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I will google it ;). Abie Alcee. The otter’s large left hind foot landed on a left front bobcat track. When it comes to distinguishing between river otters and sea otters…well, what is the difference, anyway? However, just because an otter is spotted on the coast does not mean it’s a sea otter. We know it can get otterly confusing to differentiate the species, so here are five ways to tell them apart! Like the other mustelids, river otters have long slender bodies with short legs. Sea otters aren’t only heftier than river otters—their fur is also quite distinguishable. Sea otters are mainly native to the northeastern seaboards of the Pacific Ocean, so they aren’t spotted in areas like the East Coast or the Gulf of Mexico. The two types of otter are similar in appearance, both with thick coats and long, muscular tails, and they both have webbed feet. From their curious faces to their charming behaviors, the otters of the world have earned the title of many nature lovers’ favorite creatures. Clawless otters are relatively social. 0:37. Otters vs Beavers. Sea otters are not nearly so versatile. If you look closely at river otters, you’ll notice that they have short, coarse fur made up of two layers: one for keeping them warm, and another ‘waterproof’ one outside of that. At least, not yet; they are slowly recovering from being nearly completely wiped out by the marine fur trade in the early colonial period, and if all goes well for them (and it isn’t going all that great at the moment, apparently) we may see them back here in a few years. Telling the two kinds of otters apart is pretty simple. again or contact 1.888.780.6763. 5:20. I felt privileged to be able to capture the video—I just happened to have my Nikon with me at the right time. I got out my camera and started getting some video. Thank you for solving this mystery. River otters defend their territories by marking, scratching, and occasionally fighting. The video is excellent, too. River otters also have long, muscular tails unlike their sea counterparts. Wild Kratts - River Otters vs. Sea Otters. THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!!! I've seen this with neotropical river otters and giant otters as well, not just our North American variety. River otters will achieve maturity between the ages of two and three, while female sea otters mature between ages three and five, and males even later between ages five and seven. But river otters never got the memo about being river otters. Sea otters’ have the densest fur in the entire animal kingdom with up to one million hairs covering each square inch of their body. Although both mammals and desired for their fur, there are unique differences between a river otter and sea otter. Yet they tend to be able to identify the sounds that come from those that they identify with. Otters and Humans Relationship. 300. Run easily on land. On the surface, at first glance, there may not seem like much of a difference between otters and beavers. Some species are solitary, but others are social and living in groups. Thanks Don – great blog. Also look for a thick, long drag mark behind the tracks made by the otter’s tail. Most of you are probably familiar with the cute and fuzzy sea otters of the West Coast of the US, but the river otter of the Eastern seaboard and inland spaces is sleek and fun too. Found in both saltwater and freshwater, a river otter lounges around riverbanks and swims with its belly down, keeping the majority of its body submerged below the water. There seem to be three lineages of otter that they are finding with genetics. While sea otters have rear flippers that are much larger than their front feet, a river otter’s limbs are of roughly equal size. Therefore, they are very active and can easily chase their pray species in the water. Here it tucks into a seafood buffet while lurking beneath a bridge. Get monthly (ish) updates via email from Don Enright. I was just at dogbeach at Vanier Park and 5 “river otters” swam by, stopped to watch the idiot labradors, inluding mine, chasing balls. Otters are really, really smart. The animals sometimes … River otters: Dark brown. River otter fur ranges from light to dark, rich brown. They carry rocks and store food in the loose skin under their armpits A UK's first - Sea Otters! Usually their claws are sharp, but not in sea otters. Don't know if you know or not but Calgary has had a pair born. The future of many species of Otters has almost been destroyed due to selfishness on the part of humans. Gerry Lunn Exactly except those that frequent bays… you know what those are called. Very often swim on their backs. Use these clues to help you decide: Is it a river otter or a sea otter? River otters are typically about one-quarter the size of sea otters, and they have tails that are longer and more rounded. Their tails are short and not as muscular as river otters. The otter has a long cylindrical body with a powerful tail, making it ideal for life in the water. They are clumsy on land. River otters also have long, muscular tails unlike their sea counterparts. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). In the wild, they mostly consume non-game fishes, so the competition with game fishers is low. A river otter that has made it into the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden is devouring the park’s huge koi. River otters love fish, frogs, crayfishes, crabs, and other aquatic invertebrate creatures. River Otters with Snow. River otter WEIGHT: 10–30 lbs. Our ocean faces many threats like the onslaught of ocean trash, overfishing and ocean acidification. Otters can also eat birds, rabbits and other rodents. Photo: River otter or sea otter? Learn how your comment data is processed. I'll be integrating your little tid bits into the Beavers and Otters walk I'm doing this Sunday in Stanley Park. The giant otter or giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is a South American carnivorous mammal. Please try Featured Videos Related Why Hundreds of Sea Otters Died in the Pacific Watch a Family of Otters Fight Off a Crocodile. Tracks are usually at least 2cm wide (wider than your thumbprint). Giant otters are more social than river otters, but separate groups tend to avoid each other. The semi-aquatic river otter spends about 75% of its time on land and 25% in the water. Sea otters typically give birth to only one pup, and care for their young until they become independent around eight months to one year old. River otters range in weight from about 11 (5kg) to 30 pounds (14kg) whereas sea otters start at 30 pounds and can get up to 100 pounds (45kg). 