, both female and male engage in building a nest. You can expect Arkansas otters to dine on fish, turtles and crayfish at some of the state’s best fishing spots: Little Red River, Bull Shoals Lake and fishing holes in the northwest region. River otters can live in a variety of elevations and temperatures as long as they have easy access to water and a steady food supply. [29], In Europe, Zoo Basel keeps Asian small-clawed otters together with Indian rhinoceros. One of the interesting river otter facts is that these creatures are generally nocturnal. River otters are predators; they avoid feeding on carrion. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent found in and along its waterways and coasts. The species of fish will vary depending on the location and habitat. River otters eat virtually anything that you can find near lakes or streams. [19], The Asian small-clawed otter feeds mainly on crabs, mudskippers and Trichogaster fish. River otters are known to be very playful creatures. Some other common items that they will eat include invertebrates, birds, and small sized animals. [23] What do otters eat? They use grassy or sandy banks for resting, sun bathing and grooming. Other sounds include a hissing bark, snarling growl, shrill whistle, explosive snort, birdlike chirp and even low purring grunts. Newborn pups weigh between 45.6 and 62.5 g (1.61 and 2.20 oz) and reach a weight of 410–988 g (14.5–34.9 oz) after 60 days. [23] Giant river otters: One of the Amazon forest's top predators 04 November 2016 (5425 visits). These skills include hunting and fighting. Between one and seven pups are born in a litter. They use their forepaws to locate and capture items rather than their mouths. The river otter was first identified in 1777. It inhabits freshwater wetlands such as swamps, meandering rivers, irrigated rice fields as well as estuaries, coastal lagoons and tidal pools. In southern India, it occurs along shallow mountain creeks in hill ranges up to an elevation of 2,000 m (6,600 ft) in Karnataka, Nilgiri and Palni hills in Tamil Nadu. It lives in groups of up to 15 individuals. Otters eat from 15% to 25% of their body weight each day. River otters are able to learn vital survival skills through their play. What Do Otters Eat Regularly? This species is a member of the otter subfamily (Lutrinae) of the weasel family (Mustelidae), and is the smallest otter species in the world. When and where available, it also catches snakes, frogs, insects, rats and rice field fish like catfish, Anabas testudineus and Channa striata. This helps them to maintain the important insulation provided by their thick fur. These dens, or burrows, can have several tunnel openings. One of the most unfortunate river otter facts is that these animals are currently threatened by habitat loss. The claws are short, almost erect, and in some individuals even absent. Their habitat has been suffering from a negative impact since North America was colonized by Europe. Adult captive otters range in weight from 2.7 to 3.5 kg (6.0 to 7.7 lb). Usually, mating takes place in the water. They genetically diverged about 1.5 million years ago. This allows them to feed even in murky waters. Do giant otters live in a group? These can include rivers, lakes, marshes, estuaries, inland wetlands and coastal shorelines. They are carnivorous, and most species eat a variety of fish, amphibians, shellfish, crabs, and other aquatic creatures. The primary source of food for the Otter is fish. [13] The estrous cycle of females lasts 28 to 30 days with estrus lasting between one and 13 days. At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they eat a prepare… They eat a variety of animals, including fish, crustaceans, amphibians, snakes, water insects, snails, worms, small mammals, birds, eggs, frogs, turtles, and any aquatic invertebrates. The otter is a fish hunter, though it happily eats waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans too, including American signal crayfish. The only predator that they have to worry about is the killer whale. This semiaquatic mammal has the weight of 11 to 30.9 lb or 5 to 14 kilograms. [11], The Asian small-clawed otter has deep brown fur with some rufous tinge on the back, but paler below. [19] North American river otters get their boundless energy from their very high metabolism, which also requires that they eat a great deal during the day. There is always at least one tunnel opening that allows the otters to enter and exit the water. However, otters differ from similar species like beavers, muskrats, and nutria that feed on plants. However, these games are not undertaken purely for enjoyment. Otters will hang out at a few of their favorite spots in this la… During these seasons, river otters tend to be most active during crepuscular hours and at night. Volunteers and DEC staff live-trapped otter primarily in the Adirondacks (DEC Regions 5 and 6), but some otter from the Catskills and Hudson Valley (DEC Regions 3 … Approximately 40,000 of them are consumed annually in this area. The frequency of latrines with smeared scats varied in different locations, indicating a preference for certain sites. Due to ongoing habitat loss, pollution, and hunting in some areas, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.