Beavers are the second largest rodents in the world, second only to the South American Capybara. Adult beavers typically weigh around 50 – 55 lbs, the size of a male bulldog.
In honour of National Beaver Day, here’s some things you may have never known about our National Animal.
Beavers Have An Average Lifespan of About 15 Years, But Some Have Been Known To Live Up To 24 Years
Beavers eat wood. They are herbivores that eat leaves and plants, bark and twigs. They will typically store small logs in the water to snack on.
A Semi Aquatic Lifestyle
Beavers are equipped for life both above and below. They use their tails as rudders and their webbed back feet to help them swim at a steady speed of around 8 km per hour. They’re able to hold their breath for about 15 minutes, and have a second, transparent eyelid that allows them to see underwater.
Beavers Know Their Trees
They select which tree they will chop (or chomp) down, a process called felling, for different needs. They choose large, solid trees to use as the base of their damns, while smaller and younger trees are chosen for food.
Beavers will encourage the growth of certain trees by pruning them. They do this to ensure their supply of food and building materials. Most importantly, they make sure to use every part of a tree they choose to fell; nothing goes to waste.
The largest beaver dam known to man was found in Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, Canada and measures 2,790 feet (850 m) in length. It can be seen from space. The dam is the product of two original dams joined together and extended over the last three decades. Satellite images show that the beaver colony is expanding it still.