River otters can hold their breath for up to 8 minutes while under water. The river otter food chain also consists of mussels, bivalves, snails, cr… In some areas, this is a protected species, and some places have otter sanctuaries that help sick and injured otters to recover. They will feed on fish, invertebrates, frogs, clams, crayfish, and small mammals or birds. ** NOTE: Nutritional requirements for wild species are difficult to determine as they require feces, urine, and blood samples and tested in a laboratory setting, therefore a lot of the information on the nutritional requirements come from captive animals and then speculation is made for wild species, in addition a large majority of carnivorous diets are analyzed using the typical feline diet and nutritional requirements as an additional reference. Some otters, such as the River Otter, are mostly solitary. River otters are predators; they avoid feeding on carrion. North American river otters, like most predators, prey upon the most readily accessible species. Otters have a high metabolic rate, an adaptation for living in an aquatic environment where body heat is rapidly lost. The main diet of the otter is made up of fish and crustaceans. River otters will often renovate abandoned borrows originally constructed by beaver, muskrat, or other animals. The otter is the largest member of the weasel family. They nest on land, tending to build underground tunnels to move between the two. There are deep-diving otters that eat benthic organisms such as urchins, crabs, and abalone, medium-diving otters that forage for clams and worms and others that feed at the surface on organisms such as snails. The adult river otters are known to eat 1 – 1.5 kg (2.2 0 3.3 lb) of fish each day. Prey is captured with the mouth, and mainly slow, non-game fish species are taken, e.g., suckers. Males are larger in size than females (see phot This includes frogs, crayfish, and even crabs. River otters and giant otters hunt by using their vibrissae to detect movements of prey in the water. This allows them to feed even in murky waters. It's really common to watch someone point at a river otter and say, … When they are hungry for larger game, otters will attack birds, young beavers, and muskrats. The 11 species often referred to as river otters are found throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia in freshwater ecosystems that sustain an abundance of prey such as fish, crayfish, crabs, mussels, and frogs.Most river otters are opportunistic, feeding on whatever is most easily obtained. River otters also prefer slower-moving fish to game fish. River Otters Periods of low tide and drought their main dietary element of fish is greatly diminished and usually there is a transition to a crayfish diet during the dry months (Decker et al. Based on BMR in the study by Davies et al (1992), the BMR for otters is approximately 140kcal/kg body weight/ day, and in the study there was an average of 177 kcal/ kg body weight/ day. Across the world, there are thirteen known species of otter. They are carnivorous, and most species eat a variety of fish, amphibians, shellfish, crabs, and other aquatic creatures. These furry water lovers hunt mostly at night, following the scent of fish even into urban areas. River otters can be considered opportunistic aquatic piscivorous carnivores, although they consume other animal products other animal material including: crustaceans, crayfish, freshwater mussles, amphibians, birds, mammals and a variety of fish species (Sucker fish, Carp, Minnows, Pike, Sunfish, Catfish, Perches, Bass), based on the work by Stearn & Serfass (2010). In the same study they established the mean quality of food consumed was approximately 853g/day, or consumed about 9% of their body weight each day and otter pups consume about 15% of their body weight. The river otter food web plays a crucial role in the environments the river otter calls home. All otters are expert hunters that eat fish, crustaceans, and other critters. Anything plant-based is potential beaver food. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. While otters are mostly carnivores, they will eat the corn that is used to fish for trout, especially along rivers that are stocked with hatchery fish. al (1992). River otters consumed approximately 2-5 meals per day in study done by Davies et. As aquatic animals, otters have webbed feet, which is somewhat visible in their tracks. Did you know?Studies indicate that the bulk of River Otter diet consists of non-game fish species. The most common fish consumed are perch, suckers, and catfish. Outside of fish, river otters will also eat crustaceans, insects, birds, oysters, shellfish, turtles and a number of other aquatic life. North American river otters eat mainly aquatic organisms such as