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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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Diving and Thermoregulation

Diving and Thermoregulation

From Land Mammal to Semiaquatic Design and Function

(p.19) Chapter 3 Diving and Thermoregulation
The Beaver

Dietland Müller-Schwarze

Cornell University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the beaver's diving reflex and thermoregulation, with particular emphasis on its evolution from a basic mammalian design into a superb amphibious, semiaquatic animal. It describes the anatomy of the beaver, which betrays the habit of extensive floating on the water surface: the vital air intake and sense organs are arranged so that the nostrils, eyes, and ears extend above the water while the rest of the head and body are submerged. It also explains how the beaver has acquired swimming and diving prowess without losing its ability to walk and even run, dig, and forage on land. Finally, it examines the beaver's thermoregulation in water and on land.

Keywords:   beaver, diving reflex, thermoregulation, evolution, anatomy, sense organs, swimming

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