Meet Our Otters
Where: Otters: Watershed Ambassadors
When: 11 am & 2 pm, Daily
Length: 15 minutes
Join a naturalist as they introduce our favorite watershed ambassador: the North American river otter. Learn about these charismatic mammals, how they differ from their sea otter cousins, and find out how you can help keep their homes in the wild healthy and clean. Guests may even have a chance to catch an otter training session during a special appearance by our animal care staff.
What's the difference between Sea Otters and River Otters?
River otters and sea otters have some things in common, such as:
- They’re both a type of weasel with long, slender bodies
- They have webbed feet for swimming, and are excellent underwater hunters
- They have two layers of fur to keep warm in cold water
- A group of otters in the water is called a “raft.”
|River Otters||Sea Otters|
|Are about 20-25 pounds||Are about 50-100 pounds|
|Live in fresh water, like rivers and lakes, and slightly salty water, like in the Bay||Live in salt water, in the ocean|
|Spend half their time on land and half in the water||Almost never leave the water|
|Swim on their bellies||Float on their backs|
|Have little paws and can run quickly on land||Have wide webbed feet, and are really awkward on land, like they’re wearing SCUBA flippers|
|Eat their food on land or on a rock or log||Eat their food off their belly as they float on their backs|
|Sleep in dens underground||Sleep wrapped in a kelp “seatbelt”|
|Eat fish, frogs, crayfish, bugs, rats, and birds||
Eat urchins, crabs, clams, octopuses
Baxter and Ryer were born at the Oakland Zoo, and joined us at Aquarium of the Bay in March 2014. Since then, they have been enjoying quality time with our otter biologists, learning new skills, and delighting guests with their antics.
We celebrated Baxter and Ryer’s birthdays with special fish-filled birthday treats, including a frozen fish ice cake (yum!).