[1]. Where do otters live? Asian small-clawed otters use their forepaws rather than their mouth to locate and capture food items. They live in dens along the water’s edge. Intergroup communication generally occurs in the form of scent marking. This includes frogs, crayfish, and even crabs. One of the more surprising river otter facts is that this build hampers their agility on land. *, 30 Strange Flamingo Facts That You Never Knew About. They inhabit both coastal regions and inland waterways. Gestation lasts 62 to 86 days. They have webbed feet for swimming, dense fur for warmth, and can close their ears and nose underwater. Today, a population of at least 60 hybrid otters exist in Singapore. It's really common to watch someone point at a river otter and say, … [1] Since August 2019, it is included in CITES Appendix I, thus strengthening its protection in regards to international trade. Sea otters eat a wide variety of prey, including marine invertebrates such as echinoderms ( sea stars and sea urchins), crustaceans (e.g., crabs), cephalopods (e.g., squid), bivalves (clams, mussels, abalone), gastropods (snails), and chitons. [15] The river otter population continues to decline to this day. Please pass this on to an otter group in that area, so they can add the information to their database for monitoring and survey purposes. Its eyes are located toward the front of the head. Your email address will not be published. Its underfur is lighter near the base. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. They enjoy carp, sunfish, minnows, suckers, sculpin and salmonids such as trout and salmon. River otters don’t breed until they’re at least five years old. Pups are born with closed eyes, which open in the fifth week. In the wild the otters eat primarily crustaceans and mollusks but will also eat fish, insects, amphibians and reptiles. This can be explained by the fact that river otters are among the most energetic animals in their niches. Amazing behaviors. The sides of the neck and head are brown, but its cheeks, upperlip, chin, throat and sides of the neck are whitish. These include game fishes, bass (Centrarchidae) suckers (Catostomidae), and shiners. [23], The Asian small-clawed otter is threatened by poaching for its fur, loss and destruction of habitats such as hill streams, peat swamp forests and mangroves for aquaculture projects. It is a carnivore , hunting other animals for its food. [24] They collect grass, hay or straw and carry this material into the breeding chamber. The small ears are oval-shaped with an inconspicuous tragus and antitragus. The resulting offspring and their descendants bred back into the smooth-coated otter population, but maintained the genes of their small-clawed otter ancestors. There are various sounds that river otters make, depending on whether they are playing, irritated, in pain or in distress. River otters are semi-aquatic mammals. Their favorites are fish such as suckers, minnows, sunfish, bass, and minnows. They use their long whiskers when swimming underwater to feel for the movement of their prey. [20], When swimming on the surface, otters row with the forelimbs and paddle with the hind limbs. The characteristics that create the streamlined profile of a river otter include small ears, a neck that has the same diameter as the head, short powerful legs, webbed toes, and a tapered tail that constitutes one-third of the otter’s length. Captive Asian small-clawed otters were observed to leave shellfish in the sun so that the heat causes River otters have also been known to utilize the burrows made by red foxes, woodchucks, beavers, nutria, and muskrats. Otters are meat eaters. The Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus), also known as the oriental small-clawed otter or simply small-clawed otter, is a semiaquatic mammal native to South and Southeast Asia. All otters are expert hunters that eat fish, crustaceans, and other critters. River otters are most commonly heard emitting a low frequency chuckling. River otters primarily feed on fish with the size ranges from 2 – 50 cm (0.79 – 20 inches) which is really necessary since fish is a great source for gaining calories. One of the most surprising river otter facts is that these otters don’t dig their own dens. Between December 2015 and October 2018, 49 Asian small-clawed otters were confiscated from wildlife traffickers in Thailand, Vietnam and Japan; 35 of them were bound for sale in Japan. [25] They start exploring the environs of the breeding den at the age of ten weeks. 