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North American river otter

North America·Mammal

The river otter’s body is built for a semi-aquatic lifestyle. They swim by moving their hind legs and tail. The ears and nose close automatically when diving and the otter can stay submerged for up to 8 minutes. Several males will fight each other for the chance to breed with one female. Breeding ocurs in winter or early spring, but the female delays implantation until the following January when development of the embryo begins. River otters were once widely hunted for their beautiful and durable fur, but are now protected in Kansas. Habitat destruction and water pollution are now the biggest threats to the species.

Find on the Map

  • North American river otter
  • Conservation StatusLeast Concern
  • Life span6-20 years
  • Body size18-24 lbs.
    12-18 in. long
  • Native habitat Rivers and streams of North America
  • DietInsects, fish and aquatic animals
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