Month: December 2017

Castor canadensis

Are there any other countries beside Canada that have a rodent as their national animal?

Beavers, just like the Sphagnum I talked about in my last post, are amazing ecosystem engineers. They ¬†transform entire landscapes with their industriousness, and trade in their pelts has played a big role in the history of the country. Nonetheless, today, their use as a national symbol does not seem an obvious choice. Calling someone a rodent is rarely meant as a compliment, and “beaver” has an unfortunate meaning in modern slang. In 2011, at least one Canadian senator argued that the beaver should be replaced with a polar bear, calling the former a “dentally defective rat“.

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