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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 American Beaver (Castor canadensis)




American Beaver | Castor canadensis photo
Grand River Beaver - Painesville, Ohio

Photograph by Lazlo-photo. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

American Beaver | Castor canadensis photo
Beaver photographed at Groveland, Minnesota

Photograph by Rob Terhaar. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

American Beaver | Castor canadensis photo
Beaver at work, Minnetonka, Minnesota

Photograph by Rob Terhaar. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

American Beaver | Castor canadensis photo
Beaver dam, Vaudreuil-sur-le-lac, Quebec, Canada.

Photograph by Daniel Paquet. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

AMERICAN BEAVER FACTS

Description
Beavers are the largest rodents in North America. They are aquatic mammals with glossy reddish brown or blackish brown waterproof fur. They have short dark brown ears. The rear legs are longer than the front legs. The teeth are large and strong for gnawing wood, and grow throughout the life of the beaver. To help it live in the water, the nostrils and ears can be closed and the eye has a transparent membrane. The tail is broad and flat and covered in black scales. Glands at the base of the tail are used in scent-marking.

Size
Length: 0.9m - 1.2m. Weight: 13kg - 32kg

Environment
Beavers live near water. They make dens called lodges in the water . The lodge may be built on an island, near the bank of a pond or stream, or near the shore of a lake. The lodge has a central chamber with its floor slightly above the water level. There is an underwater entrance opening up into the center of the chamber. The lodge is make of sticks, grass and moss plastered with mud. They dam streams with logs to get enough water around the lodge.

Food
Beavers eat bark and the soft woody tissue that grows under the bark of trees. Food trees include willow, maple, poplar, beech, birch. They also eat water plants, buds and roots.

Breeding
A litter of one to four kits are born after a gestation period of 3 months. The young are born fully furred with eyes open, and can swim within 24 hours. They are weaned after about 2 weeks, but stay with their parents for 2 years. Beavers can live for 10 to 20 years.

Range
The Beaver is found throughout North America except for the arctic regions of Canada and the deserts of the United States and Mexico

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Rodentia
Family:Castoridae
Genus:Castor
Species:canadensis
Common Name:American Beaver