Beaver are typically nocturnal; however, this one was busy feeding in the late afternoon in Montana when I photographed him. He was so busy feeding, in fact, that he didn’t seem to mind me being in such close proximity to him at all.
Did you know…In the 17th century, based on a question raised by the Bishop of Quebec, the Roman Catholic Church ruled that the beaver was a fish (beaver flesh was a part of the indigenous peoples’ diet, prior to the Europeans’ arrival) for purposes of dietary law. Therefore, the general prohibition on the consumption of meat on Fridays during Lent did not apply to beaver meat. The legal basis for the decision probably rests with the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas, which bases animal classification as much on habit as anatomy. This is similar to the Church’s classification of the capybara, another semi-aquatic rodent.
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