Last modified on March 12th, 2022 at 10:22 am

Facts About River Otters

River otters are swimming animals that live in the water on a part-time basis, as they also invest a considerable amount of time ashore. The nocturnal animals, who are closely related to weasels, are commonly found in most bodies of water including wetlands, reservoirs, rivers and lakes, and throughout marine coastal areas.

Otters are commonly spotted when fishing along rivers and in the ocean, but most people don’t know that much about them.

We created this article to break down a few cool facts about the good ol’ river otter, so let’s get started!

Tracking Down Food

River otters possess highly specialized vision that allows them to view possible meals while swimming in dark and uncertain waters. Their tiny eyes can easily find food that may not be as noticeable to other animals.

River otter hairs are also useful for finding vibrations which can help them find the location of their prey. In addition to just strong vision and vibration, river otters have amazing smelling capabilities when it comes to finding fish. If a school of fish is someplace close by, a river otter can utilizing their olfactory abilities to track them down.


River otters are highly frolicsome, perky and vibrant animals. Some everyday river otter playtime activities include various activities such as somersaulting, battling, tumbling about, sliding around– all undoubtedly amusing sights to see.

Some of this playfulness is useful for the otters. Sliding helps the otters get around on land swiftly, in addition to just looking adorable.

Underwater Time

River otters can remain underwater for an impressive 8 minutes at once. When they go underwater, they can shut both their nostrils and ears — this ensures that absolutely no water gets in.

Rapid Metabolisms

River otters have incredibly fast metabolic rates. After river otters eat, it can be fully digested within an hour. This means the otters have to continually be on the lookout for food, making them skillful predators.

Otter Predators

River otters do have some predators, like a lot of other animal types. Nevertheless, the tough animals are skilled swimmers as and because of that, they are not easy to catch while in water. On land, the otters are slightly more vulnerable. Their land predators consist of wolves, bears, bald eagles, coyotes as well as bobcats.

What You Should Know About Otters

Many people look at otters and think they are adorable. Honestly, I am no different. However, otters can be extremely territorial, aggressive and have been known to attack humans.

If you come across an otter in the wild, snap a photo if you can, but keep your distance. This will keep you safe and ensure you aren’t interfering with the local wildlife.

Julie Adams

I have been a nature enthusiast since I was a small girl. My background is in online marketing and website development. It only makes sense to merge my love for nature with my skills in online marketing to help spread awareness, and appreciation for Our Beautiful Planet.