The beaver family includes the largest rodents in the world after Capybara. They have a massive body and a flattened tail. Representatives of this family are excellent swimmers. They have a fairly wide distribution area. This family includes several species of animals, each of which has a distinctive feature.
- Description and appearance of representatives of the beaver family
- Types of beavers
- Ordinary or river beaver (Castor Fiber)
- Canadian Bobr (Castor Canadensis)
- American beaver distinguished in a special form
- How the beaver swims
- Where the beavers live
- Diet of rodents
- What kind of housing is Bobra build
Description and appearance of representatives of the beaver family
Bobrovy belong to the family of mammals of the rodent detachment. It is interesting to note that previously they were attributed to the subdivision. However, today they are listed as representatives of Castorimorpha.
For reference: the modern English name Beaver came from the old English BEOFOR, BEFOR or BeBr, and is associated with the German Biber and Dutch Bever.
A distinctive feature of the beaver is its appearance, thanks to which it is easy to recognize among other rodents. The body length of the animal can reach 1.5 meters. It is interesting to note that females are most often larger than males. Representatives of this species have a slightly stupid muzzle, which is decorated with small ears. Beaver and paws have. They are short, but strong.
Particular attention deserves the fur of the animal, which is highly valued. The wool consists immediately of 2 layers:
- Top there are rigid flowing red-brown hair;
- below is a thick gray undercoat that protects the individual from hypothermia.
The body of the individual smoothly passes into the tail. It has a black color and covered with scales. The tail of the beavers is wide and rather flattened. There are 2 glands near its base. They produce a odorous substance that wearing a name «castoreum».
Types of beavers
Despite the fact that earlier several subframes belonged to the Bobrov family, today there are only three species left:
- ordinary (river);
It is worth noting that earlier the Canadian species was considered a subspecies of river. However, serious genetic studies were conducted, during which it was revealed that these are completely different types.
Ordinary or river beaver (Castor Fiber)
This is the most common look. Mostly common in Europe. Populates the Scandinavian countries, Poland, Germany, Belarus, France, Ukraine. Also found in China and Eurasia. River beaver was also discovered in Mongolia.
On average, the body length of representatives of this species is 1.2 meters. The weight of an adult varies within 30 kilograms. The paws are shortened. They are located 5 fingers decorated with powerful, flat claws. Hind legs are stronger than the front. Swimming membranes are between the fingers.
The tail has a funny shape. Its length exceeds 25 cm. The width is 9-12 cm. At the base, the tail is slightly lowered, while its main part is covered with small horn scales.
Interesting fact: Under the water, the ear holes and nostrils are closed. In addition, unique flashing membranes are provided before our eyes.
A distinctive feature of individuals of this species is a beautiful fur. It consists of gross hollows and a dense soft undercoat. Most often, the fur is painted in light brown color. However, ordinary beavers are found with dark brown, as well as black «fur coat».
Canadian Bobr (Castor Canadensis)
Another type of family of beaver, preserved to this day. Individuals have a standard body structure for all representatives of this subfamily. Its length is 100 cm. Roundshaped body with wide chest and short head. The weight of an adult animal is an average of 28 kilograms.
Canadian beaver has a thick black-brown or reddish-colored fur.
Oval tail with a pointed end. Its length reaches 27 cm., while the width is 12 cm. The tail surface is covered with black scales.
Canadian beaver is not of such widespread as an ordinary look. It inhabits mainly Canada and North America. It is also found in Alaska, in Mexico and the USA. A number of Scandinavian countries were also brought to Eurasia, but not everywhere has taken root.
American beaver distinguished in a special form
Mundined mammals with a compact body and short paws. These are water rodents that have a number of devices that make them good swimmers. An additional set of transparent eyelids, which close above the eyes, allow animals to see under water.
After the measures to protect and resettle the range of the American beaver, almost restored.
How the beaver swims
Few people know, but representatives of this family swim at a speed of 8 km. in hour. Animals can remain under water for 10-15 minutes. Capable of diving to a depth of 1 meter.
Interesting fact: in the process of immersion under the water, the beaver pulse slows down 2 times. Thus, it is only 55-60 beats per minute.
During swimming, the animal involves only the hind legs. On the surface of the water, it moves due to pushing the hind legs in turn. Under water uses shocks at the same time 2 paws. The front legs of the individual are pressed to the chest. The tail serves as a certain steering wheel to change the direction.
Where the beavers live
Initially, representatives of the Bobrov family were widespread throughout Europe and Asia. There were no only on Sakhalin and Kamchatka. However, the economic activity of people and the uncontrolled hunting greatly influenced the number of individuals, as a result of which their habitat was also reduced.
Today, beavers live in France, Scandinavia, Germany, Belarus, Eurasia. Often found in the North TransUrals, China and Asia.
Animals settle in the area where trends of deciduous rocks and shrubs prevail along the banks of the rivers. It is worth noting that beavers prefer rivers with a leisurely current, old people, ponds, lakes, reservoirs, irrigation channels and careers. Animals avoid fast and wide ponds that are able to freeze to the bottom in the winter season.
Diet of rodents
The beaver family eats only food of plant origin. The basis of their diet is the birch bark, willow, aspen, poplar. Not mind the animals to enjoy the grassy plants. For example, iris, water lilies, reeds.
For reference: quite often you can see that the beavers gnaw alder and oak. However, they do this not for the purpose of saturation. Rodents use these trees for various buildings.
The volume of food eaten by beaver per day is 20% of its weight. The animal menu depends on the season. In the summer, grass prevails in it. In winter, beavers eat mainly bark of trees. In the fall, rodents create stocks of wood feed. They hide them under water, and get only closer to the end of winter. It is interesting to note that the animals are trying to tackle their reserves. This is necessary so that the food does not grow into the ice.
The peak of activity is at night. In the afternoon, individuals are in their burrows. With the onset of dusk, animals go in search of food. Bobra proceeds to construction late. It is worth noting that in winter, representatives of this family do not hibernate, but most of their time spent in the den.
Beaver live families. They form pairs from a female and a male, who over time appear offspring. One colony can consist of 10 individuals. A large family is divided into several groups living in different burrows. At a certain time, they leave their shelter, and begin to comb out and lick each other.
To communicate with each other, animals use a special sound reminiscent of skill. Cubs attract the attention of parents with crying and squeak. Often the sounds reproduced by them are like meowing. During the danger, rodent begins to hiss and clang his teeth. He gives anxiety signals with a tail, which begins to knock hard on the surface of the water.
What kind of housing is Bobra build
Increased interest causes housing for representatives of the Bobrov family. They are able to create 2 types of housing: holes and huts. An interesting feature of such buildings is the entrance, which is always located under water. In this way, beavers care about their safety. Nora rodents dig in a steep shore. This building has more than 5 outputs, which resembles a labyrinth.
The second type of housing is built where the digging is not possible. Most often these are gentle and low swampy shores and shallows. Huts look like a coneshaped heap of brushwood. For their fixation, silt is used, or the earth.