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What Do Otters Eat

Otters are mammals that belong to the same family as weasels, badgers and wolverines. There are 12 species of otters and they are primarily semi-aquatic animals. The majority of the species prefer freshwater environments, but the sea otter and marine otter spend much of their time in the saltwater. At least one species of otter can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Continue reading to find out what these fascinating creatures eat.

What do otters eat?
The diet of otters reflects the environment they live in. This means that the majority of their diet is made up of fish. However, they also eat shellfish like crayfish and crabs. Freshwater species are also known to eat frogs. A smaller portion of their diet is made up of small mammals, invertebrates and even birds.

Otters are very active hunters and will hunt for about 3-5 hours per day, which increases to about 8 hours when nursing. They pursue their prey in the water and are also known for spending time searching a river bed or sea floor for something to eat. The species of otters that live in cold climates must eat a lot to match their fast metabolism, which keeps them warm. In fact, sea otters eat between 20-25% of their body weight daily, depending on the temperature of the water.

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