North American River Otter Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in North American River Otter Deck (17):
1

What is the range and habitat of the North American river otter?

They are found throughout the North American continent in rivers, lakes, streams, estuaries, and coastal areas.

2

What family do river otters belong to?

Weasels.

3

How long do North American river otters get?

Between 2 and 3 1/2 feet long.

4

How much do NA river otters weigh?

Between 11 and 30 pounds.

5

What is special about the NA river otter's fur?

It is thick and insulated. It is also water repellent. They also have the densest fur of any mammal at 850,000 per square inch.

6

Name some adaptions of the NA river otter.

Waterproof outer coat: Allows the animal to stay warm in even the coldest rivers.
Streamlined shape/ round ears: Allows for easy gliding and sliding.
Sensitive whiskers: Allows them to detect small movements and avoid things in murky water.
Nictating Membrane: Allows them to see underwater.
Webbed feet: Allows them to swim easier.
Ears and nostrils that close when swimming.

7

How long can NA river otters hold their breath?

8 minutes.

8

What is the gestation period of the NA river otter?

62 days.

9

What age are NA river otters mature?

2 years.

10

How long do NA river otters live?

9 - 15 in the wild. Over 20 in captivity.

11

What do NA river otters eat?

Fish, crayfish, amphibians, and turtles. Occasionally aquatic plants.

12

What are some predators of the NA river otter?

Alligators, bobcats, wolves, and other large carnivores.

13

How fast can NA river otters swim?

7 mph

14

Are NA river otters social?

Usually solitary, except for families. They practice mutual avoidance.

15

How do NA river otters play?

They'll wrestle, slide, or dive for objects. Play usually serves to improve a skill or cover distance.

16

Are NA river otters endangered?

No, but their habitat and numbers are decreasing due to habitat loss and pollution.

17

What is the main effort being made to help NA river otters?

Re-introduce them to their historic range.