Did you know that the beaver was a rodent? In fact, it is North America’s largest rodent species, weighing up to 60 pounds!
Beavers are herbivores Contrary to what many people believe beavers don’t eat fish and other aquatic organisms. The inner bark, twigs, shoots, and leaves of trees are what beavers love to eat. Trees are also beneficial for the construction of dens and dams.
Large flat paddle shape tail – used to signal danger by slapping the surface of the water
Excellent swimmers – can be submerged up to 15 minutes
Nostrils and ears seal underwater to prevent water from getting inside
Eyes are covered by a membrane so they can see underwater
Front paws are small and have claws, while back paws are large and webbed
Beavers secrete an oily substance called castoreum, which makes their fur waterproof
Beavers are called nature’s engineers because they build their dams and lodges using branches from trees, as well as rocks, grass, and mud.
The purpose of a beaver dam is to create deep water refuge enabling the beaver to escape from predators and to provide easy access to food during winter. Dams modify the surrounding environment and can change the entire ecosystem in an area.
The lodge is where a beaver lives and stays for the winter. Beavers build their lodge behind their dam where the water is deep. By creating deep water with the dam, a beaver’s lodge has a secret underwater entrance making it easier to get in and out. By piling sticks the beavers are able to create a small room above the waterline, this is where their young is born in the spring.