Beaver, Castor fiber
The beaver is one of
the best adapted rodents for movement in water. It is torpedo
shaped with waterproof fur and gains thrust from its flattened
tail and webbed feet. The tail also provides steering.
When diving, the ears
and nose close tight and a translucent membrane covers the eyes.
The throat can be blocked by the back of the tongue and the lips
can close behind the incisors so it can gnaw underwater without
build dams using mud, stones and wood across streams to create
ponds which make their lodges more secure from predators, their
environment more stable and allow efficient use of food
resources. Diet varies with season, beavers feeding
non-woody plants in spring and summer, and shrubs and trees in autumn.
Food is gathered in the autumn and stored underwater, near the
lodge, for the winter. The cold water preserves the nutritional
value of the stems.
Kits (young beavers)
are born in the lodge in the late spring. At birth they are fully
furred, their eyes open and can swim within a few hours. Young
beavers suffer from acute constipation unless there is water in
which they can defecate.