In 1975, the beaver became Canada’s official emblem.
“The beaver attained official status as an emblem of Canada when an “act to provide for the recognition of the beaver (castor canadensis) as a symbol of the sovereignty of Canada” received royal assent on March 24, 1975.”
Today, thanks to conservation and silk hats, the beaver – the largest rodent in Canada – is alive and well all over the country.
The beavers are pretty clever. They change their landscape to suit their needs. They build a lodge with an underground entrance. It’s partly because it fends off predators like coyotes, foxes and wolves. Also, by raising the water level, it doesn’t freeze in the winter.
When there isn’t enough room for the kits (that’s a baby beaver) anymore, or they run out of nearby food, they just move on and build another lodge.
The fact that they can hold their breath for up to 15 minutes is a reason why they can make their entrances underwater. They have huge lung capacities. Also, they can divert blood, hence its oxygen, from its paws to its brain.
A beaver will down, on average, 200 trees a year. Using their tails for balance, they get on their hind legs and use their teeth to break the trunk.
Did you know beavers’ teeth are orange? Apparently that’s because of the high content of iron that makes up the hard enamel.
A comment this post has produced came from Lone Grey Squirrel (You would find the blog very entertaining, by the way) asked about a debate in Canada about making the polar bear our national symbol. I had forgotten about that. In 2011, Sen. Nicole Eaton suggested this very notion. Well, a flood of debates and opinions came out of that. Nothing ever came of it, but many Canadians had voiced their opinion. There are two good articles about this. The first is from Macleans Magazine, and the second one is quite amusing is at the National Post.