amphibians, fish, turtles, crayfish, crabs, and other invertebrates. Otters are meat eaters. Giant otters often hold their prey in their paws while eating it. A study on river otters by White et al. Crayfish are the second most common prey of river otters. European otters have their most active time at dusk and at night. Did you just call me a sea otter? the … They can grow to be more than a meter long, from head to tail, and weight up to 14 kg. The otter diet consists mainly of fish and crawfish, but they also consume toads, frogs, reptiles, and even small mammals. What Do Otters Eat? Sea otters have an ingenious method to open shellfish. ), The Secret Science of Solving Crossword Puzzles, Racist Phrases to Remove From Your Mental Lexicon. They will also consume lizards and other items they can find on land when they need to. Otters living in captivity largely prefer to consume bigger fish with the size of 15 – 17 cm (5.9 – 6.7 inches). Create your own unique website with customizable templates. But you can bank on the fact that there is an otter somewhere in a river near you if you live in Britain - a remarkable success story for a species driven to extinction in many parts of the country just decades ago. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. This great variety of food classifying them also as, The fish caught are usually about 10-15cm long (Kruuk 2006) , and other prey are on the smaller side. River otters, members of the weasel family, hunt at night and feed on whatever might be available. 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. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they eat a prepare… River otters are apex predators in their food web. River otters eat a variety of aquatic wildlife, such as fish, crayfish, crabs, frogs, birds’ eggs, birds and reptiles such as turtles. WHAT do River Otters eat? Some other common items that they will eat include invertebrates, birds, and small sized animals. The main macromolecule suggestion for river otters based on a study by White et al 2007: protein: 42.9–68.1%, fat: 18.4–37.9%, Carbohydrates: N/A. They will spend several hours nightly foraging in water. They hunt singly or in pairs and although otters generally forage in water, they are equally at home on land, sometimes traveling between 10 and 18 miles (16 and 29 kilometers) in search of food. Otter Diet: Otters live near water because it provides them with everything they need—including food. Fish are a favorite food, but they also eat amphibians, turtles, and crayfish. 2010). River otters forage alone or in pairs. The giant river otters are excellent predators. The river otter food chain consists mostly of fish. They enjoy carp, sunfish, minnows, suckers, sculpin and salmonids such as trout and salmon. River Otter (Lutra canadensis)Species Code: LUCA Description The River Otter is built for swimming - they have a streamlined body, short legs with webbed feet, dense fur that keeps otters warm, a tapered tail, small ears, and nostrils that can close underwater. Availability and vulnerability of their prey are the main determining factors in the seasonal variation of the river otters diet (Stearns and Serfass 2010). Fish is a favored food among the otters, but they also consume various amphibians (such as salamanders and frogs), freshwater clams, mussels, snails, small turtles and crayfish. River otters spend two-thirds of the time on land. They also eat roots, grasses and aquatic plants, and in captivity they even eat leafy greens and mixed vegetables. Giant ottters are very sociable animals and often live in groups of up … Before much of Arkansas’s mussel population was depleted during the pearl rush, they were also a favorite meal. North American River Otters are subject to a variety of seasonal changes based on latitude changes across North America, certain species they consume may be more abundant at varying times (Kruuk 2006). They are active during the day and at night, hunting in streams, rivers and ponds for fish, crayfish and turtles. Otters are often elusive, with large ranges and nocturnal behaviour making spotting them a rare and wonderful experience. The giant river otters have also been noted to feed on small anacondas and caimans. These dietary preferences may also make certain otters susceptible to … Once you locate otters, take note of behaviour, weather and river conditions, numbers, and other general details of what you saw, along with times and dates. They catch prey with their teeth. It is not uncommon for anglers to have to fight river otters for their bait. Land otters feed on insects, frogs, eggs, birds, even critters such as rabbits or rodents. During the day they are in their dens on the land, staying cool, coming out at night to eat. Being carnivorous, otters feast on a variety of meats from the fish they