Aplodontia

Aplodontia (also called Mountain Beaver)

  • about 2-3 lbs, the size of a large guinea pig
  • herbivorous rodent, dental formula 1-0-1-3/1-0-1-3
  • Large "beaver-like" incisors are used to cut vegetation and nibble trees to get to the inner layers of bark. 
  • Fairly common in moist forests and second growth, but rarely seen because by day they stay in underground burrows that are dug with sharp front claws.  
  • Look for burrows and especially inspect openings for wear that indicates that an Aplodontia is home.
  • The extensive tunnel systems have many openings to the outside and include chambers for sleeping, food storage, and a bathroom.
  • They venture out at night to eat and gather vegetation that they store in burrows or stack near their burrow openings for drying.
  • Despite the often-used name, Mountain Beavers are not closely related to American Beavers and do not chop trees down.