American Beaver

American Beaver

  • Very large rodent, weight 30-60 lb.
  • Herbivorous, with huge incisors, dental formula 1-0-1-3/1-0-1-3.
  • Incisors used for gnawing trees and nibbling bark, the beaver's main food.
  • Large trees gnawed down to get at upper branches for food and for building material for dam and lodges.
  • Dams across streams made of sticks packed with mud.  A pond forms behind the dam, providing protection for the beavers and easing transport of branches and trees as the area floods.  Beavers often are not welcome in cities because they cut down trees and flood property by damming streams.
  • In addition to large incisors, their flat tail is a well-recognized character. The tail is used for steering in the water and to slap the water making a loud “kerplunk” that warns other beavers that danger is near.