All About River Otters Comprehension

If you are ever out walking near a stream or a river, keep your eyes wide open. You might see a long animal with brown fur sliding down a muddy slide into the water. Quietly creep closer and look. You might be lucky enough to see a cute face with long whiskers peeking up through the river grasses. If this is what you hear and see, chances are that you are meeting a river otter. River otters love to play in rivers and in streams.

River otters are happiest in the water. They have thick brown fur that protects them from the cold. They have webbed feet that help them swim quickly. Their thick tails help them steer in the water. Their long whiskers help them find food in the river. They love to eat fish. Much of their time is spent hunting for fish under the water. River otters can stay under water for a long time but can't breathe under water, though. They must come up after a few minutes for air.

When river otters are not hunting for food, they often spend their time splashing and playing in the water. Sometimes they will build a slide in the mud next to a river. Otters also like to play with stones and sticks. Whenever they hunt and play, river otters communicate with each other using chirps, grunts, and snorts.

River otters also spend time on land. They bring their food up on to the shore to eat and make their homes, called dens, on the land. They sometimes take over the homes left by other animals. If a beaver abandons its homes, a river otter might move in. River otters take care of their pups in their dens. Pups stay in their dens until they are about two months old. River otter pups do not know how to swim at first. Their mothers have to teach them.

River otters live all around North America. They like a habitat with rivers, but they can also be found in lakes and wet places with woods nearby. Look and listen for river otters in the early morning or evening. These are the times that river otters most like to hunt, eat, and play.

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Grade 6 ELA teacher
Winterville Charter Academy
Winterville, NC

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