The North American River Otter has a very diverse diet, but is mainly carnivorous (Gilbert et al., 1982).  They eat a wide variety of both small aquatic plants and land animals (Davis et al., 1992). The North American River Otter’s diet consists mainly of available fish and crayfish but is known to eat other convenient foods as well (Liers, 1951).  Insects are also very common in the otter’s diet (Stearns, 2008).  Otter’s eat pretty much any kind of prey including birds and amphibians (Davis et al., 1992).  The diet of many River Otters change seasonally.  These changes reflect the availability of the prey (Stearns, 2008). 

Trish Carney








The North American River Otter primarily use their mouths to capture their food (Gilbert et al., 1982).  The river otter will capture prey according to the prey’s swimming ability (Tumison et al., 1987).  If the prey is slow the otter is much more likely to capture and consume it rather than a faster type of prey (Stearns, 2008).  Their whiskers have the ability to detect food under water in the dark; this allows them to be expert fishermen (Gilbert et al., 1982).   After the prey is captured it is generally eaten right away in the water, although if the prey is large the North American River Otter will take their food to the land to eat it (Davis et al., 1992).


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