Nutria, she’s a marsh beaver, she’s an otter (which translates the name of the animal from Spanish) – a cute and funny animal. Although many people favor her because of the long, rat-like tail. It is a mammal, a rodent, a representative of the paranetsian detachment, a family of nutrients. I was brought to Europe from South America, where I lived from time immemorial.
Nutria is considered one of the most ancient animals of our planet. It lives in water bodies with a low level of flow (swamps, lakes, etc.). Capable of living in fresh water and salty. From the excess salt protects itself, eating juicy fruits and stems of plants and thus quenching thirst. This same feature saves nutria, suddenly lost water (for example, a frosty winter).
Externally, animals are like beavers. Weigh, at least, 5-7 kilograms. They have a body with a length of 45-60 cm, more than half of which is occupied by the tail. Its length is about 30-40 centimeters. It is round (and not flat, like a beaver) conical, scaly, almost bald – only long, stiff hairs grow on it. The semi-aquatic mode of life of nutria determines many features of the structure of the body of this interesting animal. So, for example, the mammary glands in the female are not on the belly, but high on the sides. This feature allows the kids to feed, even if the mother is deeply submerged in water.
Its long tail nutria is used as a helm when swimming. And while traveling on the ground, he is uselessly reaching for the mistress, although the animal runs very fast. The driving force of the nutria-swimmer is the hind legs. On them 4 fingers are connected by membranes, and 5th is free. In this case, the forelimbs are not needed at all. Under water, nutria can be a long time (up to 5 minutes), releasing air from the lungs gradually. And easily swims for one “sitting” of 100 meters. In nutria, hearing is acute, but sense of smell and vision are much weaker. True, the animal can see well in the dark, since it is more nocturnal.
The ears of nutria inside are equipped with thick fur that protects the hearing organ from water. And in the nasal apertures there are special occlusal muscles pursuing the same goal. In the world of nutria, a Hollywood smile is not appreciated. They all have the opposite: the younger and healthier the animal, the more yellow its teeth. White – the lot of old and sick. A total of 20 teeth in the mouth of nutria – 16 molars and 4 incisors. They are very sharp, perfectly adapted to grinding even the most rigid vegetable food. The stomach in the nutria is located in the left part of the peritoneum, and the blind part of the intestine – with the right. The thick section ends with a short rectum.
In normally developed, healthy individuals, the fat is deposited on the abdomen. Also fat accumulation is available on the withers, underarms and under the tail. This, plus increased “hairiness” of the belly and sides, helps nutria to survive in cold water. Unlike many other mammals, nutria for the winter grow thin, and in the summer, on the contrary, get fat. This is due to the acceleration of metabolism in winter and autumn, which is typical for some people from the Southern Hemisphere. But in winter (from November to March) – fur nutria has the highest quality. It is very thick and fluffy. “Shevelura” of nutria consists of a small number of long, hard hair – ostevyh and guides. And the rest (93-98%) is a sub-junction, which is of great value. In nature, the color of the fur of the nutria is brownish-brown. Artificially breeding breeders can be white, and black, and golden,
As for the reproductive system, here, too, not without features. Thus, in males, the foreskin of the genital organ is not directed forward, but backward. Therefore, the animal peed, directing the stream towards the tail. In semi-relaxed state, the penis is also directed backwards, and during excitation – it turns 180 degrees and reaches 20 cm in length. Both sexes under the anus have an unpaired anal gland, which secrete a special oily liquid to lubricate the fur.
Nutrians reproduce year-round and are a prolific animal. Females can bring in 2-3 litters a year, in each of which 4-5 (and sometimes up to 10) puppies. Babies are born sighted, covered with hair, equipped with teeth. Immediately manifest motor activity, but only in the first days of life their wool is wet, so there is a risk of supercooling away from mom. 10 days after the birth, the mother’s milk replaces the normal diet for adults.
In principle, nutria are very tenacious and unpretentious animals. But it is difficult for them to endure great colds under natural conditions, since they do not build any protective shelters for themselves. And they do not like the heat either. At a temperature of +40 degrees Celsius, animals do not get out of the water or are urgently looking for a shadow to avoid a heat stroke. The most comfortable for nutria is a temperature of 15 to 20 degrees Celsius.
Features and structure of nutria