Sighting one can be an exciting occasion for boaters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts because of the creature’s secretive nature and relative rarity in some waters. The North American river otter is a member of the mustelid or weasel family that can be easily identified by a stout body, short legs, noticeably tapered tail and dense, short, glossy fur. The Zoo is Helping River Otters. Lontra canadensis. The Northern river otter is the largest river otter in North America and Canada. Description. It is the longest member of the weasel family, Mustelidae, a globally successful group of predators, reaching up to 1.7 metres (5.6 ft).Atypical of mustelids, the giant otter is a social species, with family groups typically supporting three to eight members. The giant otter or giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is a South American carnivorous mammal. Range. An extremely adaptable animal, otters tolerate hot and cold climates, as well as high elevations and lowland coastal waters, and can be found in rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes throughout much of North America to Canada and Alaska. The North American river otters are currently behind-the-scenes. North American river otters suffered great loss to their population, in the 20th century, due to habitat loss and water pollution. Scientific Name. While eating and resting otters often hold hands; Otters Scientific Name. The taxonomy of otters puts them as the L Canadensis species. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). Description. Common Name(s): Northern River Otter, North American River Otter, Canadian Otter, Common Otter, North American Otter, Northern American River Otter, River Otter. The scientific name for an otter is Carnivora, with otter being its common name. GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : The northern river otter historically occurred over much of the North American continent. Behavior: Social, they often live in groups including a mother and pups or small groups of all males. It can weigh up to 30 pounds and as long as 60 inches long when fully grown. Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis : Conservation Status: Common : River otters are furry little animals that are members of the weasel family. For more information on these animals that live in the state of Maryland, please read on. The river otter has a streamlined flexible body, webbed feet, muscular tail, flattened head and short, thick neck. North American River Otter. Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis. Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis. Adopt a river otter. Possible aliases, alternative names and misspellings for Lontra canadensis. The classification it falls under is Mammalia. The American river otter is a graceful and beautiful addition to many North Carolina rivers. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent found in and along its waterways and coasts. Graceful swimmers, they can dive to 60 feet and often stay under water four minutes. It belongs to the weasel family and its subfamily is the Lutrinae. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. Conservation efforts were put in place and otters were reintroduced, increasing their population. North American River Otter. These include the American black bear, American Mink, Bobcat, Coyote, Eastern spotted skunk, least weasel, long-tailed weasel, North American River Otter, and the striped skunk. Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis. There are 9 mammals in Maryland classed as carnivores. Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis. Show Aliases. They often live in the same areas as beavers. 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