|Official Name||Anglian Beaver|
|Common Nicknames||Musky Rat|
The Anglian Beaver is an ancient creature to the Anglian people of the Regalian Archipelago. A familiar sight along the shores of their land’s many rivers, hunters often make a point of tracking down these creatures due to this plentiful nature. They are highly developed divers, able to submerge for over ten minutes when their adults and are distinct from other forms of beaver by possessing a vertically flat tail which they use as their primary propulsion underwater. They are likely to remain an everyday part of Anglian river life for the far foreseeable future.
The Anglian Beaver has a long history like most wildlife in Anglia, having existed at least as long as Ailor have lived in the region. They were noted well before the Cataclysm by fishermen and ferry boat captains, considered at that time to be a simple animal. They soon became a minor annoyance to some fishermen as the brown animal would steal their fish and as the Anglian population grew, so did these thefts. The animal soon became a target for hunters and trappers, and their population has been kept in check ever since then. The animal can now be found living along all of Anglia’s rivers, constructing their stick and mud pushups and nibbling on plants.
The Anglian Beaver is a small mammal, only two feet long, under a foot high when on its four paws, and weighs anywhere from two to four pounds. Their rear and front paws are different, the front ones made for digging, while the rear set are flatter, half webbed, and well made for the swimming the animal undertakes. Their heads are attached to the body by a thick neck and possess two small black eyes, a little nose with whiskers, and a similarly small mouth with a set of large incisors to nibble at their food. Their ears are also small but can close when the animal swims or dives, which can last anywhere between ten and fifteen minutes. On the underside and rear of male Beavers, are a pair of glands which swell during the mating season, excreting an overpowering musk used to attract a mate. Above this is the animal’s other unique trait, a vertically flat tail that drags behind them as they walk, used to push themselves through the water. It is scaled and often possesses a black or deep brown color. The rest of their body is covered in a coat of short but thick brown fur, while their stomach is a lighter shade of brown. As they get older, their undersides grey.
The population contains an equal split of males and females.
Life Span and Development
Anglian Beavers are liveborn in litters of three to six by their mother. When they start life, they are half-blind and require constant herding. This stage, however, is only for one week as the Beaver soon gains full eyesight and starts to grow a coat. Within three weeks, the parent helps their children to learn to swim, however, if they are somehow born in wintertime, the parents will need to wait to train them. After six months, the Beaver has reached its adult size and sexual maturity, thus being compelled to leave home. During the next mating season, the rear glands of a male Anglian Beaver enlarge and begin to produce their potent musk, attracting a mate and other males who seek to drive away the competition. Normally, pairs mate for life and simply re-mate during the time with the pair, then fending off other suitors. The mammal has a lifespan of ten years.
Anglian Beavers are calm but skittish creatures, often avoiding conflict with others. They only fight when there is no other option or when it is mating season, defending their right to mate with an already existing partner or defending their chosen mating ground. As for their skittish nature, they flee from Ailor, wider Human races, and especially when approached by more animal races like the Varran. They normally seek refuge in the nearest river or their pushups, small dwellings of mud, sticks, and sand that protect the entryway into their underground nests. The only time they will approach these races is when they are desperate for food, hence the stealing of fish from fishermen. The animal is naturally omnivorous, yet rarely eats meat in a daily diet that usually consists of different grasses and aquatic plants. Among themselves, the Beaver is a highly social animal, eating together, digging together, and living together.
Territory and Groupings
Anglian Beavers never go far from home once they have reached maturity and have chosen to make their nests and pushups close together. Some families, made up of a set of parents, their children, and their spouses, connect their nests together to form small colonies underground. Eventually, however, these colonies are either attacked by hunters or being untenable due to age and they separate. An Anglian Beaver alone is almost unnatural as they are social creatures within their own species. These lone Beavers rarely survive long, male or female, as hunters or larger predators eventually kill them.
- The family colonies this creature forms, as well as their tendency to mate for life, has led to the Anglian Beaver taking a place in Anglian symbolism for marital fidelity.
- Some believe that even when retracted, Anglian Beavers can still smell the scent their musk glands produce and it may be used to mark their territory or identify family members with each other.
- The tracks of the Anglian Beaver are very distinct due to the slithering pattern their tails leave behind them as they walk on the ground.
- The one animal the Anglian Beaver contends with on a yearly basis is the Anglian Weasel, who sometimes try to make Beaver homes their own, much to the annoyance of the Beavers who are often still living there.