Apr 10, 2014 - Get to know these charismatic members of the weasel family. Otters thrive on land and in the water. Otters place a rock on their chests and smash the shellfish against it until it breaks open to reveal the tasty meat inside. In the winter, otters have found the easiest and perhaps most fun way to get around is by sliding. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited. From each river’s source, the water meanders through the landscape meeting up with other streams and shaping civilization as we know it. 19 No. Photograph by Bates Littlehales, National Geographic. Teach your students about the Earth’s rivers and streams with the resources in this collection. Did you know some dolphins live in rivers? Sea otters are known for their remarkable ability to use rocks to smash open shellfish to fill their stomachs. Browse: Home North American River Otters Pictures And Facts - National Geographic. It's easier just to steal mums. Terms of Service |  Learn all about them with our fascinating facts about rivers! They can thrive in any water habitat, such as ponds, marshes, lakes, rivers, and estuaries—in cold, warm, or even high-elevation areas—as long as the habitat provides adequate food. Along the way, rivers may pass through wetlands where plants slow down the water and filter out pollutants. The water that flows in rivers is fresh, meaning that it contains less than one percent salt. The North American river otter's clawed, webbed feet are useful on land and in the water. The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. For fun he likes to chew his Frisbee and climb in and out of his plastic playhouse. Rivers that overflow their banks also deposit sediment in the surrounding flood plain. The Colorado river flowing through the Grand Canyon. The largest rivers can be thousands of miles long. River otters eat aquatic animals, which are animals that live in the water, like crabs and catfish. Join our community of educators and receive the latest information on National Geographic's resources for you and your students. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. Photograph by Nicole Duplaix. There are 13 species in total, ranging from the small-clawed otter to the giant otter. watering land, usually for agriculture, by artificial means. Using archaeology, a new study… more Sea otters can eat up to 75 mussels per hour. National Geographic Headquarters This water is the lifeline of ecosystems around the world. Scientists know river otters use their eyesight and whiskers to hunt underwater. Like most other otter species, giant otters come ashore to give birth. Some rivers flow year-round, while others flow only during certain seasons or when there has been a lot of rain. Females retreat to their underground dens and deliver litters of one to six young. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media. If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. The river otter also called northern river otter belongs to the family of Mustelidae. However, rivers still carry and distribute important salts and nutrients to support plant and animal life. Washington, DC 20036, National Geographic Society is a 501 (c)(3) organization. "But he still likes to suck his tail and toes like a baby!" Floods are events where water overflows onto land that is typically dry. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent found in and along its waterways and coasts. Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel water. Nilsson (1980) reviewed the status of otters … Giant river otters check out the scenery in Kapoeri Creek, Suriname. They … A river is a ribbon-like body of water that flows downhill from the force of gravity. North American river otters, also called Canadian otters, have long, muscular, streamlined bodies with short legs and fully webbed feet bearing non-retractable claws. By land and by sea. Here's fair warning: cute doesn't necessarily mean cuddly. A river can be wide and deep, or shallow enough for a person to wade across. The other end of a river is called its mouth, where water empties into a larger body of water, such as a lake or ocean. Today, farmers in the flood plain of California’s Central Valley produce approximately one-third of the vegetables and two-thirds of the fruits and nuts consumed in the United States. Jeanna Sullivan, National Geographic Society, Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society Whether it’s a lake, river, swamp or estuary, otters like a mix of land and water. All rights reserved. all the different kinds of living organisms within a given area. She or he will best know the preferred format. If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact ngimagecollection@natgeo.com for more information and to obtain a license. You cannot download interactives. 6 TEACHER'S GUIDE Scout and Voyager Vol. Otters prefer water bordered by … In the wild, they can live to be 35 years old or more. Sea otters can eat up to 75 mussels per hour. I am going to offer some of the most interesting and rarely known river otter facts and that includes river otter habitat, diet, reproduction, and behavior. All rivers have a starting point where water begins its flow. This can occur when there is a large amount of rain, rapid snow or ice melt, a blast of water onto a coastline during a storm, or the failure of manmade infrastructures, such as dams or levees. 19 No. Each of these uses can affect the health of a river and its surrounding ecosystems. After a few bumps, they can slide up to 22 feet on the ice. But did you know these mammals are also top predators? This endangered species is native to freshwater streams throughout tropical South America, although development is narrowing its habitat to more isolated regions in the Amazon and Pantanal. The pup is still learning to fish. A river is a large body of fresh, flowing water. This source is called a headwater. Most are small, with short ears and noses, elongated bodies, long tails, and soft, dense fur. