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Description of the River Otter. 2 hours of sleep? In fact, females havedisproportionately higher rates of fatality explained by the vicious mating ritual. In many places, it is illegal to keep them as pets due to their protected status and potential danger to humans. The Surprising Emotional Life of Frogs, The Ultimate Guide to Sea Urchin Taste: What to Expect and, The Mysterious Nose Scars of Female Sea Otters: Exploring. 30 . Fish and Wildlife Service and is currently in place to promote recovery efforts across all states in the United States. Sea Otter Savvy. Additionally, if an otter approaches, it is important to maintain a safe distance and avoid feeding or interacting with the animal. Nature, unfortunately, isn't always pretty. Something went wrong. Zoroastrians would also hold ceremonies for otters found dead in the wild. Since 1875 a study discovered that there have been 39 cases of anecdote attacks on humans announced in newspapers, and four recorded in scientific. Volunteer as an otter spotter or water monitor. They love to chow down! Most species hunt for three to five hours each day and nursing mothers up to eight hours each day. Even if that means keeping others pups as hostages. - Diving into the Science! These furry creatures eat meat, such as fish, disproportionately higher rates of fatality. Sea otters are the exception, giving birth in the water. Educating the public about wildlife conservation and habitat protection is one of the most effective ways to promote conservation efforts. Although river otters are primarily responsible for these attacks (80%), sea otters can be just as dangerous incidents are more infrequent. All otters are expert hunters that eat fish, crustaceans, and other critters. We accept credit card, Apple Pay, and And I guess I get the appeal. A property owner or the owner's immediate family, employee, or tenant may kill or trap a river otter on that property if it is damaging crops or domestic animals (RCW 77.36.030). They live in intricate social structures, with a distinct hierarchy that dictates their interactions. KQED. Aboard the St. Peter, Steller and other 18th-century explorers crash-landed on modern-day Bering Island after getting separated from its sister ship. They get their needed water and sustenance from eating eucalyptus leaves. They are skilled hunters, feeding on a variety of prey, including fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. As with all wildlife, it is essential to strike a balance between admiration and respect, acknowledging the complexities of the natural world and the creatures that inhabit it. Obviously, one report does not mean that all species members will do this, but its still worth noting. They are also nocturnal and hunt at night. In Alaska's Aleutian Islands, the species has seen a marked decline since the 1980s. Most are small, with short ears and noses, elongated bodies, long tails, and soft, dense fur. Only the North American river otter is a species of least concern. These efforts are necessary so that we can ensure this species can continue to flourish despite outside threats they face due to over-harvesting and human interference. Several organizations fund research projects that better understand the ecology of sea otters in order to create meaningful conservation solutions moving forward. Despite spending most of their time in the water, otters cant breathe underwater; as mammals, they need air. Otters won't act naturally with humans nearby, and using a telescope on a boat can get tricky in the rollicking ocean. They live mainly on land that is very close to bodies of water. The otter has a lithe and slender body with short legs, a strong neck, and a long flattened tail that helps propel the animal gracefully through water. The male forced the pup under water as if trying to drown it. However, even within these communal groups, otters still exhibit territorial behavior and establish dominance hierarchies, highlighting the importance of resource control in their survival. Mating with other species is an unusual and disturbing behavior observed in some otters, particularly sea otters. No permit is necessary; however . Their construction activities can lead to the erosion of riverbanks, the destruction of vegetation, and the alteration of water flow in the surrounding area. "North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis): A Technical Conservation Assessment." Bodkin, J.L. "River Otters Take Party Pooping to A New Level." "Asian Short-Clawed Otter." As a result, if you ever find yourself in proximity to an otter (river or sea), back off. This cooperative behavior allows multiple individuals to share a territory and work together to maximize their chances of survival. Resting spots, called hovers or couches, are usually little more than a bed of reeds. IUCN Otter Specialist Group. When the female surfaced, the male stole her food (a clam), after which the female and pup quickly departed.The human equivalent of this is probably going to a grocery store parking lot, finding a woman coming out with a small child, and holding a gun to the kid's head until the mom gives you some of her food. Most otters have sharp claws at the end of each toe, which helps them to grab prey. This behavior can result in severe injuries to the female otter and can even lead to death in extreme cases. Otters have webbed feet and claws - for swimming underwater. When it comes to otters, educating people about their unique place in the environment and how their presence is essential for healthy ecosystems is key. Langley, Liz. They Aren't All Sea Otters. On top of that, pups have 11 of their own calls that they intersperse