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What Eats Otters?

What Eats Otters

In the sea, the predators of sea otters are the great white sharks and orcas. In freshwater bodies, the otters are part of the menu of alligators, mountain lions, wolves, bears, and other big animals.

The otters rarely go to the shore or on rocks in the sea. However, river otters walk on land, and the land animals pose a serious threat to their survival.

Are otters apex predators?

Giant Otter

No, otters are not apex predators. While they can grow to a formidable size, there are many much bigger animals than them.

To become an apex predator, the otter must achieve a status where it is at the top of the food chain. What it means is that it has no natural predators at all.

Apex predators are animalsthat are at the highest trophic levels. For example, lions and crocs are apex predators because they have no natural hunters that eat them.

Otters are not like this. While otters are carnivores, they are both predators and prey. In the wild, they hunt small mammals and fish, but then there are animals that hunt them too.

How do otters protect themselves?

Eurasian Otter

Otters are not defenseless animals. They would fight back if they could, but their main way to protect themselves is flight or escape.

A sea otter can swim at speeds of up to 5 miles per hour or more. As such, they are fast swimmers, and they are agile at it. Although otters are not fish, they are semi-aquatic and spend most of their time in the water.

The second method of protection against being dinner is hiding. Otters can hide in kelp forests. They make their homes in these locations, which predators find hard to penetrate.

Some sea otters may come up on land to protect themselves. Marine predators cannot stay on land, but sea otters can. As such, they may stay on rocks until the predator gives up and leaves.

Do otters have a predator?

River Otters

Yes, both sea and river otters have predators. These are usually bigger animals. In the sea, the great white shark and the orcas are the main nemeses of the otters.

River otters are pretty much safe in the water unless there are alligators in their habitat. If this is the case, then there is no worry as otters can easily go on land.

However, the tables can turn in favor of the otter. In the Amazon, river otters are known to attack caimans. It can take an hour for the fight to end, but the otters win.

How can this happen? While an alligator can sneak up on an otter, this predation will only succeed f the otter is alone.

Since otters are social animals, they thrive in groups. They attack caimans as a group, and even a large caiman can easily get overpowered.

What are the otters biggest predators?

North American river otter

The biggest predators of the otters are great white sharks, orcas, and alligators. On land, some jaguars and other big cats prey on river otters.

On land, bears, coyotes and even bald eagles hunt for otters. Human beings also eat otters, particularly sea otters.

In Alaska, a man said that he had beenhunting sea otters for a long time now. He said that sea otters eat about 20% or 30%of their body weight every day. In the wild, it was not unusual for him to catch otters that weight 100 pounds.

Furthermore, he said that otter meat is delicious. Otters eat the good stuff in the sea, so the meat is tasty.

What are otters afraid of?

Neotropical river otter

Otters are ferocious, especially if they belong to a big group. Because of this, they will not even hesitate to fight a caiman.

Despite their courage, they are not all that fearless. An otter that happens to be alone is no match for a bobcat, black bear, alligator, or a great white shark.

Otters are afraid of their predators. They will fight back but then run for their lives if there is a mismatch in size and power. Even a domestic dog can take on an otter.

As a group, however, otters are unforgiving. Once they lock on to prey in the water, the prey is a goner.

Even if a group of otters attack an alligator, one or two of them will die. It is a sacrifice that they have to make, or they will starve. Usually, the otters that die in a battle are the young ones who are inexperienced.

Will a whale eat an otter?

Yes, whales eat otters. The orca also hunt otters, although orcas are dolphins, not whales. In Alaska, there are many missing sea otters, and ecologists say that it is the whales that did it.

Since 1990, the population of sea otters in the Aleutian Islandshas declined by as much as 80%. Studies indicate that it is the killer whales that hunt these otters for food.

But why will orcas eat otters? An orca can weigh ten tons, and yet it hunts a 100-pound otter. It does not make sense.

According to ecologists, the whales that the orcas used to eat were wiped out back in the 1950s. The wipe-out happened because commercial whalers killed them. As such, big whales were hard to find.

When the big whales were gone, the orcas had nothing to eat. Because of this, they switched their diet to sea lions and otters. Orcas also eat seals.

Of course, this is not sustainable. An orca has to eat about seven otters to get its full meal in a day. In the course of this study, they found out that killer whales eat about 300,000 otters in a year.

Summary

The otter has several predators. In the sea, great white sharksand killer whales hunt otters, especially in Alaska. On land, jaguars, bobcats, and bears hunt otters. The sea otter is now an endangered species. Some otters also face severe threats because humans are hunting them down for their fur.

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