Scientific Name : Lontra canadensis
Canadian otters are found in Canada and some parts of North America.
live near rivers and lakes, making dens in the riverbank known as holts.
They are fairly adaptable, in that so long as they are near water, they can live in quite a wide range of habitats, including very cold or hot areas.
main diet consists of creatures from the water, such as fish, frogs, crayfish
and turtles. They also eat the occasional bird, rodent or rabbit.
They have very strong, sharp teeth for grabbing and eating their prey.
otters might be preyed upon by mountain lions, bears or eagles (especially
For centuries, man has hunted otters for their skins.
Males and females keep to their own territories for most of the year, but come together to mate in the early spring.
The fertilised egg, however, does not start developing straight away, so the young are not born until the following year. Baby otters are born blind, and are fairlly helpless for the first couple of months. When they are big enough to venture out of the nest their mother teaches them to hunt and swim. They leave her when they are a year old, and start to breed themselves when they are 2 or 3.
There are between 1 and 5 in a litter.
Canadian otters have very long whiskers which are so sensitive that they can use them to feel movement in the water when a fish is approaching. This is very useful when fishing in dark, murky water.
can twist, turn and whizz through the water at a speed of 29km per hour.
They are helped by:
1. streamlined shape
2. strong tail to a act as a paddle and rudder
3. strong limbs and webbed feet
4. bendy, flexible backbone.
5. ears and nostrils which can be sealed shut to keep out water
6. the ability to slow down their heart rate ( therefore needing less oxygen when underwater.)
An outer coat of coarse hair and a dense, thick, soft undercoat keep the otter warm and dry.
Facts and Figures
Type of animal
|lakes, rivers, streams|
Average number of young per year