Year of 2017

North American river otters in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

North American river otters can run on land at speeds up to 15 miles per hour, and have been documented sliding across snow and ice when a quick escape is required. But they’re incredibly well suited to swimming, even when winter brings a deep freeze to Yellowstone National Park. Their thick pelt and long, tapered body help them glide through the water, propelled by their short legs and webbed feet. They’ll even swim below the surface of a frozen lake or river, staying submerged for nearly eight minutes before they have to find a hole in the ice and refill their lungs.

The North American river otter, also known as the northern river otter or the common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent found in and along its waterways and coasts. An adult river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur.
Scientific name: Lontra canadensis
Biological classification: Species
Belongs to: Lontra