Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Here is a delightful little video on the North American Beaver (Castor canadensis), one of the largest and more unique members of the Order Rodentia.  The host is the acclaimed British naturalist David Attenborough.  This is not only rather well done, but it is quite informative, too.  Enjoy the tidbit about the Muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus)!

Of course, it is also interesting to note the historical role that Beavers, with their valuable pelts, played in the exploration and settlement of North America.  Fur dominated the trade of New France and fueled much of the European interest in the interior of the continent (other pelts factored in, as well).  This economic interest in the Beaver is reflected in the crest of the English Hudson's Bay Company that controlled Rupert's Land until its sale to Canada in 1870AD  -- notice the Beavers in the quarters of the shield:

["HBC-coa" by Qyd - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -]

Thus, fortunes and lives were made and lost in the quest for these rodents...

File:American Beaver.jpg
North American Beaver (Castor canadensis)
["American Beaver" by Steve from washington, dc, usa - American Beaver. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons -]

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