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Northern River Otter

Lontra canadensis

Description:

When you think "river otter," you might not think "weasel," but that's exactly what they are. Relatively huge, semi-aquatic weasels as equally at home in water as they are on land. They will live in only healthy watershed ecosystems, which includes rivers, estuaries, lakes, or swamps. In these ecosystems, they are the apex predators; small but ferocious, nothing tops them. This mother leads her one youngling through a special area of river diving for small crabs. Using paws to grab crabs would be unwise, so they crunch the crabs down with all they can manage using just their powerful jaws. Sometimes the crabs fight back though. Scars are visible on their faces from the dangerous claws that have gotten the better of them. To keep themselves dry, they are born with a special oil in their fur that repels water. After they leave the water, there's nothing like a roll in the sand located on their favorite dune to fully dry off.

Notes:

More river otters are popping up along California's coastline after a combination of over-hunting for furs, polluted waters, and habitat loss ravaged the species. Fortunately, new watershed protection laws have been introduced, which has helped the mysterious but lovable water weasels bounce back.


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17 Comments

Hema
Hema 6 months ago

Wow ,thanks for confirming my doubts. They do look like weasels.

Christine Y.
Christine Y. 6 months ago

Wow! Incredible spotting and shots! Congrats :)

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 6 months ago

Thank you good sirs Neil and Zlatan!

Zlatan Celebic
Zlatan Celebic 6 months ago

Fantastic series, Josh, and congrats

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 7 months ago

Congratulations, Josh. A much-deserved SOTW.

triggsturner
triggsturner 7 months ago

Lovely series and notes Josh. Congrats on your SOTW.

Michael Strydom
Michael Strydom 7 months ago

Huge Congrats on the SOTW Josh. It is an amazing series! Love the crab being gulped and of course the tongue out on Pic 6. Thanks for sharing these great pics :)

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 7 months ago

Thank you all for your support and compliments! It's always an honor to win, let alone be nominated. I appreciate PN and hope to see it grow.

Fantastic series Joshua,great photos and info,congrats on the well deserved SOTW and thanks for sharing

DanielePralong
DanielePralong 7 months ago

Congratulations Josh, these charismatic Northern River Otters have been voted Spotting of the Week! Special comments were made about how your series of images syncs with the story flow. Also, the positive conservation news were appreciated. Whenever we see you on Project Noah your contributions are always outstanding, and we hope to see more of you in the future.

That is one mouthful of crab! Find out about the life and fishing habits of Northern River Otters (Lontra canadensis) in our Spotting of the Week! Project Noah member and wildlife and conservation photographer Josh Asel writes: "When you think "river otter," you might not think "weasel," but that's exactly what they are. Relatively huge, semi-aquatic weasels as equally at home in water as they are on land. They will live in only healthy watershed ecosystems, which includes rivers, estuaries, lakes, or swamps. In these ecosystems, they are the apex predators; small but ferocious, nothing tops them. This mother leads her one youngling through a special area of river diving for small crabs. Using paws to grab crabs would be unwise, so they crunch the crabs down with all they can manage using just their powerful jaws. Sometimes the crabs fight back though. Scars are visible on their faces from the dangerous claws that have gotten the better of them. To keep themselves dry, they are born with a special oil in their fur that repels water. After they leave the water, there's nothing like a roll in the sand located on their favorite dune to fully dry off. More river otters are popping up along California's coastline after a combination of over-hunting for furs, polluted waters, and habitat loss ravaged the species. Fortunately, new watershed protection laws have been introduced, which has helped the mysterious but lovable water weasels bounce back".

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Maria dB
Maria dB 7 months ago

Very nice series and information!

DanielePralong
DanielePralong 7 months ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated Joshua!

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 7 months ago

What a compliment, thank you Michael!

Michael Strydom
Michael Strydom 7 months ago

Wow!! Made my day!! great Shots!!

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 7 months ago

Thank you Neil and Daniele!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 7 months ago

Water weasels? I like that :) Wonderful spotting, Joshua. The photos are amazing, and great notes too.

DanielePralong
DanielePralong 7 months ago

Such a nice series of images and interesting notes Joshua! Nice to have you back with more spottings from Point Reyes.

Josh Asel
Spotted by
Josh Asel

California, USA

Lat: 38.45, Long: -123.06

Spotted on Dec 18, 2018
Submitted on Dec 18, 2018

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