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Beaver PNG Images - Beavers (Castoridae) are a family in the order of rodents (Rodentia). They are the second largest living rodent on earth after the capybara. The family now consists of a single genus, Castor, which includes two species: the European beaver (Castor fiber), also known as the Eurasian beaver, and the Canadian beaver (Castor canadensis).

Some zoologists consider the Canadian beaver a subspecies of the European beaver; This view is contradicted by the different number of chromosomes (48 in European, 40 in Canadian). According to Heidecke (1986), eight subspecies are distinguished.

The European beaver is particularly protected in Europe by the Habitats Directive (Appendices II and IV). In Germany, it is not subject to hunting rights under the Federal Hunting Act. Canadian beaver hunting is regulated differently in Canada and the various states of the USA. Sometimes beavers may be hunted or caught there.

The North American beaver reaches a typical body mass of 17 to 32 kilograms (in exceptional cases up to 45 kilograms) with a total length (including the tail) of 90 to 120 centimeters and is 10 to 12 years old; Animals in captivity reached an age of 19 years. The European beaver, on the other hand, is slightly smaller and has an average body mass of around 18 kilograms (the heaviest specimen measured weighed 31.7 kilograms).

Eurasian and Canadian beavers are difficult to distinguish externally. The sexes also hardly differ externally. Only lactating females can be recognized as females by their larger teats; otherwise the cloaca must be palpated for a penile bone.

The mostly brown fur of the beaver is very dense with 230 hairs per square millimeter (humans: up to 6) and protects against moisture and the cold. The fur is regularly cleaned and cared for with a fatty secretion, castoreum.

With its spindle-shaped body, a broad, flattened, leathery-skinned, hairless tail called a trowel, and webbed toes, the animal is adapted to life in the water. The trowel serves as a control when diving, as well as for temperature regulation and as a fat deposit. When diving, the nose and ears are closed; so beavers can dive for up to 20 minutes.

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