River Otter Family

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The river otter is part of the family Mustelidae, which is the weasel family. They have an elongated body that is widest at the hips with short and stocky legs. Another characteristic of this family is having a muscular neck that is in thickness equal to or greater than that of its head. River otters have a tail that is approximately one-third of their total body length with the end being tapered. They have a small flat head that with small anterior eyes, broad muzzle, long thick whiskers, and small round ears that blend in with the pelage. River otter fur is short and very dense for waterproofing. The standard shade is a light brown to black color with a high sheen, with the fur of older individuals becoming white-tipped. There is a slight sexual dimorphism where the males are approximately five percent larger than females of the same age. They range is size from 11-31 pounds with the average male weighing approximately 25 pounds and the females weighing …show more content…
Another preferred habitat is in bog lakes with banked shorelines where they can burrow and lakes with beaver (Castor canadensis) dens. River otters tend to avoid water systems that have steady slopped shorelines made of sand and/gravel. Different areas of the United Sates provide different preferred otter habitats. For instance, in Idaho it has been found that river otters prefer valley systems to mountain systems, and that streams are more likely to be chosen then lakes and reservoirs. Whereas in Florida river otters are mostly found in swamp forests over salt marshes and freshwater marshes. When choosing habitats in more northern latitudes river otters are more particular because they have to make sure that the substrate of the shore can provide their dens to both air and water when winter comes and ices that particular water

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