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Beaver

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Beaver
American Beaver.jpg
Scientific Classification
Species
  • Castor canadensis
  • Castor fiber

Beavers comprise two species of rodents belonging to the taxonomic genus Castor They are an interesting genus, being the only mammal able to digest cellulose, which contains huge amount of energy. They are genius architects and they build dams and lodges that hold back tons of water at a time. They are are very family oriented as they all live in one lodge together. a small fact that most people don't know is that they are quite clean, since their diet consists of plant material and inside their lodge they have a separate toilet area.

The main problems with beavers is that they cause damages to trees and their dams can sometimes flood houses or fields that are needed.

Body Design

The orange teeth of a beaver

The Beaver is North America's largest rodent. They typically weigh 45 to 60 pounds, but they have been know to grow up to 100 lbs. Beavers are semi-aquatic freshwater mammals that is most commonly known to build dams [1] . The beaver most prominent feature is its large, flat tail that is uses as a rudder when swimming, a prop to stand on and a fat storage area. Beavers being in the order of Rodata, have teeth that grow their entire lives and requires a regular gnawing, usually on wood for the beaver. When swimming the beaver has a membrane that covers the eyes and flaps that keep the water out of their nostrils and ears, as well as having a second pair of lips for keeping water out of the through when carrying sticks through the water. [2]

Beavers eat leaves, inner bark, twigs of aspen, and other wood they eat the wood and inner bark using the incisors that are specially designed to wear out faster in the back, maintaining a sharp edge. when the surface of the water is frozen beavers eat bark and stems form a food cache they have anchored to the bottom of the waterway food caches are not found where winter is mild.

The Beaver mates for life, and the dam they build is used by many generations after it. They have a litter from one to eight kits(baby beavers), the children move out when they are adults(around 12). [3]

Life Cycle

A baby kit eating food

The beaver is born in a dam where it grows with other kits (1-12). Beavers will mate when they are about 3 years old. The female becomes pregnant during the winter and gives birth in May or June. Before birth the female makes a soft bed in the lodge. The Kits (young beavers) can swim within 24 hours of being born and will explore the outside with their parents after a few days. Once the kit is around 2 years old it usually leaves its home dam. they can live for around 20 years. Beavers have been known to travel 10 miles or more to get to a new area to build a dam. The beaver stays mated for life and they are known to mourn days after the partner dies.[4]

Ecology

A beaver dam holding back large amounts of water

Some Beavers build dams increase the water level on one side of the stream to live in and have a protected area of water. the dam is made from branches, mud, and other materials in the area. they vary in size from a small accumulation to large structures 10 ft tall and 165 ft wide. [5] Beavers that live on a constant level of water do not build dams. Beavers also build lodges and bank dens, depending on the type of water they occupy they build freestanding lodges or bank dens. lodges and bank dens are used for safety and a place to stay (much like a house).

Beavers eat trees that they build their homes from, and, unlike other mammals, they can digest cellulose. they like to eat roots and bark from aspens, willows and maples. they can accomplish eating the hard wood and bark to their teeth that they grow constantly.[6]The beaver is found throughout North America not including Florida, Mexico, and north Canada.

Problems

Despite the fact that they were hunted to near extinction a few hundred years ago, the beavers population is flourishing. Now almost anyone can trap beavers, not because their population is high, rather because they can cause damage to houses and roads by flooding them. People are allowed to trap beavers that are causing problems or damage. People who want to get rid of beavers can use a few methods, removing the dam and lodge, putting a fence up to prevent further damages, electric fencing (this is included in fencing), toxicants, fumigants, repellents, and trapping.

Video

Beaver building a dam

Gallery

References

  1. Link, Russell. Living With Wildlife Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. Web. Date unknown.
  2. . Beaver Solutions Beaver Solutions. Date Unknown . Author unknown
  3. Link, Russell. Living With Wildlife Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. Web. Date unknown.
  4. Beaver Nature Works. Web. Unknown Date, Unknown Author.
  5. Link, Russell. Living With Wildlife Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. Web. Date unknown.
  6. Bradford, Alina. Facts about Beavers live science. Web. Published October 13, 2015 02:30am.