endangered primates
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Jump to a Species >> American River Otters | Florida Panthers | Red Tailed Hawks | American Alligators | American Crocodiles | Gopher Tortoises | Florida Kingsnakes

North American River Otter - Lutra canadensis

The North American river otter is one of the most popular and endearing of the continent's mammals. This popularity stems from their perceived playfulness and seemingly boundless energy.

American River Otter
See more pictures >> American River Otters

Otters have extremely high metabolisms which require that they spend large portions of each day eating… it may also account for the fact that they never store food but consume their prey immediately upon capture.

Otters like many mustelids (the family of mammals that includes weasels, badgers, wolverines etc.) have a reproductive adaptation called delayed implantation. This means that immediately after fertilization, the embryo goes into stasis, and only resumes when conditions are favourable for implantation and eventual birth. While Otter gestation is 63-65 days actual birth usually occurs 10-12 months after mating.

Body length, 26-30 inches
Weight, 10-25 lbs.
Life Cycle:
Weaning, 3-4 months
Sexual maturity, 2-3 years
Life span, 15 plus years (in captivity)
Gestation Period, 63-65 days (but have delayed implantation… birth 10-12 months after mating)
Young /birth, 1-5
Birth season, March-April
Fish, Amphibians, crayfish, and other invertebrates, they may also eat birds, eggs and small mammals when available
None except man
Social Structure:
complex, often in pairs, but sometimes in larger social groups
Territory Size:
None territorial, but have large ranges covering many miles of waterfront
Conservation Status: No special status but the animals are losing habitat to human encroachment

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