Eurasian Beaver

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The Eurasian beaver or European beaver (Castor fiber) is a species of beaver, which was once widespread in Eurasia, where it was hunted to near extinction both for fur and for castoreum, a secretion of its scent gland believed to have medicinal properties. Re-introduced through much of its former range, it now occurs from the British Isles to China and Mongolia.


Physical characteristics

The fur colour of Eurasian beavers varies geographically. Light, chestnut-rust is the dominant colour in Belarus. In Russia, the beavers of the Sozh River basin are predominantly blackish brown, while beavers in the Voronezh Reserve are equally distributed between brown and blackish-brown.

Eurasian beavers on average weigh 18 kg, the largest specimen on record having weighed 31.7 kg.

Differences from North American beaver

Although superficially similar to the North American beaver, there are several important differences. Eurasian beavers tend to have less rounded heads, longer, narrower muzzles, thinner, shorter, and lighter underfur, narrower, less oval-shaped tails, and have shorter shin bones, making them less capable of bipedal locomotion than the North American species. Eurasian beavers have longer nasal bones than their American cousins, with the widest point being at the end of the snout for the...
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