with "infant babbling." Despite their innocent appearance, these animals are known for doing pretty disturbing stuff. They do it all on their own, with no help from the fathers. They then leave droppings called spraints, which refer to a single bowel evacuation and that researchers describe as smelling like violets. That thick coat is needed because otters are the only marine mammal without a blubber layer for insulation. They can also close their small ears and nose when under water. Weight: 11 to 30 pounds. Kerlin, Kat. Size: Head and body: 21.75 to 31.5 inches; tail: 11.75 to 19.75 inches. Weve mentioned above that otters will try to mate not only with other otters but also with members of entirely different species, even if the other party is unwilling. Its thought to get its special odor, which some scientists describe as smelling like violets, from the seafood diet otters eat. 2. About 12-20 in (30-50 cm) can be dedicated to its long tail. Sea otters, by contrast, nearly went extinct due to aggressive pelt hunting in the early part of the 20th century. These otters seem to love peat swamp forests, especially those with Melaleuca, the swamp tea-tree. Baby otters, called pups or kittens, stay with their mothers until theyre up to a year old, or until she has another litter. Excellent and lithe swimmers, the young are in the water by 10 weeks of age. 1. But now, scientists are using unmanned drones with cameras to get an aerial look at otters in their element, making it easier to monitor the creatures as they dive for food and go about their day. The researchers found four prior scientific publications documenting attacks, including one that reported a deadly otter attack in India. They involve the reintroduction of captive-bred adult otters into carefully selected and monitored habitats that offer suitable conditions such as prey availability, the presence of suitable dens for accommodation, predator presence, and levels of toxic pollutants. Some researchers hypothesize that male sea otters may be mistaking the seal pups for female otters during mating season. Prepare to see these furry creatures in a whole new light. His articles have been mentioned by Wikipedia, USA Today, and HuffPost, among others. They also sometimes intertwine their feet with another sea otter, so that they stay together. 6 Reasons Why Otters Are Evil #1 Otters are Voracious Carnivores This may not surprise those who know the animal well, but it's important to note that otters are carnivores. Rape or, as biologists usually call it, "forced copulation" is a disturbing fact of life in the animal kingdom. Additionally, providing a variety of educational materials such as brochures that link otters to topics like freshwater ecosystems or climate change can have a powerful impact on how people understand conservation issues. Lutrinae contains seven genuses and 12 different species, spanning every continent save Australia and Antarctica; a 13th species, the Japanese river otter, was declared extinct in 2012, like many otter species before it. Being at the top of the food chain causes pollutants to become concentrated in their bodies, leading to illness and death. But are otters really as sweet as we think they are, or are otters evil? No, they are wild animals and should not be kept as pets. Forced interspecies sex. It was thought that otters helped keep water purified by. Many species of river and sea otters are . Wisconsin River Otter Name: River Otters Scientific Name: Lutra canadensis Measurements: length: 2-4ft, weight: 44-82lbs, tail length: 1-1.5ft Habitat: anywhere near water Others believe that this behavior may be a result of human disturbances to sea otter populations, which can cause stress and impact their social behavior. How do otters stay warm? As the sea otter thrust his pelvis, his penis was extruded and intromission was observed. Weve mentioned these species worst behaviors, but did you know that there have been numerous reports of otters harming humans that they come in contact with? Google Pay. 1. These otters also have less webbing between their digits. They are small animals that average . Experts estimate that fewer than 8,000 exist. They hunt for food both in the water such as fish and then also land creatures including small reptiles. Asian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) - Native to South China and India, and Southeast . In such cases, medical attention is necessary to prevent infection and ensure proper wound healing. 9. You can also contribute via. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery . Komala - Generation VII. Otters also excrete something called anal jelly that contains secretions from anal glands and shed intestinal linings. explained by the vicious mating ritual. "The Drivers and Functions of Rock Juggling in Otters." Otters prefer water bordered by woods and with wetlands, such as marshes, nearby. They learn to swim when they are about two months old, when their mother pushes them into the water. Otters have long been admired for their playful antics and endearing appearance. Are female otters the only species that males try to copulate with? Sliding Behavior in Nearctic River Otters: Locomotion or Play? However, in rare cases, otter attacks can result in more severe injuries, particularly if the victim is a child or elderly person. Otters love to eat shelled animals, like clams, but they aren't equipped with the strength to open their food without some help. Their sleek bodies range in size from 2 to 5.9 feet. But few species are violent in quite as disturbing a way as the otter. Forest Service, 2006. What's weirder are a) otters's tendencies to menace baby seals, b) the fact that male otters kill an