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in … Fascinated by these otters? I recently found out that sea otters fall asleep holding paws and my heart has never been so full. These deltas and floodplains are highly fertile agricultural zones that offer tremendous value to the surrounding people. And they’re super-powerful forces of nature, too – carving out deep valleys and gorges, and shaping the land as they flow to the ocean! All rights reserved. It is known as the common otter or northern river otter. National Geographic Maps Babies, called eaglets, are born light gray then turn brown. North American River Otters Facts and Photos. They generally live along rivers, as their name implies, but they're also found near streams and lakes. The biological name is Lontra Canadensis. Photo Ark Home Female Neotropical River Otter | National Geographic Society Skip to content Margot Willis, National Geographic Society, Andre Gabrielli, National Geographic Society. Earth Science, Climatology, Geology, Geography. Gina Borgia, National Geographic Society For this reason, some of the most biodiverse habitats on our planet can be found around rivers. But the fun is coming to an end for this mother and her nine month old pup. You cannot download interactives. Only about three percent of Earth’s water is freshwater. It is also home to many diverse fish, plant, and crustacean species. The largest salamander in North America is elusive and facing threats. © 1996 - 2021 National Geographic Society. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. Rivers only hold a small amount of the Earth’s water, but they have always been vital to human life, carrying freshwater to people and animals all over the world. In addition to property damage, floods, on average, kill more people than tornadoes, hurricanes, or lightning strikes in the United States each year. Terms of Service |  An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). A flowing body of water that is smaller than a river is called a stream, creek, or brook. Unregulated trapping and loss or degradation of aquatic habitats through filling of wetlands and development of coal, oil, gas, tanning, timber, and other industries resulted in extirpations or declines in otter populations in many areas (Toweill and Tabor 1982, Melquist and Dronkert 1987). Rivers can also form what is called an estuary, where salty seawater mixes with fresh water near the river mouth to form “brackish water.”  The Hudson River in New York, U.S., is an example of an estuary where brackish water extends more than 241 kilometers (150 miles) upstream. community and interactions of living and nonliving things in an area. Her goal is to ensure you have the tools you need to enhance student understanding and engagement with nonfiction text. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited. The video above is from the February 2013 iPad edition of National Geographic magazine.. River otters are playful animals. solid material transported and deposited by water, ice, and wind. North American River Otters Pictures And Facts - National Geographic Posted by Unknown | at 00:31 No comments. Facts about River Otters talk about an animal, which can be found on the coasts or waterways of North America. People also call it North American river otter. Soon, she'll send him on his way. Prior to settlement of North America by Europeans, otters were widespread among aquatic habitats throughout most of the continent (Hall 1981). National Geographic Headquarters About National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. © 1996 - 2021 National Geographic Society. Privacy Notice |  If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. Bald eagles can soar over 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) high, and their great eyesight lets them see fish up to a mile (1.6 kilometers) away. Photo by Andrea Westmoreland. Join our community of educators and receive the latest information on National Geographic's resources for you and your students. A river is a large, natural stream of flowing water. River otters are aquatic mammals. For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. raised edges of land on the side of a river. It is the longest member of the weasel family, Mustelidae, a globally successful group of predators, reaching up to 1.7 metres (5.6 ft).Atypical of mustelids, the giant otter is a social species, with family groups typically supporting three to eight members. Photograph by Bates Littlehales, National Geographic. The Ganges (Ganga) River is a sacred body of water to Hindus that begins high in the Himalaya Mountains and empties out into the Bay of Bengal. When you reach out to him or her, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource. But it's not frozen yet, so they'll feed here while they can. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. To crack open hard-shelled prey, the otters smash them on stone anvils. Sustainability Policy |  Their home on the Yellowstone River is freezing up. The erosional power of rivers can form geologic wonders like the Grand Canyon. As the river begins to slow down—as in a wetland, at the outside of a bend, or where the river widens, such as at the mouth—these sediments sink and build up to form deltas. To crack open hard-shelled prey, the otters smash them on stone anvils. 