Beaver Facts

Beaver Facts
Beaver is one of the largest rodents in the world. There are two species of beavers: American and Eurasian. As their name implies, American beaver inhabits North America and Eurasian inhabits Europe and Asia. Both species prefer freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers, streams near the woodland area. Their population declined drastically in the 20th century due to extensive hunt and habitat loss. Number of beavers dropped from 60 million to 6-12 million animals after European immigrants colonized North America. These amazing animals are one of the few species able to redesign their environment and adjust it to their needs, by forming dam, canals and lodges.
Interesting Beaver Facts:
Males and females beavers look very similar. Their 3-4 feet long body is covered with dark brown, thick fur. Beaver weighs 35 to 60 pounds. Females are heavier than males.
Long and flat tail is one foot long. It is used for swimming and communication.
By slapping the water surface with tail, beaver alerts other members of the group about potential danger.
Beavers are semi-aquatic species, which means that they spend part of their life in the water and part on the ground. Their body is designed for both life styles (water and the ground). Waterproof fur prevents beavers from freezing in the water; their webbed feet serve as fins and flat tail as paddle, which all together provides efficient moving through the water.
Beavers can swim 5 miles per hour and spend 15 minutes under water without returning back to the surface for the air.
Beavers have transparent eyelids which function as goggles which help them see under the water.
Beavers are nocturnal animals - they hunt and work during the night.
Beavers are herbivores animals. They like to eat tree bark of different plant species, like cherry, maple, aspen… They also eat plants like water lily, pond weed and different types of leaves. By pruning the bark of the wooden plants, beavers stimulate grow of plants.
Beavers live in large groups called colonies. They consist of the parenting couple and few generations of their offspring. Beavers are monogamous, which means that male and female mate for a lifetime.
Beaver homes are called lodges and they are made from mud and branches. Lodges are positioned in the middle of the pond, with hidden entrance (from the water), which prevents predators to get in touch with them.
Dams are another construction masterpiece of beavers. They use dams to protect themselves from predators (such as coyote, wolves, bear), to keep the entrance of the lodge and to store food under the water. Water flowing downstream the dam is cleaner, which makes them beneficial for humans also.
Beavers are territorial animals. They use musk oil to cover the branches and mud in the dams to mark their territory.
Beavers have poor eyesight, but excellent sense of smell and hearing.
Beavers mate during January and February. Each year, female gives birth to (usually) two babies, called kits. They spend their first month of life in the lodges. Young beavers stay with their parents for 2 years and help them maintain the dam and lodges.
Beavers live 16 to 24 years in the wild.

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