awful lot of the female otters with whom they copulate, and c) the necrophilia. Despite regulations designed to protect them, many species remain at risk from pollution and habitat loss. Otters survive by hunting, and as such they live in unpolluted waters. First, male otters sometimes hold pups ransom to force their mothers to give up some of their food. Some otters hold the female's heads underwater during intercourse to force submission. This may sound disturbing, but is successful. With their furry faces and charming personalities, they have captured the hearts of many. Otters have the densest fur of any animalas many as a million hairs per square inch in places. Although they may be adorable and hold hands while traveling, dont forget how distressing and evil otters are. They also sleep wrapped in long strands of kelp like a blanket. Otters can be discovered inhabiting almost every continent on Earth and these imply otter facts are applicable to all 13 species, many of which are sadly endangered because of overhunting, pandemic viruses, and habitat destruction among certain populations of the otter. They are the Asian small-clawed otter, African clawless otter, and Congo clawless otter. Ocean Conservancy. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Hairy-nosed Otter, 2015, doi:10.2305/iucn.uk.2015-2.rlts.t12421a21936999.en. Otters have big appetites to account for the great conditions they face. Moreover, increased conservation efforts are needed in order to monitor population numbers, reduce polluting activities and stop activities that destroy their habitats. Either due to better reporting or to increased otter savagery, the numbers grew over the decades, from three in the 1980s to 13 in the 1990s to 17 in the 2000s. Sea otters are members of the family Mustelidae which includes other animals like badgers and weasels. Otters are often thought of as cute, cuddly creatures, but there are some disturbing facts about these animals that many people don't know. Clean fluffy fur keeps them warm and traps air, which allows them to float. There are two layers of furan undercoat and then longer hairs that we can see. Yes, they live in intricate social structures, with a distinct hierarchy that dictates their interactions. Giant otters grow to as long as 6 feet and weigh as much as 75 pounds. They also love to play. While this predatory behavior is a natural part of their existence, it can sometimes have detrimental effects on their ecosystems. River otters have many interesting qualities and adaptations that make them wonderful entertainment. The forceful mating practices of otters also have implications for conservation efforts. This behavior has been documented in various locations, including the Aleutian Islands and California. Unfortunately the number of tea-trees is diminishing. Now, just because an animal is a carnivore doesnt mean its evil, right? Most injuries caused by them are minor, consisting of bites and scratches that can lead to infections. Approximately that brutal. This means you cant distinguish between healthy and infected otters, making them even more dangerous. Males, in particular, are known to take a female otters food by threatening to kill her baby. As explained by the National Wildlife Foundation's Robyn Carmichael, sea otters frequently eat sea urchins, which in turn are known for eating massive amounts of kelp, which is very good at taking in carbon dioxide during photosynthesis. I've discovered it improves your ability to focus, it's more calming, you retain more information, and it gives you a more balanced and nuanced view of the world." #16. His passion for wildlife stems from a childhood spent in the countryside, where he developed a deep fascination with the behaviors of wild animals. They can also be called kits or kittens. Perhaps the worst (alleged) method was called scaphism, in which a person was force-fed, and covered in, milk and honey, put in a swamp,. By understanding the less endearing aspects of otter behavior, we can better appreciate the full spectrum of their existence and develop more effective conservation strategies. Most otter species come ashore to give birth in dens, which sometimes have been used by other animals such as beavers. Sea Otters Have the World's Thickest Fur, 20 Bizarre and Beautiful Starfish Species, 10 US Ecosystems Saved by Endangered Species, 12 Facts About Sea Otters for Sea Otter Awareness Week, How to Tell the Difference Between Sea Otters and River Otters, Whats Killing Sea Otters? UC Santa Cruz, 2014. In one prior report on breeding-associated mortality, a tagged territorial male sea otter held a struggling female underwater until her body became limp and then copulated repeatedly with her carcass. The elusive otter is one of our top predators, feeding mainly on fish (particularly eels and salmonids), waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans. They also force sex with other species. How do we reverse the trend? Otter pups have so much air trapped in there, they actually cant dive under water, even if they want to. While they hunt for food underwater, theyll often store a rock in the skin under their arms for later use. Email: [emailprotected]. It makes its home in a burrow near the water's edge, and can thrive in river, lake, swamp, or estuary ecosystems. "How to Tell the Difference Between Sea Otters and River Otters." Link, Russell. They have visible ears, swim belly down, use webbed feet to paddle, and move swiftly on land and water. 2023 Minute Media - All Rights Reserved. They are the smallest marine mammals on earth, but they consume about a quarter of their own body mass daily and most of the energy is used just to keep their little otter bodies warm.

