Rodents are numerous, the mouse (111 - us sylvaticus) is very destructive, and beavers are met with in places.
Among the rodents there are hares, marmots, beavers, squirrels, rats and mice, the last in enormous swarms. Of the larger game the chamois and deer are specially noticeable.
A few otters, beavers and minks are still found in eastern Texas.
Beavers are nearly allied to the squirrels (Sciuridae), agreeing in certain structural peculiarities of the lower jaw and skull.
In the beavers or Castoridae these bones are in close contact at their lower ends, the tail is depressed, expanded and scaly, and the habits are aquatic. Beavers have webbed hind-feet, and the claw of the second hind-toe double.
In length beavers - European and American - measure about 2 ft.
Beavers are essentially aquatic in their habits, never travelling by land unless driven by necessity.
Beavers are sociable animals, living in streams, where, so as to render the water of sufficient depth, they build dams of mud and of the stems and boughs of trees felled by their powerful incisor teeth.
"In places," writes Hearne, "which have been long frequented by beavers undisturbed, their dams, by frequent repairing, become a solid bank, capable of resisting a great force both of ice arid water; and as.
The beavers carry the mud and stones with their fore-paws and the timber between their teeth.
Beavers also gnaw the bark of birch, poplar and willow trees; but during the summer a more varied herbage, with the addition of berries, is consumed.
Fossil remains of beavers are found in the peat and other superficial deposits of England and the continent of Europe; while in the Pleistocene formations of England and Siberia occur remains of a giant extinct beaver, Trogontherium cuvieri, representing a genus by itself.
For an account of beavers in Norway see R.
The first white settlers found great numbers of buffaloes, deer, elks, geese, ducks, turkeys and partridges, also many bears, panthers, lynx, wolves, foxes, beavers, otters, minks, musk-rats, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, woodchucks, opossums and A I .° Longitude West 89 Greenwich C E Fayette, ?
Indeed, despite the fact that they present much diversity of habit - some being arboreal, as the squirrels, many of which are provided with expansions of skin or parachutes on which they glide from tree to tree; some cursorial, as the hares; others jumpers, as the jerboas; others fossorial, as the mole-rats; and others aquatic, as the beavers and waterrats - no important structural modifications are correlated with such diversity of habit.
The second section, Castoroidea, of the present group includes only the family Castoridae, represented by the beavers, which are large aquatic rodents characterized by their massive skulls, devoid of post-orbital processes, with the angle of the lower jaw rounded, the molars rootless or semi-rooted, with re-entering enamel-folds, and one pair of premolars above and below.
The Upper Oligocene Cricetodon in Europe and Eumys in America are the earliest known forerunners of the cricetine Muridae; while at the same time primitive beavers appear in the form of Steneofiber, to be succeeded in the European Pleistocene by the gigantic Trogontherium.
The still larger North American Pleistocene Castoroides, known by one species of the size of a bear, and the allied West Indian Amblyrhiza, appear to be specialized beavers, although they have been referred to a family by themselves.
The Carnivora include bears, wolverines, wolves, raccoons, foxes, sables, martens, skunks, kolinskis, fitch, fishers, ermines, cats, sea otters, fur seals, hair seals, lions, tigers, leopards, lynxes, jackals, &c. The Rodentia include beavers, nutrias, musk-rats or musquash, marmots, hamsters, chinchillas, hares, rabbits, squirrels, &c. The Ungulata include Persian, Astrachan, Crimean, Chinese and Tibet lambs, mouflon, guanaco, goats, ponies, &c. The Marsupialia include opossums, wallabies and kangaroos.
Seals, otters, beavers, nutrias and musquash, the beauty of which is not seen until after the stiff water or top hairs are pulled out or otherwise removed.
Otters and beavers that run dark in the hair or wool are more valuable than the paler ones, the wools of which are frequently touched with a chemical to produce a golden shade.
In England, for instance, the dressing of sables, martens, foxes, otters, seals, bears, lions, tigers and leopards is first rate; while with skunk, mink, musquash, chinchillas, beavers, lambs and squirrels, the Germans show better results, particularly in the last.
Subsequently the hard top hairs are taken out as in the case of otters and beavers and the whole thoroughly cleaned in the revolving drums. The close underwool, which is of a slightly wavy nature and mostly of a pale drab colour, is then dyed by repeated applications of a rich dark brown colour, one coat after another, each being allowed to thoroughly dry before the next is put on, till the effect is almost a lustrous black on the top. The whole is again put through the cleaning process and evenly reduced in thickness by revolving emery wheels, and eventually finished off in the palest buff colour.
There are deer (at least five species), boars, bears, antelopes, beavers, otters, badgers, tiger-cats, marten, an inferior sable, striped squirrels, &c. Among birds there are black eagles, peregrines (largely used in hawking), and, specially protected by law, turkey bustards, three varieties of pheasants, swans, geese, common and spectacled teal, mallards, mandarin ducks white and pink ibis, cranes, storks, egrets, herons, curlews, pigeons, doves, nightjars, common and blue magpies, rooks, crows, orioles, halcyon and blue kingfishers, jays, nut-hatches, redstarts, snipe, grey shrikes, hawks, kites, &c. But, pending further observations, it is not possible to say which of the smaller birds actually breed in Korea and which only make it a halting-place in their annual migrations.
Sables, ermine, wolverines, minks, land otters, beavers and musk-rats have always been important items in the fur trade.