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The BeaverIts Life and Impact$
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Dietland Muller-Schwarze

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450105

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450105.001.0001

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Form, Weight, and Special Adaptations

Form, Weight, and Special Adaptations

(p.11) Chapter 2 Form, Weight, and Special Adaptations
The Beaver

Dietland Müller-Schwarze

Cornell University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the beaver's form, weight, and special adaptations. An adult North American beaver has an average body weight of 40–50 pounds (about 18–23 kilograms). The body including the tail measures about 48 inches in length. Most distinctive for the beaver, the tail is flat and scaly and performs a variety of functions. For example, the tail serves in heat exchange through a countercurrent arrangement of blood vessels, allowing the beaver to reduce the 25 percent heat loss in the summer to 2 percent in the winter. This chapter also discusses the beaver's other organs including the nostrils, ears, eyes, brain, skull, teeth, feet, fur, and digestive tract. It also considers the beaver's excretion, reproductive organs, and senses.

Keywords:   beaver, adaptations, body weight, tail, brain, fur, digestive tract, excretion, reproductive organs, senses

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