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WHAT IS THE BEAVER?


Beavers are considered the "engineers" of the animal kingdom in North America. Their immense power and skilled movements make it possible for them to down a tree in less than 5-minutes. The beaver is the largest rodent in all of North America. Adults are often 4-feet long and weigh at least 60-pounds.



The beaver's front teeth never stop growing. Their "buck toothed" appearance aids in gnawing at bark. Behind the front teeth lays a special flap of skin which keeps the beaver from ever getting a mouth full of water as he chews underwater. The beaver also has similar unique flaps of skin valves which prohibit the nose and ear canals from filling with water, as well.














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Thanks to a unique respiratory system, the beaver is able to remain underwater for periods of up to 20-minutes at a time. The tail of the beaver is unusually broad and covered in scales. The beaver uses his tail like a rudder to maneuver through water. It is also used as a communication tool. It is common for the beaver to slap water with his tail to warn others of impending danger. Beavers exist on a diet of bark, twigs and buds of trees. During spring and summer months, beavers also consume corn and other crops, including water plants. As Autumn nears, the beaver begins to harvest trees, shrubs and some greens, storing food for the winter inside their den. Natural enemies of the beaver include bears, wolves, fishers, otters and the lynx. The average lifespan of the beaver is 12-20 years.

 

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