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Beaver, animal who can be nice with his chubby rodent air. It lives in the northern hemisphere, above all, but in truth it is now difficult to find it since it has almost completely disappeared in Europe, due to poaching. It is hunted for its fur which is in fact very coveted by those who love the genre. In addition to protecting it, we learn about it.
The European beaver is one of the two species existing in the world today, the other species is the American one. To understand which of the two it is, we must look the nose has different shapes. The rest of the body is similar, for the European and American beaver, it is stocky and with a spatula-shaped tail, it is certainly not a slender animal, on the contrary, and also the neck is short.
The limbs are sturdy, the rear ones, moreover, are equipped with long fingers which make it a very good animal to swim. The forelimbs, on the other hand, almost look like human hands for how quickly and skillfully they move fine fur stands out for its light color, on the head and belly, but in the rest of the body it takes on a reddish-brown color and the length of the hair also increases.
Beaver: what it eats
Beavers eat mostly herbaceous and woody plants, shoots and bark especially poplars, in order to obtain them they cut down trees of considerable size by digging with their teeth on their trunk until they fall to the ground.
Getting fed is also the reason why they live in the woods and near waterways, even about twenty years old, the female has a gestation of 4 months, each birth gives life to a number of small beavers that can vary from 2 to 6 young that after one month of breastfeeding they begin weaning and are adult beavers at two.
Including how do you get food, it is clear that his teeth are essential to him. It has 20 teeth and the incisors are continuously growing, turned backwards. Other special characteristics of the beaver concern the auricles which, like the nostrils, are equipped with valves. This is for when immersed in water, in order to be able to resist below the water level without having problems for several minutes.
Today the beaver is difficult to find around, certainly more than it was in the 18th century. For the beauty of his fur and also for his teeth, he was hunted and the products he made were exported. From North America came beaver skins which were the favorite raw material for those who created hats or coats.
In North America as well as in Europe, in past centuries, there has been a real slaughter of beavers and despite the reintroduction of the animal, the numbers are still low. In Europe we find them above all in Russia and Scandinavia, along the Rhone, in France and Switzerland and along the Elbe in Germany.
The beaver and the dams
The beaver not only goes underwater without many problems, but builds sturdy dams that are now famous for their rather intricate architectural structure. Chopping down trees to eat, then uses wood, without bark, to build dams and even burrows, usually the former they are created in the summer.
The beaver fixes the structure on the shore with stones and uses the branches to make a weave to be enriched and compacted with the help of leaves and clay almost knead together to create a waterproof layer. Beaver dams serve as an extension to their burrows, they are usually one and a half meters high, 3 meters wide and 3 meters long, but at the top they tighten. The longest dam found so far, made by beavers, in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, it measured 300 meters.
For those who want to take to heart the fate of the beaver, helping the associations that protect him, it can also be interesting to buy a soft toy that remembers his presence. On Amazon we find a wide range, among the most faithful to its appearance, the Trudino, at 15 euros.
In addition to the famous publishing house for children, Il Castoro, which I personally recommend with all my heart for the quality of the books on offer, we see some books that have beavers as protagonists and that tell something about them. Alberto Manzi's one immediately comes to mind "Grogh, story of a beaver ”, very funny but also full of emotions, suitable for very young but independent readers, aged 9 and up. For the little ones we find the Beavers to be colored so that they begin to become familiar with this rodent while also learning to respect it and not to ruin the environment in which it lives.
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