LEFT: Otter slide with tracks River otters. Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel wa… if (photocredit.indexOf(sellablestring) > -1) { Watch the snow for river otter slides. Otter often use latrines where scat is concentrated. Otter Slide. var sellablestring = "COPYRIGHT VALLEY NEWS"; John James Audubon and John Bachman, in their 1851 The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America Vol 2, described the otter’s “favorite sport as sliding … This sport they continue apparently with the keenest enjoyment until fatigue or hunger induces them to desist.” Other early naturalists contributed to this freewheeling image, including Ernest Thompson Seton and Henry Williamson. var currentheadline = document.getElementById("headline").innerText; At first he was just my boy, a chubby little toddler, happy to snuggle and follow his big sister around. 11721.jpg Three otters on ice; Gregory Dimijian; 1987 . Otters have small, rounded ears, and long sensitive whiskers to help them feel the vibrations of their prey. objLink.LinkContent = " » Buy this Image"; They glide on their bellies with their front paws by their sides. They have long, narrow bodies, with long tails and short legs. About half of a River Otter's time is spent sleeping. objLink.Render(); River otters as a whole look quite similar to weasels. Otters also tend to dine on the fish they have caught on the bank in the same area, so there may be an area beside the pond that is riddled with fish bones and scales. River Otters dive to depths of at least 60 feet (18 m) and can stay submerged for more than 4 minutes. objLink.Credit = "'Washington Post — Katherine Frey'"; There are four pads on the “heel” which are visible in this photo. But is this reputation true? Otters are well known for their energetic behavior which includes playing with other otters, mud sliding, and burrowing and sliding through snow. Snowslides 12″ (300 mm) wide or wider, up to 25′ (7.5 m) long; often on flat ground, sometimes pitted with blurred prints where otter has given itself a push for momentum. The habits and methods of eating differ by species as well. Scat most often found on banks of stream or pond, on logs, or on rocks in water. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. Otters are known for their play. objLink.LinkContent = " » Buy this Image"; LEFT: Otter scat in eelgrass on Tomolas Bay. Otters Slide for an Obvious Reason: Fun ... Is the river otter really spending its precious energy reserves on sliding shenanigans? They will also eat birds and vegetation. I lay at the top of the hill on my belly. var photocredit = "'Adelaide Tyrol illustration' '(Adelaide Tyrol illustration)'"; I have been living with an otter. objLink.LinkTarget = "_blank"; As for the otters, long may they slide. I would describe him as Ernest Thompson Seton once described an otter: “joyful, keen and fearless.” He’s had ample time to play and I hope he never stops. var photocredit = photocredit.toUpperCase(); var sellablestring = "COPYRIGHT VALLEY NEWS"; #WildNebraska I watched them watching me, all of us seemingly curious about one another. WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. They may migrate as a result of food shortages or environmental conditions, but they do not migrate annually. Otters need about 3 square miles to find all of this food. objLink.BackText = "Go back to the Valley News"; Also called slips, these marks are even more obvious than tracks. Click on any photograph to see an enlarged version. Using camera and video traps in a remote area of Pennsylvania, Dr. Serfass and his team captured video of three wild otters visiting a regularly used latrine site along the shoreline of a river. The inner toe is the smallest and is set further back in the track. 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