northern river otter Lutra canadensis
Order Carnivore flesh-eating mammals of great diversity in habitat and appearance
Suborder Pinnipedia– mostly marine and Suborder Fissipedia– mostly land-living
- long pointed canine teeth
- 3 incisors on both sides of both jaws
- a divided foot with 4 toes
Family Mustelidae Weasels, minks, martens, fishers, wolverines, badgers, otters, & skunks (have short legs with 5 toes on each foot, fur of fine quality, highly developed scent glands, a short nose. One molar on each side of upper jaw, two molars on each side of lower jaw)
Adaptation to hunt while swimming:
- All feet fully webbed
- Streamlined body & tail
- Short, thick insulating fur
- Active during the day & night
- Eyes adapted for seeing underwater in low light
Opportunistic Carnivores that eat mostly fish &, crabs, crayfish, amphibians, large aquatic beetles, birds (primarily injured or molting ducks and geese), bird eggs, fish eggs, and small mammals (muskrats, mice, young beavers).
Habitat: ponds, lakes, rivers, sloughs, estuaries, bays, and in open waters along coast.