What Kinds of Animals Live in Rivers?


Animals that live in rivers include fish, some insect larvae and reptiles, such as turtles. Mammals, such as river otters, beavers and muskrats, also live in rivers, as do amphibians, such as frogs and salamanders.

The muskrat is a large, burrowing vole that is native to North America and Eurasia. It is actually adapted to swimming by having webs between its back toes. It has a double coat of fur that protects it from cold water and can stay submerged for up to 17 minutes.

The common map turtle is native to the Midwest and lower Canada and can be found in rivers and other larger bodies of water. It basks on logs and can be identified by the yellow spot behind its eye.

Caddisflies lay their eggs in rivers and other bodies of water that are cold and clean. In some species, the larva builds a shelter around itself made of bits of leaves and rock and other detritus. Others are free swimming or build nets to catch prey.

Most amphibians begin their lives in bodies of fresh water, such as rivers. The eggs develop in water, and the larvae breathe through gills. Over time, they grow lungs to breathe air. Tadpoles lose their tails and grow legs to live on land.