1145 17th Street NW National Geographic Young Explorer, Scout/Voyager Page 1 Vol. Sea Otters Facts and Photos. Also called hydroelectric energy or hydroelectric power. When you reach out to him or her, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource. For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. Learn more about floods with these resources. In Egypt, for example, the Nile River and its adjacent delta helped give rise to the Egyptian empire that built the pyramids. Collectively, scientists estimate that all the rivers in the world carry about 3.6 billion metric tons (four billion tons) of salt from land to the ocean each year. Now Charlie is acting like a normal river otter: He swims and dives in his pool instead of just floating on the surface. River otters are in their elements. Can River Otter Fight Back Against Coyote?|National Geographic The surrounding river basin has a population of more than four hundred million people. Floods are among the most expensive and frequent natural disasters in the United States, and as the impacts of climate change are more acutely felt, floods are expected to worsen. "He's more like a real otter," says trainer Abbie Brewer. Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service. Its diet includes birds, small rodents, frogs, crabs, and fish. Code of Ethics. Most of our drinking water comes from rivers and streams. Code of Ethics. Fast-flowing rivers carry pebbles, sand, and silt. Common otter is the other name for this animal. Rivers are found on every continent and on nearly every kind of land. And when he's tired, Charlie crawls into his hammock and lounges tummy-up. Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. Freshwater is a precious resource on the Earth's surface. River otters are in their element in Yellowstone’s early winter. 6 Educational consultant Stephanie Harvey has helped shape the instructional vision for this Teacher's Guide. Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service. salty water, usually a mixture of seawater and freshwater. 1145 17th Street NW Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. The headwater can come from rainfall or snowmelt in mountains, but it can also bubble up from groundwater or form at the edge of a lake or large pond. Monitoring the health of rivers, lakes, and streams is important work that is conducted by scientists called limnologists. Credits. The majority of otters spend most of their time on land. She or he will best know the preferred format. Learn how this aquatic mammal is making a comeback from near extinction. When they are four to five years old, they develop their normal white heads and tails. Sustainability Policy |  If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media. A female neotropical river otter, Lontra longicaudis, at Summit Municipal Park. Find out about the adaptations that make these animals natural-born swimmers. While river otters mostly live off fish, crayfish and crabs, sea otters have a more interesting method of sustaining themselves. Privacy Notice |  Of that, only about 1.2 percent can be used as drinking water; the rest is locked up in glaciers, ice caps, and permafrost, or buried deep in the ground. But he must learn to fend for himself. The habitats that freshwater ecosystems provide consist of lakes, rivers, ponds, wetlands, streams, and springs. Sep 30, 2011 - Learn the purpose of the playful otter’s riverside games. Rivers can also form what is called an estuary, where salty seawater mixes with fresh water near the river mouth to form “ brackish water.” The mammal is found all throughout the waterways and coasts of North America. The North American river otter occurs in much of Canada and the United States, except for portions of the Southwest, and in Mexico in the Rio Grande and Colorado River delta areas. This semiaquatic mammal has the weight of 11 to 30.9 lb or 5 to 14 kilograms. Photo of otters poking their heads out of a river. Use these classroom resources to help students explore and learn about these places. The giant otter or giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is a South American carnivorous mammal. Washington, DC 20036, National Geographic Society is a 501 (c)(3) organization. Collectively, scientists estimate that all the rivers in the world carry about 3.6 billion metric tons (four billion tons) of salt from land to the ocean each year. power generated by moving water converted to electricity. Humans use rivers for irrigation in agriculture, for drinking water, for transportation, to produce electricity through hydroelectric dams, and for leisure activities like swimming and boating. mouth of a river where the river's current meets the sea's tide. Otters will place the rock on their chests, and repeatedly smash the shellfish against it until it breaks open to reveal the tasty meal inside. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. North American River Otter The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact ngimagecollection@natgeo.com for more information and to obtain a license. In warmer times, you may also see otters sliding down a riverbank. Useful on land coming to an end for this mother and her nine old. Erosional power of rivers can be used according to our Terms of Service its flow has a population of than. Found on every continent and on nearly every kind of land on the Yellowstone river is freezing up to. North America and nonliving things in an area but he still likes chew... Otters poking their heads out of his plastic playhouse live off fish, plant and. Explorer, Scout/Voyager page 1 Vol it until it breaks open to reveal the meat. This reason, some of the media viewer corner of the weasel family 2014 - to... Banks also deposit sediment in the water making a comeback from near extinction about Earth. All throughout the waterways and coasts of North America is elusive and threats! 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About licensing content on this page, please contact ngimagecollection @ natgeo.com more... A lighter, silvery shade in the water that is typically dry the force of gravity the Rights Holder media.