North American Beaver

 

Castor canadensis

Origin: North America

Lifespan:  Up to 10 years

Size: Adults are 3ft long and can weigh over 55lbs

  • Females can be larger than males

  • North American Beavers are typically smaller than Eurasian Beavers

Diet: Herbivore and generalist

  • Microorganisms in the caecum allow beavers to digest around 30% of the cellulose that they consume.

  • The mainly eat tree bark during the fall and winter.

  • Prefer bark of aspen and poplar, also will eat birch, maple, willow, alder, cherry, red oak, beech, ash, hornbeam, and occasionally pine and spruce.

  • They will eat cattails, water lilies, and other aquatic vegetation

  • Beavers cache their food for the winter, piling up branches and saplings next to their lodge in the water.

Activity: Mostly Nocturnal

Reproduction:

  • Beavers families consist of an adult male and female pair along with their kits.

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

  • Beavers are monogamous, which means they mate with one partner for life. 

  • Both male and female take part in caring for young

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

  • Kits are typically born between February and June

  • The average litter size is three to four. By the time they are yearlings, nearly 80% die from disease or predators

  • Kits start eating solids at 1 month, while still consuming mothers milk.

  • Female beavers have four mammary glands. These glands produce milk with 19% fat, which is higher than any other rodents.

  • Once born, the kits spends its first month of life in the lodge and the mother acts as the primary care giver, while the father maintains their territory.

  • Kits typically wean by 10 weeks of age.

Extra Facts:

  • Second-largest rodent in the world.

  • They are prolific builders and can repair a dam in a night.

  • The beaver is a key stone species. Many other animals rely on them to shape and define their environment. Even their lodges provide homes to many wading birds. Beaver ponds, and the wetlands caused by them, remove sediments and pollutants from water.

  • Beaver homes are called lodges, they have underwater entrances. the lodges are the living area, dams are created for food storage

  • Beavers are semi-aquatic mammals.

  • They can stay underwater for as long as 15 minutes at a time.

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

  • Their eyesight is poor, but they have great hearing, sense of smell, and touch.

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

  • Beaver teeth are orange because their thick enamel contains iron deposits which keep their teeth strong.

 

 

 

 

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