A Eurasian river otter mother relaxes with with her two seven-month-old cubs on a shoreline in Shetland, U.K.

, The little-known history of the Florida panther. Hell, Vox.com once employed its own full-time otter enthusiast. Therefore, sea otters are obsessive about keeping their fur clean, and groom themselves . Here's how biologists Heidi Pearson and Randall Davis describe it: A male approached a pup floating on the surface while its mother was diving for food. Sometimes, they will also force the females head underwater. The lifespan varies depending on the species and region. After raping a baby seal to death, this psycho licked his paws, like Hannibal Lecter or something. 2023 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. "A Keystone Species, The Sea Otter, Colonizes Glacier Bay." You can find out more about our use, change your default settings, and withdraw your consent at any time with effect for the future by visiting Cookies Settings, which can also be found in the footer of the site. There are so many cool facts about otters that it's no small wonder they've become a bit of an internet sensation. In particular, it is well known that sea otters will force themselves on baby seals. Also Read:Smart Animals: Sea Otters Used Tools Even Before Dolphins and Humans Did, Study Says. National Park Service, 2016. Otters have many long, stiff sensitive hairs ('vibrassae') that frame the snout: these help the otter to locate prey. In some cases, dominant otters may kidnap pups from subordinate members of the group, forcing them to provide care for the stolen young. All otters have webbed feet to help propel them through the water, and most species . As otters build their dens, they can cause significant changes to their environment. Although they do drink some water, koalas aren't highly dependent on this resource. Thirteen otter species slide down riverbanks, juggle rocks, and float on their backs in watersheds on five continents. sea otters, Disturbing facts. The two species found in North America are river otters and sea otters, the latter of which are also found in Japan and the Pacific coast of Russia. The other 12 otter species were recently identified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as having decreasing populations, and five otter species are already on the endangered list. 29 . Today you will find out some history facts that you may not have heard of before, and they come with a twist, as Redditor Doyouareisstupid asked, "What is the weirdest/most disturbing fact about our world's history that you know?" It's a perfect read for the spooky season we are now in because people have knowledge about some . Most females drown in this process. This impact on fisheries can be particularly significant in areas with already vulnerable fish populations, where otters predation can further destabilize the ecosystem. That makes it about a thousand times more dense than human hair. Take a mental break with the newest Vox crossword, Sign up for the Hairy-nosed otters are an endangered species found in Asia. , but one wrong move and you will be hurt. River otters are especially playful, gamboling on land and splashing into rivers and streams. International Otter Survival Fund. Yeah, that's right. Keeping an eye on otters in the wild is a tricky task. While rare, injuries to humans caused by them can occur, highlighting the importance of respecting these wild animals and maintaining a safe distance. Wild Explained is the go-to source for all things related to wildlife. River otters live primarily in freshwater, though they do swim and hunt in seawater. Absolutely, many gentle mammals are carnivores including your pet cat! On Nov. 25, 2019, comedian . All rights reserved, as many as a million hairs per square inch, Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information. 194-201., doi:10.1016/B978-012374473-9.00434-3. Asian otter species also face threats from the illegal pet trade. The sea otter is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, pressured by pollution, pesticides, and conflicts with fishermen who kill them for eating their fish. What we didnt mention, though, is thatotters can infect humans with the H1N1 virus. International Otter Survival Fund. Jaymi Heimbuch is a writer and photographer specializing in wildlife conservation, technology, and food. This ancient religion considered otters to be the dogs of the river or sea and had strict rules forbidding the killing of otters. All. Yes, they can act as carriers for various parasites and pathogens, some of which can potentially infect other animals or even humans. There has been at least one report of a male otter copulating and swimming with deceased female otters. A Eurasian river otter mother relaxes with with her two seven-month-old cubs on a shoreline in Shetland, U.K. This provides everyone with easy access to information that they can use to become more informed on natural systems and conservation efforts. They tuck prey into pockets of loose skin under their arms and use rocks as tools to open shellfish. Sea otters, unlike other marine mammals, do not have a . The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. Lets end this on a somewhat less disturbing note! Nonetheless, it is another reminder that you should stay away from these vicious beasts. To be fair, the vast majority 77 percent of the attacks the researchers analyzed involved North American river otters, and none appear to have involved sea otters. Discover Their Unique Flavor Profile, The Ultimate Guide to Sea Urchin Taste: What to Expect and How to Enjoy It. 