Beavers

Beavers

Huge disclaimer: When I first began collecting photos of beavers, other names would appear in the photo descriptions as well, especially the coypu (also known as the nutria) and the muskrat. Here’s the deal: Though all three are semiaquatic rodents, nutria and muskrats are NOT beavers. Each is a separate species, with beavers being significantly bigger. But as rodents, they share very similar body and facial features. I’ve included the links (above) with their names in case you’d like to see how much these animals resemble the beaver visually. As best I could, I eliminated photos that could have been of a nutria or a muskrat, but I’m only about 90% certain I succeeded. With all best intentions, the photos below are of beavers. Of course, in a twist of irony, in the second video below, a pair of muskrats had taken up lodgings inside one of the beaver homes. 

Here’s a 2-minute video about beavers and dam building.  Here’s a 4-minute video also on beaver dam and lodge building. This 4-minute ‘science show’ video covers a lot of funfacts about beavers.

FunFacts about Beavers: (Source)  

  • Basic Information, quote: The beaver (genus Castor) is a large, primarily nocturnal, semiaquatic rodent. Castor includes two extant species, the North American beaver (Castor canadensis) (native to North America) and Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) (Eurasia). Beavers are known for building dams, canals, and lodges (homes). They are the second-largest rodent in the world (after the capybara). (Source)
  • During the Ice Age, beavers were quite large and could grow up to 8 feet long and weigh 200 pounds.
  • Today, beavers are one of the largest rodents on earth.
  • Beavers have ‘goggles’ as in a pair of transparent eyelids they use when swimming.
  • Beavers build big homes called ‘lodges’ or ‘castles’. These are made of stones, branches, vegetation and mud.
  • Beavers use their powerful front incisors to chop down trees for building lodges. These trees, however, regrow in the form of coppices, in which the trees regrow from smaller shoots off their trunks. These coppices in turn provide additional future food for the beavers.
  • Beaver dams can be an encroachment on land used for specific purposes by humans. But generally, these dams enrich and sustain the health of the waterway and support the local vegetation and wildlife.
  • Beavers have webbed hind feet and broad, scaly tails.
  • Beavers have poor eyesight but keen senses of smell, touch and hearing.
  • Beavers are designed for working in water, not out of it. While building a dam, they will construct canals for floating their building materials to the dam’s location.
  • Beaver lodges have underwater entrances for protection against predators.
  • Beavers have broad tails and will dive and slap their tails on the water to sound an alarm.
  • Beavers can stay underwater for 15 minutes if necessary.
  • Beavers don’t hibernate but are active through the winter.
  • The average beaver dam is 10 – 100 meters long, or 32 – 320 feet long. However, the biggest beaver dam in existence is in northern Alberta, Canada and can be seen from space. It is 850 meters long or 2788 feet. For more info, go here.
  • Beavers have been around for 20 million years.
  • Because beavers’ teeth are strengthened with iron, their teeth are orange in color.
  • Beavers’ teeth grow continuously.
  • Beavers use stones to weigh down the base of each dam.
  • The dams serve nature. They help prevent floods and droughts.
  • Beavers, with all their activity, become very strong and can lift their own body weight in timber.
  • It takes about 3 weeks for beavers to build a massive, 3-ton lodge using raw materials of timber, vegetation, rocks and mud.
  • A lodge has only underwater entrances and each is concealed.
  • Beavers are organized by families, including an adult pair, their kits and their yearlings. Sometimes even two-year-olds will stay with the family if needed.
  • Everyone in the family works. Both male and female raise the young, build the lodge and defend the territory.
  • Beaver pairs mate for life.
  • In the spring, beavers give birth to an average of 3-4 kits that are the size of guinea pigs.
  • Females nurse their young for 2 months. But from only three-days-old, the kits start cutting their teeth on vegetation.
  • Some of beavers’ favorite foods are cattails, willow, aspens, water lilies and pond weed.
  • Beavers produce a marking scent called castoreum that smells like sweetened vanilla.
  • Beavers can weigh as much as 55 pounds or 25 kilograms.
  • Beavers can live up to 24 years in the wild.
  • The beaver is the national animal of Canada.

