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  • South Bend Educational Article of the Month - About beaver

About beaver

About beaver

Beavers are very intriguing South Bend animals, they are mostly known for having flat tails and a truly lustrous fur, which is still prized today by humans. The American Indians called the beaver the sacred center because they create rich and watery habitats for all kinds of creatures, many mammals, fish, turtles, birds including ducks, frogs thrive in the habitat that the beavers create. Beavers prefer to dam shallow streams in valleys. A beaver dam and its wetlands support biodiversity that rivals a tropical rainforest and at this time as almost half threatened species of North America need wetlands to survive then what Indiana beavers do becomes more critical as time passes.

The beaver's ability to change the landscape to suit themselves and provide habitat for other creatures is second only to human beings. For a long time everyone thought South Bend beaver's behavior was instinctive but it turns out it is not all instinctive, beavers can learn, copy and imitate. Surprisingly one of the beavers more intriguing habits is that they like to play practical jokes on each other. Beavers are a large rodent weighing in at up to 40 pounds and they mate for life. Indiana Beavers have poor eyesight but keen senses of hearing, smell and touch, they are omnivores mostly eating the under bark of the trees they cut, but they do have a love for water lilies, which most texts say is their favorite food. Beavers have webbed hind feet, which helps them swim along with their broad flat tail, which they use like a paddle when swimming.

Beavers also have a set of front teeth that never stop growing so chewing on tree trunks is not a problem. The enamel in a beavers incisors contains iron which is one of the reasons their teeth are so hard. Indiana Beavers continue to grow throughout their lives and the heaviest adult species recorded weighed in at over 55 pounds, this is a very old beaver, in the wild South Bend beavers have been known to live for up to 24 years.

There are only two beavers left in existence, the North American one and the Eurasian one, the two species are not genetically compatible with North American Indiana beaver having forty chromosomes and the Eurasian cousin having forty-eight chromosomes. At one time the Russians bred the two species but all the kits were stillborn. Today the believers are considered to be a keystone species in the ecosystem in which they live, beavers may even impact South Bend climate change.

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