The North American beaver Rodent is one of two extant beaver species. It is native to North America and introduced to Patagonia in South America and some European countries.
American Beaver Rodent Facts:
- Length: 80-90 cm (32-35 in)
- Tail: 20-30 cm (8-12 in)
- Weight: 15-20kg (33-44 lb)
- Social unit: Group
- Status: Least concern
The American beaver Rodent is well adapted to aquatic life. Its feet are webbed for swimming and the flat, scaly tail slaps the surface as a loud alarm signal. Underwater, the ears and nose shut with valve-like flaps and the lips close behind the incisor teeth, which can then be used for nibbling and gnawing. The eyes have a third, transparent eyelid (nictitating membrane) to see below the surface.
Long whiskers feel the way in the dark. The American beaver feeds on the leaves, twigs, and bark of bankside trees and water plants. It also gnaws and fells small trees to eat the tender shoots and leaves. It uses the fallen branches and small trunks for building its lodge (see panel) and for dam construction,
dragging them to the dam site in their strong jaws. Following a gestation period of 107 days, 1-6 kits (young beavers are born fully furred and are weaned within 2 months on an average, 2-4 kits are born.
American beaver Rodent rest by day in their lodge a pile of mud and sticks built in a pool or lake. The lodge’s underwater entrances keep out land-based predators. The beaver digs channels and builds dams of mud, stones, and branches to maintain a system of waterways.
These activities are believed by some to harm crops and trees, and affect local wildlife. Another view is that beavers reduce local floods, and help to return the habitat to its natural state.
The American beaver’s long coat (outer fur) varies from yellow brown to black, although it is usually reddish brown. The dense underfur is dark grey and retains body heat even in freezing water.
American Beaver Rodent Images: