North American Beaver

North American Beaver

(Castor canadensis)

 

Conservation status:

Least Concern

 

Origin:

North America

 

 

Lifespan:

10 to 15 years

 

Size:

Adults are about 3ft long and can weigh over 55 lbs.

Females can be larger than males.

North American Beavers are typically smaller than the Eurasian Beavers.

 

Diet:

Herbivore

Prefer bark of aspen and poplar, also will eat birch, maple, willow, alder, black cherry, red oak, beech, ash, hornbeam, and occasionally pine and spruce. They will also eat cattails, water lilies and other aquatic vegetation.

 

Activity:

Nocturnal

 

 

Reproduction:

Live in families consisting of an adult male, adult female, and their kits

Yearlings and kits share the lodge, yearlings help care for the kits

Monogamous pair, mating for life

Both male and female take part in caring for the young

In colder climates, breeding takes place in January to March. In warmer climates, it is in November to December

Kits are born between February to June

Average litter size is 3 to 4, by the time they are yearlings nearly 80% die from disease or predators

Kits start eating solids at 1 month, while still consuming mother’s milk

 

Extra Facts:

Beavers are semi-aquatic mammals.

They can stay under water for as long as 15 minutes.

Their oily fur creates a buffer between the beaver’s skin and cold water to keep them warm.

They have poor eyesight, but have great hearing, sense of smell, and touch

They have larger front teeth, that continue to grow and are self sharpening..

Their teeth are orange because the their thick enamel contains iron deposits which keep the enamel strong.

Beavers are the second largest rodent in the world (capybara being the largest).

Beaver ponds, and the wetlands caused by them, remove sediments and pollutants from waterways.

Beaver homes are called lodges, they have underwater entrances.

The lodges are the living areas, dams are created for food storages.

They are prolific builders and can repair dams over night. (coined the term “busy as a beaver”).

Beaver’s tail contains fat deposits, which is where energy is stored.

The tail is also used as a rudder while swimming, and a seat when sitting.