Freitag, 21. Februar 2014
Sometimes when I want to write about a skull I often can’t make a decision which skull I should choose. There are many skulls, but I don’t know if the story behind is interesting enough. Anyway, this time I choose you, beaver! *throws pokeball*
Read more about this heavy rodent skull under the cut.
In Switzerland beavers are protected by law, it’s forbidden to hunt or to kill them. Only if the beavers make too much trouble like undermine a man-made dam or bridge someone is sent out to kill them. But that’s a rare scenario. However, like the wolf or bear the beaver isn’t a well beloved animal at all. Especially the farmers aren’t happy when a beaver floods their fields. But the lobby of beaver fans grows and grows.
So, my skull isn’t a European beaver, it’s from a Canadian one. Canadian beavers don’t count as threatened species so it’s legal to buy them.
The skull is very heavy. No wonder, the big junky incisors are very massive and strong. The beaver needs extreme power to gnaw on a tree trunk. That’s very impressive.
But the other teeth are heavy, too. In any event: The whole skull is very bulky! I love it!
Strange teeth, similar like vole teeth.
Why do beavers have orange front incisors? These teeth need to be very strong, so they contain iron, calcium and other minerals. These minerals are the reason why the front incisors are orange. And the tanning agents within some trees are also a factor.
I got a gnawed trunk from a cousin of mine. He found it in a beaver area. Awesome!
Beavers are very special mammals. On land they move slowly, but in water they are very swift. The whole body is made for a life in water: webbings between the fingers and toes and a thick fur which the beavers “oils” for being waterproof. Nose and ears can be closed while diving etc. I think the last point is the reason why the ears look so strange.
Beavers are nocturnal and sadly I’ve never seen one in my live yet. But I heard some youngsters in the night while we visited Canada! It was a strange noise. We also saw a beavers’s lodge, but it was too far away for my camera.
I hope that beavers will settle down on many rivers and creeks in Switzerland, so that they aren’t rare anymore. Go, beavers, go!