Northern River Otter

Lontra Canadensis


  • Domain Eukarya: This domain contains organisms whose cells have a nucleus. They can be single-celled or multicellular.
  • Kingdom Animalia: All are multicellular, heterotrophs, and have the ability to move at some point in life.
  • Phylum Chordata: Members have bilateral symmetry, a notochord (stiff rod that extends for the length of the body), and a complete digestive system.
  • Subphylum Vertebrata: This group has a backbone, an endoskeleton, and their movements are provided by muscles attached to the endoskeleton.
  • Class Mammalia: These animals produce milk with mammary glands, have hair, and three inner ear bones.
  • Order Carnivora: They have specialized teeth for cutting meat. They generally are medium-sized animals, with males typically being larger than females.
  • Family Mustelida: This family inculeds weasels and otter,they inhabit all continents but antarctica and australi
  • Genus Lontra: Only Northern river otters
  • Species: Lontra canadensis


Height: They have a height of 3' to 4' inches

Length: The River otter can be 20-40 inches and there tail can be 12-20 inches

Weight: The River otter weight up to 10-30 pounds

Color:They are dark brown and black.

Natural range: The River Otter lives in the U.S and Canada

Diet:The River Otter eats Fish,frogs,water insectics, they also eat turtles and clams,it eats dog food, it also eats clams in the zoo, it eats vegetables.

Habitat Description: They live in rivers, lakes, marshes, and swamps

Predators:The river otter's predators are bobcats, coyotes, alligators, and other large predators.

Physical Adaptations

The river otters skin is nearly waterproof which means it helps them dry off quickly, they have strong claws and a strong and flexible tail, there tail act like a propeller that help them swim faster and there strong claws help them grab on to stuff.There fur is dense which help them insulate in the water.They have long thin body's that help them glide thought the water.They have nostrils that can close when they go thought the water, this helps them so that water does not go up there nose.Most River otters have a golden check.The river otter can go 9 mph in the water.They also can hold there breath for 3-6 minutes.

Behavioral Adaptations

River otters slide on snow or mud, burrowing through the snow,and playing in water is what they do to have fun.River otters hunt in the day because they can see better. River otters are clumsy when they are on land.They make there homes in the riverbanks because there is a lot of water.They also don't hibernate.


Ellis, E. 2003. "Lontra canadensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 11, 2015 at

Lechner, D. M. E. (1995). Amazing anima of the world (Vol. 5). Danbury, CT: Grolier Educational.

North american river otter. (2014). Retrieved March 19, 2015, from Brookfield Zoo website:

Northern river otter. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2015, from

Northern river otter. (n.d.). Retrieved from