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Disclaimer: As with any food, herbal remedy, beverage or concept on this blog, be sure to contact your physician before eating, imbibing or using for medical purposes any substance discussed on this blog. Always err on the side of caution and keep yourself well-informed. ~ Caris Roane

(Photos from Pixabay ~ Pixabay is a free site, so feel free to share, pin and enjoy these wonderful photos.) 

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*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Merrie W.!!!

First November Winner: Candy L.!!!

October Winners: Maureen D., Michelle W., Sherdina A., Sheryl P.!!!

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

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To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about beavers. Have you ever seen beavers building a dam? Which photo did you like best?

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41 thoughts on “Beavers

  1. Wow, a dam that can be seen from space! Waving from Southern California, and no, I’ve never seen beavers building a dam. Thanks for another informative post!

  2. It’s amazing that there were eight foot long beavers during the Ice Age! That would have been an interesting sight. I never knew that beavers have orange teeth.

  3. It is amazing how they can build a damn but i’m Sorry they creep me out. I don’t even like to visit the huge exhibit we have at our zoo and aquarium. I did like the pictures of how they crewed on the trees. Lol

  4. How amazing. “busy as a beaver” has new meaning. I did not know their teeth were orange-ish. I think they are cute. I did not know that they mated for life. Very interesting facts. Love ’em

  5. I love beavers. I think they are cute. We have a lot around where I live . Even have a big creek called beaver creek and you see several there . I enjoy watching them

  6. Enjoyed all the pictures and the way they chew on trees-really amazing, as is the dams they build. Have never seen them making dams-that would be interesting. Facinating animals. AZ

  7. Just adorable little stinkers, aren’t they? I had no idea their teeth are orange. If we could only find a way to “employ” them to build dams for good reasons! 🙂

  8. Cannot imagine a dam that could be seen from space. We have several of them around here and none of our dams can be seen from space but the beavers are really cute, especially the little ones.

  9. Lovely videos. I watch a lot of nature programs and I have learned much about beavers.

  10. Wow the are very industirist animals. I have never seen a beaver make a dam but that is amazing and they are good for the wetlands.

  11. Beavers are very industrial little, or in some cases, not so little animals. I’ve seen them at the zoo and seen some amazing dams that they’ve built out in nature.

  12. I liked beavers for a long time. They were out school mascot. And for a while we had some on some land we had at Stevens pass on Washington.a long nason creek..Then they were just gone . Some times in the summer months the creek got really low!

  13. I remember hauling our canoe across three beaver dams while canoeing on the Mississippi. I’m sure those dams were the reason the river went from four feet wide and three inches deep to over thirty feet wide and deep. Sturdy, too. Each one supported the weight of four adults and the canoe while crossing it.

    • Merrie,
      What a great experience to have had. After watching the dam-building videos, I’m not surprised they supported your weight. All those rocks, timbers and mud! Awesome!

      Caris,
      Buckeye, Arizona USA

  14. I found an abandoned beaver dam many years ago in a dried up swamp. At one time there must have been a creek. It was larger than I had expected.

  15. They kind of remind me of the ground hogs we have here. I would love to get rid of the ground hogs and have tried to trapped them but haven’t had a lot of luck with that. You might get one or two but there are so many more that need to be trapped. Once they see one in the cage you can’t trapped another one.

  16. I saw a beaver dam one time. It was 8 or 9 feet across and was about 20 feet long. It was massive and was very interesting.

  17. Thank you for featuring my all time fave animal. Bit weird for someone from England, but I’ve always loved them. So cute and impressive!

    Even tho we don’t have them wild in England (they were hunted to extinction hundreds of years ago) beavers still have an impact on us. Towns like Beverley, in East Yorkshire, were named after them! (and any girls with that name, lol).
    Also, they’re being reintroduced in the southwest of England (on a managed river site) and have reintroduced themselves in Scotland (escaped into the wild and are doing well on one river)!!

  18. No I’ve never seen a beaver or a beaver damn…do they live in the South? I love the picture of the beaver next to the water that almost looks like he’s praying

  19. I have a couple of trees that need to come down. Maybe I could get a couple of beavers to chop them down and then they could have the trees. It would be a lot cheaper than hiring someone. TIMBER!

  20. I love looking at the pictures you share and the information. I just watched a program on beaver’s and enjoyed it so much. The babies are so cute! I know they can cause problems but we really need them. Thanks again for sharing

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