catch, to crustaceans, mollusks, sea urchins, and amphibians. initially go for the slowest fish first, example sucker fish, exerting the least amount of energy, hunt in areas that have narrow rivers/ streams where there is a higher density of fish populations (Kruuk 2006) and North America has rich diversity of fish, probably reason there is such a large distribution of river otters, when hunting (see video), can usually see the head skimming the surface along with occasional diving, remaining closer to the surface, a mean underwater time of approximately 21 seconds (Kruuk 2006), represents a fairly significant energy investment, Also can consume birds and coots by approaching the prey from underneath the water, and occasionally hunting in pairs and use their adapted sight and touch to find prey (Wilson 1954), Can eat prey in the water being classifies as "single prey loaders" meaning they must bring the food item to the surface to consume it (Reed-Smith 2012), but primarily bring their prey to the shore, especially for larger prey, again to conserve energy, Sometimes a single otter feeds on a single prey and sometimes several feed, depending on the size of the prey (Stearns and Serfass 2010), River otters are generally crepuscular or nocturnal and during the winter seasons more diurnal, usually coinciding with an avoidance of human interaction (Reed-Smith 2012). River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. Giant river otters: One of the Amazon forest's top predators 04 November 2016 (5425 visits). The species of fish will vary depending on the location and habitat. River otters eat a variety of fish and shellfish, as well as small land mammals and birds. Baby otters are called pups. Diet often varies seasonally or locally, depending on which prey is available. They sometimes eat aquatic plants. River otters eat mostly aquatic organisms, including fish, frogs, crayfish, turtles, insects and some small mammals. The giant otter species eats mainly fishes and crabs. Do giant otters live in a group? Since the males are slightly larger than the females, they also consume more calories than the average female and more frequently. Otters always wash themselves after every meal. They use their long whiskers when swimming underwater to feel for the movement of their prey. These mammals have whiskers, which they use to spot their prey by detecting vibrations in the water. River Otters are opportunistic carnivores and will eat a variety of prey species found in their environment. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. They have a very high metabolism, so they need to eat frequently. 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. They need to eat 15% of their body weight a day. Will 5G Impact Our Cell Phone Plans (or Our Health?! River otters can dive to a depth of 60 feet. Otters also had fewer places to eat and live as the Iowa land changed and was drained of wetlands and marshes for farming. Birds, their eggs, and small terrestrial mammals are also eaten on occasion. Outside of fish, river otters will also eat crustaceans, insects, birds, oysters, shellfish, turtles and a number of other aquatic life. River otters typically maintain a consistent body weight throughout the year, due to their opportunistic nature and ability to survive in a variety of environments and temperatures (Henry et al 2012). They grow to one meter (3 to 4 ft) in length and weigh from five to 15 kilograms (10 to 30 lb). In addition to fish and crayfish, river otters will … 2007 in captivity showed the greatest digestive efficacy and nutrient absorption on a diet that his high protein, high fat and enough caloric intake to sustain the otters high metabolic rate, - varies for wild otter species depending on subspecies, age. 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. They normally eat small fishes in the water, and bring larger prey to shore. They eat plenty of fish and other water critters, such as crayfish, so you’ll spot bones, scales, and shells. River otters eat virtually anything that you can find near lakes or streams. The whiskers on the face of the … They have also been known to eat aquatic plants and to prey on other small mammals, such as muskrats or rabbits. They have five digits and their paw print is about the size as the bottom of a soda can. A river otter’s diet consists largely of fish. These clever engineering animals eat the bark right off trees they fell for building dams and lodges, along with twigs, buds and leaves. They mainly feed on slow moving fish species but will also eat crabs, crayfish, amphibians, small mammals, aquatic beetles, and birds. River otter’s diet also embraces redhorses, cubs, bullheads, catfish, darters, perches, sculpins, pike, salmon, trout, and pike. 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