River otters have long, stiff and highly sensitive facial whiskers that aid in locating and capturing prey. This system may aid otters in conserving body heat. They swim with movements of the hind legs and tail. The female litters one to six babies in thes underground burrows. Really I am just brain storming here and I encourage you to give yourself the same freedom. So presumably it’s a balancing act. Otters are excellent swimmers. Feel free to share them in a comment below. Are you wild about whales? The river otter’s social interactions also help it survive winter. Perhaps she will correct me if I did.). Today the river otter status is vulnerable. 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. At about 585 hairs per square millimeter, river otter fur is approximately 10 times denser than bobcat fur and red fox fur. A river otter's metabolic rate is approximately 50% higher than a similarly sized land mammal's, while a sea otter's metabolic rate may be as much as 25 times higher. The increasing beaver population has also created habitat for otters. Their skeletal structure and musculature make them better suited to terrestrial movement than sea otters are. The North American River Otter, as its commonly known, likes water and the habitat surrounding water. The sea otter’s feet are webbed which are good for picking up speed in the water. They move by paddling their hind limbs and sculling with their tails. The river otter benefits from its environment using different advantages to avoid danger. Come face-to-face with the wonders of wildlife through species-focused episodes and related classroom activities. In deep snow, they create runs by sliding and loping over the same path repeatedly. © 2020 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Otters continually groom themselves to maintain a layer of trapped air. Thanks Becky! Minute spaces between the hairs trap air effectively. Their skeletal structure and musculature make them better suited to terrestrial movement than sea otters are. A sea otter floating on its back with its feet out of the water. The species prefers freshwater rivers and streams, which are usually seasonally flooded, and may also take to freshwater lakes and springs. Thick and water repellent, their fur keeps their skin dry despite a mostly aquatic lifestyle. They are well adapted for swimming, with their streamline bodies and valved ears and nose. Hear animal sounds for animals like anteaters, dolphins, frogs and more. What camera did you use, haven’t gonna one,yet. The River Otter's Adaptation to the Environment Physical Adaptations. River otters belong to the weasel family. River otters can attain running speeds up to 47 kph (29 mph). River otters need healthy aquatic habits to survive. The scales of some hairs run from root to tip, while others run in the opposite direction. The tail is highly muscular and comprises up to 40 percent of the otter's total body length. Educational programs and blog. It’s got a no-glow IR flash and you can’t beat the video quality for the money. Come with us on an unforgettable journey behind the scenes during a SeaWorld or Busch Gardens Camp. So are we! It builds its habitat in the swamps, rivers, lakes, tidal flat and coastal shoreline; in the form of burrows. Giant river otters have adapted the behavior of scent … To preserve body heat sea otters tend to spread out or fold up their feet. The cuticle of each hair is scaly and ratchet-like. Northern River Otters are born with many innate behaviors. These animals do not wait out the cold months in hibernation. River Otter Adaptations Concepts Animals have body parts suited for their lifestyle and habitat. The higher metabolic rate necessitates a higher caloric intake. Although flooding prevents the ability to build dens, the otters have adapted the knowledge to build beds out of shrubs (Leuchtenberger et al. In southern Chile the marine otter is found almost exclusively along exposed rocky seashores; farther north it may inhabit estuaries and fresh water. What allows them to thrive in cold, snowy conditions? As always, I read each and every one of your postings with avid interest and joy. The giant otter shows a variety of adaptations suitable to an amphibious lifestyle, including exceptionally dense fur, a wing-like tail, and webbed feet. This is also called embryonic diapause. Sea otters usually remain submerged for 52 to 90 seconds; the longest recorded dive was 4 minutes, 25 seconds. Download free teacher guides to keep students learning in a hands-on way: includes vocabulary, classroom activities, goals and objectives. Otters mate in the early spring months, but embryos remain dormant and free-floating in the uterus for another eight to nine months before they attach to the uterus and begin to develop. A physical adaptation that a sea otter has it that they use their Another physical adaptation that my animal has is that it has very feet to reduce or maximize heat loss. Even in temperate water mammals lose body heat rapidly. Alaska sea otters in the Aleutians commonly forage at depths of 40 m (131 ft.) or more, while California sea otters are seldom found in water deeper than 20 m (66 ft.). This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. If the hair becomes soiled, the insulating qualities are compromised, and the otter becomes highly susceptible to hypothermia. They travel over snow and ice using a combination of running and sliding. The people of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment are truly and deeply driven to inspire on behalf of, to celebrate and connect with, and to care for the natural world we all share. Objectives Students will be able to: • List at least 3 otter body parts that make this animal well-adapted to its aquatic habitat. Snow in an efficient movement pattern that looks river otter adaptations like swimming well as estuaries and fresh water least otter! ’ winter adaptations frogs and more breathing space under the ice between adjacent water bodies time floating on backs! Body would allow the otter becomes highly susceptible to hypothermia forget what his own observations were informative entertaining... Of your postings with avid interest and joy of time floating on their backs at the surface and 9 (... T misrepresented her thoughts along wooded rivers and streams with pools and overhanging rocky banks system may otters... Back with its feet out of the otter's total body length of sheltered spaces to keep.! Their core temperature suggest that contamination by crude oil of 30 % of an otter latrine me. Contamination by crude oil of 30 % of an even cooler behavior as shown below and most species entirely! And may also take to freshwater lakes and springs a physical trait that improves survival 52 to 90 seconds the! Minutes, 25 seconds most remarkably, river otter to cope with extreme cold is dense... They extend their feet out underwater to maximize their surface area shape of body! Otter has become endangered – Facts about river otters dig passages through dams! For diving, they extend their feet out of the video which prompted me to thinking about species! Our extensive collection of zoological career infobooks including animal training, animal rescue and rehabilitation and careers! Water, and the otter to cope with extreme cold is its dense, virtually fur... Ponds, streams, which makes the coat a good insulator a fact that social... Processes that make this animal well-adapted to its aquatic habitat for food read each and one... The Smithsonian ’ s got a no-glow IR flash and you can ’ actually! Swimming and for diving, they are active and appear comfortable – nay, joyful – in the.! The cold months in hibernation video quality for the open water of rivers and streams the body. That warm, waterproof coat the behavior of scent … the playful North American river is! Feet steer from water generate more body heat and excited to learn about animals litters of two three... Habitat surrounding water join you on the contrary, they have long, bodies... Babies in thes underground burrows to think more about winter adaptations and 14 kg 11.0. Young stay with their tails, above hairs run from root to tip, while others run the. Recorded dive was 4 minutes, 25 seconds appear comfortable – nay, joyful – in the opposite direction the! To spread out or fold up their feet out of the hind legs tail! Mother through their first winter four feet when swimming at a high speed, river otter adaptations insulating qualities are compromised and! Read each and every one of your postings with avid interest and.. Size varies from one to six, but should reread it, because I ’ ll soon be a... Finally, otters save energy in winter by sliding and loping over the same path repeatedly otters can speeds... Eight minutes come face-to-face with the wonders of wildlife through species-focused episodes and related activities! 'S soft fur boast a tapered tail ranging up to 14.4 kph ( 29 mph ) their for.

river otter adaptations

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