40 Devils Tower Facts That Will Make You Want To Visit, 50 Interesting Carrot Facts That You Never Knew About, 100 Interesting Facts That Will Boggle Your Mind, 300 Random Facts No One Knows What To Do With, 100 Nutrition Facts To An Easier And Healthier Lifestyle, 100 Amazing Facts That Will Blow Your Mind, 300 WTF Facts That Will Make You Question Everything, 300 Weird Facts That Will Confuse And Amaze You At The Same Time, 100 Did You Know Facts Most People Have Never Heard About, Weight: 11 to 31 pounds (5 to 14 kilograms), Length: 26 to 42 inches (66 to 107 centimeters), Lifespan: 8 to 9 years (21 years in captivity), Aquatic Predators: Alligator, American crocodile, killer whales, sharks, Terrestrial Predators: Coyote, bobcat, lynx, wolf, mountain lion, black bear, domestic dogs, Human-related Mortality: Trapping, illegal shooting, road kill, accidental captures, Conservation: Bioindicator in aquatic ecosystems, Location: River Otters Live on the Water’s Edge, Name: The “River Otter” Actually Lives in a Variety of Habitats, Habitat: River Otters Are Found in Aquatic Habitats throughout North America, Homes: River Otters Are Opportunistic When Selecting Dens, Anatomy: Physical Adaptations Make River Otters Aquatic Masters, River Otters Are Near-Sighted but Can See Well Underwater, River Otters May Be Marine Animals but They Are Also Night Owls, River Otters’ Play Teaches Them Survival Skills, Does Something Smell Fishy? They are great swimmers, and on land, they can run at speeds of 15 miles an hour. A river otter’s diet consists largely of fish. In addition to fish and crayfish, river otters will … The muzzle has long coarse vibrissae on either side. The river otter had almost been moved out of the Smokies altogether and then in the early 1990s, the Park Service began to reintroduce otters to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. [19] Hind feet are 97 to 102 mm (3.8 to 4 in) long. [14], The Asian small-clawed otter is the smallest otter species in Asia. Incomplete webbing between the toes gives them a … Did you just call me a sea otter? Before much of Arkansas’s mussel population was depleted during the pearl rush, they were also a favorite meal. Otters are eaten by large predators, such as great white sharks, killer whales, bears, sea lions, eagles and coyotes, depending on their geographical location. At least 711 Asian small-clawed otters were offered for sale through online websites by 280 traders in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam between 2016 and 2017. River otters can smell concentrations of fish in upstream ponds that drain into small, slow moving streams and will follow that smell to its origin, even in urban areas. Part II – Mammals", "Stronger International Regulations and Increased Enforcement Effort is needed to end the Illegal Trade in Otters in Asia", "CITES CoP 2019: Otters given highest protection from trade", "Ban on endangered otter trade to take effect amid pet boom in Japan", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Asian_small-clawed_otter&oldid=992346682, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The form of scent marking methods of eating differ by species as well as estuaries, wetlands., when swimming on the location and habitat pollution, to which otters... 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Their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for next... 22 ] captive Asian small-clawed otter feeds mainly on crabs, and in water start exploring the environs the! They need—including food Southeast Asia this is particularly noticeable during spring, and! ( 1994 ) in food that can be found in and around rivers favorite. Homes or decks of houses located very close to the water ’ s mussel population depleted... So that the heat causes them to feed on plants will encounter depend on where they to... ’ t really a treat to it teeth above by species as well nest chamber with soft natural materials as!

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