Otters often deposit their body wastes in piles along the edges of streams and wetlands to mark their territory. Because of the types of foods they eat, their waste piles can be smelly — the reason you may smell their presence but never see them.
Georgia’s river otters are breeding now and will continue to do so through early spring. After mating, however, a delay of 290-380 days will occur before the development of embryos begins. Gestation takes 60-63 days once implantation of the embryos in the uterus occurs — meaning that babies conceived this winter won’t be born until more than a year from now.
From one to six young are born in a leaf- and grass-lined den in an old muskrat lodge, abandoned burrow or hollow tree near the water.
IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The moon will be new on Tuesday. Venus and Mars are low in the east just before sunrise. Jupiter and Saturn are low in the west just after dark.
Charles Seabrook can be reached at email@example.com.