During winter, the river otters heavily utilize openings in the ice, and may excavate passages in beaver dams for accessing open water. Otters’ travel drastically less during winter, with family groups averaging 2.4 km. River otters live in groups hunt and travel together, use the same dens, resting sites, and latrines, and perform allogrooming. In freshwater systems, groups occur most often in autumn and during early winter.
In the winter, otters can be seen frolocking in the snow or sliding down the ice on their bellies. They hunt under the ice in the winter, breathing in between the lowering water and the ice. They spend the majority of the winter underwater, since that is the warmest area.
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