5. Otters Will Resort to Acute Behaviors Just to Get Some Food, In the Amazon, Giant Otters are the Second Largest and Most Capable Predator, Giant otters average a weight of around 75 pounds but some have been noticed to be over six feet long. These furry creatures eat meat, such as fish, frogs, birds, and even mammals. This adds an additional layer of complexity to the already challenging task of maintaining balanced ecosystems. It is the longest of the otter species. Four different species of otter live in Central or South America, another three in South and Southeast Asia, two in sub-Saharan Africa, and one in Europe. Male otters have developed a bad habit of humping and fatally wounding baby seals in their desperation to mate, sometimes continuing to have sex with the seals up to a week after killing them.. Additionally, some commercial fishing operations may see them as a direct threat to their livelihoods, leading to calls for population control or even eradication. Life becomes very difficult for female otters when nurturing young pups. These usually show evidence of regular use in the form of tracks, smell, spraints (feces), and general wear-and-tear. Threats also include habitat degradation, pesticides, and pollution from mining. Otters are animals with thick fur that helps them float in the water; Otters often use rocks to crack open food; The male otter bites the female when they are breeding; While eating and resting otters often hold hands; Types of Otters. One studyfound that kelp beds where sea otters are present soak up 12 times as much carbon dioxide as beds where they're not. As avid animal lovers, our goal is to use our knowledge and passion to deliver accurate and reliable information about various topics related to wild animals. Even though mature sea otters weigh roughly 100 pounds, they require about 7,500 calories per day! Hand-holding keeps the otters from drifting away from each other and their food source while they sleep. They will also use hollows under trees or old rabbit holes. Here are four essential facts about sea otters: They're the largest member of the weasel family Mustelidae, a family of fur-bearing mammals that includes everything from weasels to honey. A 2011 study found 39 anecdotal reports of river otter attacks in North America, 35 of which occurred after 1980. Are Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney in love, or are they good actors? The golden poison dart frog (Phyllobates . Interestingly, otters dont get sick when they have the flu. 241244. This law is enforced by the U.S. In addition to re-introduction programs, other measures are also taken by conservationists such as habitat protection, awareness campaigns targeting local communities about how their activities target or affect the animals populations, monitoring and control over toxins released into water bodies with where otters live or breed and enforcement of laws against hunting or poaching. A river otter has a long, stream-lined body, short legs, and webbed feet. Even mothers, though, have their dark sides. But don't be deceived by the holding of hands and cheek rubbing sighted in photos used for posters, memes, and throw pillows, otters are still wild animals and can be harmful. The layers manage to trap air next to the otter's skin, which keeps the otters dry and warm and also helps with buoyancy. The sea otter and pup rolled violently in the water for approximately 15 min, while the pup struggled to free itself from the sea otters grasp. Instead, researchers learned, they are more likely to juggle rocks when hungry or bored. One sea otter off the coast of British Columbia apparently raped and murdered a dog. However, the most jarring fact about that is that they dont care whether the animal is alive or not. Otters have small, rounded ears, and long sensitive whiskers to help them feel the vibrations of their prey. They can act as carriers of various parasites and pathogens, highlighting the potential risks associated with close interactions between humans and wildlife. Support our mission and help keep Vox free for all by making a financial contribution to Vox today. Some cultures even forbid eating the creatures and were offended when colonial Europeans began hunting the river otters and selling their furs. Hairy-Nosed Otters Are a Lazarus Species, 9. For one thing, sea otters murder other animals even when they don't get food out of it, just for fun or something. "The Fantastic Fur of Sea Otters." Otters are well suited to a life on the water as they have . With his curiosity, experience, and love for the natural world, Aleksandar brings a unique perspective to his writing. More otters -> fewer sea urchins -> more kelp -> less global warming. In this post, well talk about why otters are evil and why they arent the cuddlers they appear to be. Therefore, they are big on tools and will often use rocks to help crack into dinner. Who buys lion bones? As the world becomes more and more polluted otter populations become more and more at risk. If your brainstem (the part of the brain that mediates most motor control for all of the body) is damaged, you can get "locked-in" syndrome. Found in cat feces, it enters waterways through runoff and flushable cat litter. Otters have long been admired for their playful antics and endearing appearance. They also use body language and scent marking to communicate ownership and boundaries. The other, Mustelinae, includes badgers, weasels, and ferrets, among other similar mammals. Forced sex. 1. Heres how paradise fought back.

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