“Nutria” – the Spanish word. So discoverers dubbed South America this floating animal. Other Europeans call it the swamp beaver and even beaver rat.
At home, in Argentina and Chile, anciently called nutria koipu. He inhabits rivers, swamps, lakes. Nutrias worthless swim underwater about 100 m, not appearing on the surface in several minutes. Like a real diver, she has excellent flippers. Four fingers on her hind legs are connected by membranes, the fifth – free.
Well adapted to the semi-aquatic lifestyle, nutria has a special anatomical device that allows her to forage under water. Lips animal, bound up in a special way behind the incisors, close access water in the mouth. Interestingly, the cubs nutria can suck mother’s milk, while under water.
One of the scientists, who observed nutria in their home countries in South America, wrote: “In the evening koipu appeared on the surface of the water, where swimming and playing, exchanging between themselves special strange sounds that resemble moans and cries of the wounded and suffering from the pain of man.”
Nutria belongs to the order of rodents, family nutrievyh. At home nutria live only in areas with warm winters and lives in the ice, overgrown vegetation, water bodies. Nutria can live in freedom only in areas where the average temperature of the coldest month is not below + 5 ° C, while the ice covers the body of water no more than two weeks.
Nutria are very hardy, undemanding little susceptible to disease. Feed on vegetation. In this animal fur durable, warm and beautiful. Adult animals weigh an average of 7-8 kg. Nutria live 6-8 years. Usually the female nutria twice a year brings 4-6 cubs.
In our country, nutria appeared relatively recently. They were first brought and released into water Transcaucasia and Central Asia in 1930. But in other winter freeze water bodies in the Caucasus, and then nutria die from hunger. Therefore, they were bred in fur farms. It turned out that in the northern regions, where there are significant frost, nutria can be bred in cages. In captivity, nutria quickly become tame. Its fed mainly beets and other root crops. During the day, a small mammal, weighing 4 pounds, eats at least 1-1.5 kg of feed.

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