North American Beaver

Order Rodentia
Family Castoridae
Genus Castor
Species Canadensis
Length 25-50cms
Weight 11-30 kgs
Lifespan 10-15 yrs
Habitat Lakes & Rivers


Beavers are the second largest rodent in the world, after their cousin the Capybara. They are well known for their constructional and behavioural activities, building dams made up of logs, twigs and mud. Because of this, they have shaped the landscape especially in North America.

They possess an excellent ability to cut down trees with their teeth. Once they have felled the tree they will cut it into manageable lengths to ensure all parts of the tree can be taken to their lodge, which is made up of mud and sticks.

Beavers are very well adapted to the water. Their large flat tail provides steering and power. They have webbed hind feet and their ears and nostrils close when they are under water aswell as a special membrane which covers their eyes.

They live in family groups which consist of an adult male and female along with their young.

Baby Beavers are known as Kits

At birth they have a full coat of fur and open eyes

Their dams can reach over 300 feet long and 10 feet high

Females are more active than males.



Beavers : Where Waters Run (Northword Wildlife Series)

Author: Paul I. V. Strong
Paperback (April 1997)
NorthWord Press Inc; ISBN: 1559715804

Beavers : A Wildlife Handbook (Johnson Nature Series)

Author: Kim Long
Paperback - 192 pages (April 2000)
Johnson Books; ISBN: 155566251X

Beavers & Other Rodents

Author: Paul Sterry
Hardcover - 72 pages ( 1 March, 1999)
Todtri Book Publishers; ISBN: 1577170776

North American Beaver Links

The Living Planet - Beaver
Information fact sheet

Missouri Mammals - Beaver
Information fact sheet

Georgia Wildlife Web
Information fact sheet

Canadian Beavers
Information fact sheet



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