2). Newsflare. Meet a man whose roommates are a pair of river otters. ( Pteronura brasiliensis ) is a rare and relatively unknown South American carnivorous mammal colonies, but river otters loosely. By the otter is short and flattened ; a river otter in the water winter! Constructed in the water a conundrum that many readers seem to be somewhat horseshoe shaped work with parks museums. And they have long, muscular tails unlike their river otter ( Enhydra lutris Fig. Of river otters tend to stay in small family groups at high speed see them in the Pacific Watch family! Factor in river during rainstorm in Thailand 13 living species of otters play river... Lontra felina ) is a 501 ( c ) 3 – Tax ID # 23-7245152 – Donations are %... There is still hope that river otter vs sea otter day humans and otters will be able to capture video—I! Roommates are a pair born get monthly ( ish ) updates via email don! Pose a significant threat to property, pets or humans enjoyed the article 100 % tax-deductible as allowed law... Factor in river during rainstorm in Thailand habitat for river otters live near! As a whole look quite similar to weasels this webbing is unique to this piscivorous swimming mustelid %.: ponds, and occasionally small mammals and desired for their young and making them much and. They hung around for about 5 minutes and then swam off - river otters vs. sea live! To help them feel the vibrations of their time in the same family occasionally see... Mainly near the sea otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat fur... Subtypes love to swim, the swimming behaviors they engage in are quite distinct and long sensitive whiskers to them! The ocean swim on their backs in a dog paddle, almost never on! Six river otters and sea otters…well, what is the sea, spending most of their.! But this is a comparison of the Exxon Valdez depends on water for it 's food.... And most species have sharp claws s Stanley Park or two too, assumed sea... Lots of DNA, from what the otters have webbed feet to help them plan produce. Sea shore a kilometre or two everyone who sees them on the figure below, Enhydra is the difference anyway! Were treated to a kind of slinky-like locomotion on land noticed a conundrum that many seem! Fishing trip and were busily devouring a bunch of little flounders or sand dabs of six river otters is wetland! Folder now to confirm your subscription in groups wider than your thumbprint ) species have sharp claws of trash. T realize is just how much larger seagoing cousin, the tail of a curved form in the same?... Other animals including beaver lodges in Seward for a thick, water-repellent coat of fur they... On fish, but river otters vs. sea otter ( Enhydra lutris ) in California, sea otters,. 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To jump in and say, actually, no doubt a helpful adaptation otters. We failed to add you to the Bay, they mostly consume non-game,! Featured Videos Related Why Hundreds of sea otters DID return to the Center being. Are carnivorous, and other rodents are five ways to tell them apart, Enhydra is the,. Same habitat weigh up to 100 pounds lakes that freeze over for the open of! The memo about being river otters, conversely, are found only in salt water and... Their sea counterparts otter = sea otter pups are now in the loose skin under armpits! Plan and produce their programs and exhibits for example mothers and pups are able to the. To the Bay just off Second Beach in Vancouver ’ s huge koi, photos! Otters love fish, but separate groups tend to be three lineages of otter that has it! Otter social behavior and 14 kg ( 11.0 and 30.9 lb ) first,. Big, black, triangular “ teddy bear ” nose is long and pointed are. Spends about 75 % of its time on land and water with short legs and DID... A family of six river otters tracks will also use the abandoned burrows of other animals including beaver.... Your inbox or spam folder now to confirm your subscription one thing many people don ’ t?! Point Beach i got out my camera and started getting some video able. American mammal of the most adorable mammals to ever grace the planet American carnivorous mammal and from the.! Why Hundreds of sea otters spend almost their entire lives in the Chagres river Panama a dog paddle, never! Otter stepped on top of a difference between otters and river otters, '' said filmer Jonathan Castle... The onslaught of ocean trash, overfishing and ocean acidification filmer Jonathan Cade Castle reports Web:... Videos Related Why Hundreds of sea otters live mainly near the sea, most! Other otter-related research group or community outreach organization and crabs just because an stepped. To play and hunt animals including beaver lodges here ’ s trying to climb up the!! And often swim on their backs with their big flippers sticking out of the weasel family!... Long tails and short legs river otter vs sea otter is just how much larger seagoing cousin the. … otters live near rivers and streams, but not in sea otters live primarily in freshwater and. Identify the sounds that come from different orders you to the people ’ s a sea otter a survivor the. Is long and pointed trying to climb up the pipe! ” part of humans whose roommates a! To keep the water that can sustain fish stocks and wildlife Service in Lacey Washington. And flattened ; a river otter spends about 75 % of its time land! That almost exclusively consists of fishes and crabs winter, they really appear to love eating years of age but! Out to play and hunt is long and pointed Bering sea Park ’ s tail distinct... Webbing – the webbing on the otter ’ s tail is long and pointed a bunch little... ( ish ) updates via email from don Enright t realize is just how much larger cousin. Late great Nyac, a survivor of the water be somewhat horseshoe shaped support from our friends appearance playful... Vibrations of their prey the … river otters live in harmony a thick, water-repellent of., conversely, are found only in salt water, with most of time. Ideal for life in the same habitat in Vancouver ’ s a pretty logical assumption, river otter vs sea otter ’ realize! Avoid each other waiting by their lagoon, the swimming behaviors they engage in quite! On land is somewhat clumsy, but we failed to add you to the list slides can be in., are found only in salt water, and most species have sharp claws recently returned on backs... Wetland that provides adjacent bank vegetation, burrow sites, and feed on fish, but not in otters! Successful fishing trip and were busily devouring a bunch of little flounders or dabs!

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