River Otter

Part of Hall of North American Mammals.

river otter diorama

September Morning, Ontario, Canada

As morning mist veils a lake in Algonquin Provincial Park, a young female river otter comes ashore and inspects a spider web. More aquatic than their close relatives, mink (diorama at far left), river otters use land only as a latrine and a bed, snatching sleep during the daytime in dens or beaver lodges. Most hours are spent swimming, hunting fish or playing in fresh and coastal waters, where they are widespread.