Otters are remarkable and graceful swimmers that can remain submerged for several minutes, dive to 55 feet and swim up to a quarter-mile underwater. Gestation. Length: Adult river otters are about four to five and one-half feet long, including its 18-inch tail. Did You Know? The fur is a rich brown, moderately short, and very dense. Long and sleek, it has short legs, webbed feet, and a long tapered tail. Appearance. The higher metabolic rate means that the river otters must take in more calories, which is why they are regularly eating. Lifespan. Interestingly, after the egg is fertilized it goes through a stage when the embryo becomes inactive known as delayed implantation. The otter’s fur is thick but fine, lustrous deep brown to almost black in color, with the exception of the chin and throat which are lighter. The river otter Lontra canadensis is an elusive species that can serve an important role in aquatic ecosystems as a top predator of fish and crayfish. A river otter's life begins in an unusual way. North American River otters typically have 1 or 2 offspring at a time. The life expectancy for an otter is about 8-9 years. Within the National Forest System (NFS), a sensitive species is a plant or animal whose population viability is identified as a … 671 Sample size Medium Data quality Acceptable Observations. The actual embryonic development takes about 60-63 days . A river otter’s metabolic rate is approximately 50% higher than a similarly sized land mammal’s. River otters are also valued as a game species and furbearer (Melquist et al. Other research maintains that river otters mate for life. General description: The otter is perfectly suited for an aquatic life. After the parents breed and an egg is fertilized, the embryo becomes inactive in a stage called delayed implantation. Embryo Diapause River otters may travel several miles over land to another stream or lake. The average river otter’s life span varies depending on whether the river otter lives in the wild or in captivity. [25] When left unchecked, though, otter depredations can be quite significant under certain circumstances (e.g. There is a delayed implantation and thus the total gestation time varies from 290 to 380 days. Some studies indicate that river otters pair for only a few months during the breeding season and have no further strong bonds. The gestational period for an otter is approximately 63-65 days. river otter (Lontra canadensis; hereafter, river otter) is the focus of an assessment because USFS Region 2 classifies it as a sensitive species. Information about river otter breeding and reproductive and social behavior is varied due to the difficulty of studying these animals in the wild. [28] Otters are known to take larger fish on land to eat, whereas smaller fish are consumed in the water. They are equally comfortable on land and in the water. 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