There are two species of beaver: the North American beaver and the Eurasian beaver. The North American beaver lives all over North America except for desert areas as they require water. The Eurasian beaver used to be found all over Europe but was almost hunted to extinction. They are now being reintroduced to many European countries.
Beavers are large rodents. They are the second largest rodent on Earth (the largest is the capybara). They average 60 pounds and can live up to 24 years. Beavers have large teeth that never stop growing. Their teeth are really strong and sharpen themselves as they chew on trees. Their tooth enamel has iron in it, which makes their teeth orange.
Beavers are mostly nocturnal and spend their time eating and building. They build dams that create ponds. Dams can flood hundreds of acres, prevent erosion, and help purify water. The ponds created can be beneficial to all kinds of other animals as well.
Their home is called a lodge that is built from sticks, grass, moss, rocks, and mud. Beavers live in groups called colonies, and one lodge usually contains the parents and their young.
The largest beaver dam is in Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, Canada. It is 850 meters long (0.5 mile) and can be seen from space! They believe many generations of beavers have been working on the dam since the 1970s.
Beavers also use the pond they created to store food on the bottom where it doesn’t freeze so they have food for the winter. Beavers do not hibernate so they need the food during the winter.
They are herbivores and eat leaves, twigs, roots, bark from trees, and aquatic plants.
Beavers can hold their breath for 15 minutes. They use their tail for swimming, balance while carrying heavy loads, and also slap the water to scare away predators.
The national animal of Canada is the beaver.
You should watch this video about beavers. It’s really good!