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River otters: Hardest-working clowns in the water

By: Jaymi Heimbuch on Sept. 13, 2013, 1:17 p.m.
river otter

Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch

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Good swimmers, long whiskers

River otters, as we know, are amazing swimmers. They can stay under water for almost four minutes, and swim at nearly 7 miles per hour. In one dive, a river otter can travel more than 400 yards! They use their long vibrissae, or whiskers, to sense where fish and other prey are located, as well as their sharp hearing and sense of smell.