January 21 was our annual visit from the Oak Hammock Marsh instructors. The West Souris River Conservation District sponsors this educational road show every year. Our topic this year was Beavers. Andrew did a great job of telling us about wetlands first. Did you know that marsh, bog, swamp, and fen are all types of marshes?
Andrew showed us a beaver skull and the most amazing thing was the orangy coloured teeth! He told us that beavers need to keep gnawing because their teeth are always growing! If they didn't, they would die! He talked about beaver lodges and beaver dams too.
We were able to touch a beaver skin and later we also felt a muskrat one which was smaller and softer. They have 2 kinds of fur. The fuzzy one by the skin keeps the animal warm and the longer hairs help keep them dry. We learned how trappers almost made beavers extinct in the early days of Canada, before they understood about conservation.
We saw wood chips and could see the tooth marks of the beavers on them.
Ms Simms kept notes on the IPad during the session and we made writing webs of ideas on paper as soon as it was finished. Later in the day we made the ideas and details into sentences in our journals. We glued a picture of Nairn dressed up in the journal too. We though it was a good idea to dress him up because it helped us to remember special body parts of a beaver.