Water Vole - Pensive by imprezoid

Water Vole - Pensive

This is a photo of a water vole, taken at the British Wildlife Centre (www.britishwildlifecentre.co.uk).

Although he may look a little bit like a rat he is in fact a very shy water vole, looking slightly pensive about the big wide world.

The European Water Vole or Northern Water Vole, Arvicola amphibius (formerly A. terrestris), is a semi-aquatic rodent. It is often informally called the Water Rat, although it only superficially resembles a true rat. Water voles have rounder noses than rats, deep brown fur, chubby faces and short fuzzy ears; unlike rats their tails, paws and ears are covered with hair.

In Britain, water voles live in burrows excavated within the banks of rivers, ditches, ponds, and streams. Burrows are normally located adjacent to slow moving, calm water which they seem to prefer. They also live in reed beds where they will weave ball shaped nests above ground if no suitable banks exist in which to burrow.

Water voles mainly eat grass and plants near the water. At times, they will also consume fruits, bulbs, twigs, buds, and roots. In Europe, when there is enough food to last water voles a long time, water vole "plagues" can take place. Water voles eat ravenously, destroying entire fields of grass and leaving the fields full of burrows, during these plagues. Ecologists have discovered that normally vegetarian water voles living in Wiltshire, England have started eating frogs' legs and discarding the bodies. It has been speculated that this is to make up for a protein deficiency in the voles' diet.
How interesting and what a terrific shot Steven. So clear and focused. I love the detail.
June 6th, 2012  
He is so cute. Excellent shot.
June 6th, 2012  
So cute indeed! awesome shot :)
June 7th, 2012  
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