Korallgrottan – About Sweden’s longest cave
Interesting Facts about nature’s engineers
- The European beaver (Castor fiber) is one of the largest living species of rodents and after the capybara the heaviest rodent in the world. It weighs about 11 -30kg and its body length is about 80 -100cm, not including the 25 -50cm long tail. The colour of the thick beaver coat ranges from a light chestnut-brown to a dark greyish brown.
- For some North-American forest Indians, the beaver was a holy animal! Their story of the worlds creation began with beavers creating land on the water-covered earth on command of the holy spirit called Hiavatha. The beavers could also speak, but when some were abusing the gift, they were punished with death. From their spirits, the human arose. With Hiavatha’s touch, the other giant beavers were made smaller, so mankind could rule over the earth.
- As you would expect it from a rodent, the beaver’s teeth are very big – and they never stop growing! To keep their teeth from becoming too long, the beaver gnaws nearly constantly on wood. Did you know that beaver’s teeth contain iron? Hence the orange colour.
- Beavers are very social animals with strong family bonds. Once they found their partner, they stay together for their whole life and live with their children and yearlings in their lodge. When the yearlings leave to find love, they can return to their home in case they didn’t find a companion.
- One of the most characteristic attribute about the beaver is its long and flat tail. Beavers use their tail as a rudder while swimming, for balance while sitting and walking on land and when the beaver feels threatened, it slaps its tail on the water surface. It’s a real useful multi-tool!
- Despite having generally poor eyesight, beavers have three sets of eyelids. The third one is transparent and allows beavers to have their eyes closed underwater and see. Just like swimming goggles!
- For getting building material such as twigs, the beaver must go on land. While carrying their loot back to their lodge, beavers walk upright on their back feet!
- In contrast to many other animals, beavers do not hibernate during winter, although their usually busy life becomes a little slower spending most of their time in the lodge.
- Beavers were used as a currency in French Canada back in 1600 until the end of 1800. For example, for one beaver you could get a pair of shoes. A rifle would’ve cost you 10 -12 beavers. 2/3 of French Canada’s export value came from beaver skin.
- Why are beavers also called nature’s engineers? Beside the human, beavers are the only animal to change the environment after their wishes. The largest beaver dam is 850m long and can be seen from space!