Station 5 - English
Traces of Eifel Animals Station
Old street names, such as “Bevergasse” in Nideggen and “Auf der Bever” in Simmerath, indicate that the beaver once inhabited the entire Eifel. The last Eifel wolf was shot near Auel as late as in 1888, but traces of the beaver disappeared much sooner. Even around 1800, the beaver was no longer mentioned by regional naturalists. Possibly the last Eifel beaver was killed at the time of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) – much earlier than in other regions of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Beaver pelts as a key currency
Equal to the value of a horse
The fate of the beaver in the Eifel was shared by its conspecifics in many other regions of the northern hemisphere. The beaver was formerly native to the whole area – until human beings discovered its useful characteristics. One of these is its exceptionally thick, warm fur. When bartering still prevailed in Europe, beaver pelts were often regarded as a type of key currency. A good beaver pelt could equal the value of a horse.
To the left in the corner there is an original beaver that you can touch. Carefully feel the fur of the beaver. Because beavers are constantly on the move in the water, they need especially warm, waterproof coats. The slightly matted beaver pelt has 12,000 hairs per square centimetre, with 23,000 hairs per square centimetre on the ventral side, trapping air in small pockets. In contrast, we human beings have only 80 to 200 hairs per square centimetre.
Below the beaver you will find three buttons, allowing you to listen to recordings of contact calls, young animals, and gnawing sounds. At the scent station you can smell the scent of castoreum.
To the left in the corner is a beaver that you can touch, with various sounds and the scent of castoreum.