North American river otters, like most predators, prey upon the most readily accessible species. Giant otters often hold their prey in their paws while eating it. Giant ottters are very sociable animals and often live in groups of up … They can grow to be more than a meter long, from head to tail, and weight up to 14 kg. River otters, members of the weasel family, hunt at night and feed on whatever might be available. They have a very high metabolism, so they need to eat frequently. Did you know?Studies indicate that the bulk of River Otter diet consists of non-game fish species. In some areas, this is a protected species, and some places have otter sanctuaries that help sick and injured otters to recover. River otters forage alone or in pairs. Create your own unique website with customizable templates. Sea otters have an ingenious method to open shellfish. They need to eat 15% of their body weight a day. It is not uncommon for anglers to have to fight river otters for their bait. 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. Availability and vulnerability of their prey are the main determining factors in the seasonal variation of the river otters diet (Stearns and Serfass 2010). River Otters are opportunistic carnivores and will eat a variety of prey species found in their environment. 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. River otters eat a variety of aquatic wildlife, such as fish, crayfish, crabs, frogs, birds’ eggs, birds and reptiles such as turtles. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. When they are hungry for larger game, otters will attack birds, young beavers, and muskrats. Since the males are slightly larger than the females, they also consume more calories than the average female and more frequently. They catch prey with their teeth. Otters also had fewer places to eat and live as the Iowa land changed and was drained of wetlands and marshes for farming. Outside of fish, river otters will also eat crustaceans, insects, birds, oysters, shellfish, turtles and a number of other aquatic life. River Otters Will 5G Impact Our Cell Phone Plans (or Our Health?! The species of fish will vary depending on the location and habitat. ** 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. Prey is captured with the mouth, and mainly slow, non-game fish species are taken, e.g., suckers. The whiskers on the face of the … River otters will often renovate abandoned borrows originally constructed by beaver, muskrat, or other animals. They use their long whiskers when swimming underwater to feel for the movement of their prey. The giant river otters are excellent predators. River otters are apex predators in their food web. 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. These dietary preferences may also make certain otters susceptible to … Fish are a favorite food, but they also eat amphibians, turtles, and crayfish. They eat plenty of fish and other water critters, such as crayfish, so you’ll spot bones, scales, and shells. 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. River otters can hold their breath for up to 8 minutes while under water. Baby otters are called pups. The giant otter species eats mainly fishes and crabs. Across the world, there are thirteen known species of otter. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. They are active during the day and at night, hunting in streams, rivers and ponds for fish, crayfish and turtles. River otters eat a variety of fish and shellfish, as well as small land mammals and birds. Otters living in captivity largely prefer to consume bigger fish with the size of 15 – 17 cm (5.9 – 6.7 inches). They will also consume lizards and other items they can find on land when they need to. In addition to fish and crayfish, river otters will … 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 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. River otters also prefer slower-moving fish to game fish. The giant river otters have also been noted to feed on small anacondas and caimans. 2010). These mammals have whiskers, which they use to spot their prey by detecting vibrations in the water. 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. European otters have their most active time at dusk and at night. Otters have a high metabolic rate, an adaptation for living in an aquatic environment where body heat is rapidly lost. River otters eat mostly aquatic organisms, including fish, frogs, crayfish, turtles, insects and some small mammals. The river otter food chain consists mostly of fish. Diet often varies seasonally or locally, depending on which prey is available. Some other common items that they will eat include invertebrates, birds, and small sized animals. What Do Otters Eat? Land otters feed on insects, frogs, eggs, birds, even critters such as rabbits or rodents. The main diet of the otter is made up of fish and crustaceans. 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. The river otter food chain also consists of mussels, bivalves, snails, cr… These furry water lovers hunt mostly at night, following the scent of fish even into urban areas. They have five digits and their paw print is about the size as the bottom of a soda can. 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. They normally eat small fishes in the water, and bring larger prey to shore. River otters can dive to a depth of 60 feet. WHAT do River Otters eat? River otters eat virtually anything that you can find near lakes or streams. The river otter food web plays a crucial role in the environments the river otter calls home. Anything plant-based is potential beaver food. A study on river otters by White et al. Before much of Arkansas’s mussel population was depleted during the pearl rush, they were also a favorite meal. al (1992). These clever engineering animals eat the bark right off trees they fell for building dams and lodges, along with twigs, buds and leaves. River otters and giant otters hunt by using their vibrissae to detect movements of prey in the water. Do giant otters live in a group? They sometimes eat aquatic plants. Males are larger in size than females (see phot They will feed on fish, invertebrates, frogs, clams, crayfish, and small mammals or birds. 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. 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. During the day they are in their dens on the land, staying cool, coming out at night to eat. This allows them to feed even in murky waters. 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. This includes frogs, crayfish, and even crabs. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. They will spend several hours nightly foraging in water. Otter Diet: Otters live near water because it provides them with everything they need—including food. They mainly feed on slow moving fish species but will also eat crabs, crayfish, amphibians, small mammals, aquatic beetles, and birds. 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. They are carnivorous, and most species eat a variety of fish, amphibians, shellfish, crabs, and other aquatic creatures. They have also been known to eat aquatic plants and to prey on other small mammals, such as muskrats or rabbits. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. It's really common to watch someone point at a river otter and say, … The otter is the largest member of the weasel family. 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