Essay On River Otters

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Introduction Chirp! Cries a gleeful river otter as it slides down a muddy slope into the water. The river otter belongs to the weasel family, with its North American relatives that include the mink, fisher, ermine, badger, wolverine, skunk, and the marten. The typical male river is about three feet long and weighs about eighteen pounds. They are even similar to their cousin, the skunks, that spray a “musk” from two glands under their tail. However the “musk” doesn’t stink, in fact it smells sweet! River otters live in a very broad range dwelling in most parts of the United States and Canada, or pretty much anywhere there is a body water, hence its name. The river otter spends most of its life in the water and doesn’t go on land very often,…show more content…
Otters love floating around lazily on their stomachs or will even flip over onto their backs. They enjoy diving and sometimes will grab a pebble, stone, twig, or a shell and just play with it in their hands or juggle them for a while. They will sometimes balance leaves on their noses as well. Families of river otters will sometimes play follow the leader. Otters playing this game will often follow each other as they dive below the surface. People that have spotted this action think they have come upon a giant water serpent. They will even chase their tails like dogs! They will slide down muddy slopes or toboggan down snow-covered slopes on their stomachs and splash into the water. In the winter, families will play versions of hide and seek where one otter dives and tunnels beneath the snow while the other otter looks for them. (Dingwall 10-34). In fact, otters rely on play to learn survival skills, such as fighting from wrestling with each other, hunting by diving, swimming around, and chasing each other. However, only “playful” play was found in only six percent of 294 observations by a study in Idaho. This was even limited to immature otters!

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