By Ad Konings
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Extra resources for Back to Nature - Handbuch für Malawi Buntbarsche 2. Auflage
Beaver skins make warm waterproof clothing and hats for people, and were once extremely valuable. Millions of beavers were trapped in Europe and America for their fur, meat, and for a smelly substance called castoreum (from glands in their rear). People have used castoreum for thousands of years to treat many illnesses. It contains a chemical similar to aspirin, which comes from the bark of willow trees. Beavers eat willow trees. In the mid-eighteenth century, the French fought a terrible war against Native Americans over land where beavers were once common.
Brown bears live across the northern hemisphere, from Canada and the United States to Russia, China, Europe, and the Middle East. They were once even more widespread, but brown bears have died out in North Africa, the British Isles, and most of Europe. Fact File BROWN BEAR Ursus arctos Family: Ursidae Order: Carnivora Where do they live? Northwestern North America, northern Eurasia, and scattered throughout east Central Europe and Central Asia Large and Varied Brown bears from different places are extremely varied.
Even the fearsome, meateating polar bear sometimes eats berries in summer. Sun bears and sloth bears especially like bees and termites. The sun bear has huge canine teeth for breaking open insect nests in dead wood. The sloth bear has a gap where its two upper front teeth should be, and its lips are highly flexible. These features help the sloth bear suck up hundreds of termites at a time. 48 A giant panda makes its way through a forest, looking for bamboo, the only item on its diet. The giant panda is unusual because it eats only bamboo leaves.