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Information about the beaver

Hussien Shrief Mohammed

What do you know about the beaver? 

Today we present a special topic about a type of animal that is classified as a rodent; it is one of the animals that excel in engineering work in building dams; it is a "beaver" animal, where we will present various information and facts about it, its life, livelihood, and behavior.

Information about the beaver
the beaver

What is a beaver?

The beaver is one of the animals that follow the beaver family and the rank of rodents, and lives in forest environments, mainly in the water.
While it has great skills in its ability and engineering work, this animal is considered the most skilled engineer in building dams among all animals. He does this by using the wood of trees that he cuts with his sharp teeth.

Beaver reproduction

Male and female beavers stay together for life and mate in January or February.

Once a year, the female gives birth to one to eight beavers.

These young beavers are weaned when they reach the age of forty, and they stay with their parents for at least a year, which is a long time for animals.

They grow so fast, and it is as if those young ones who have started working with their parents since leaving their nest should gain experience in this way, and the beaver may live to be 19 years old.

Beaver traits

Beavers are large, strong, and bold animals, with a length of about 76 cm, excluding their tail. They are rodents, that is, animals with large front teeth suitable for gnawing.

They have thick brown fur, broad, flat, and scaly tails, and live in the water almost permanently in family groups of up to two. She's always busy at work.

Information about the beaver
the beaver

The attention of the beaver is focused primarily on building and repairing dams across the course of the river or streams and the establishment of large and deep swimming pools that are enough to swim in them even in the winter when the surface water freezes.

For him, and in this shelter, there is a central room above the surface of the water with an opening at the top for ventilation, and often there is a second room used to store winter supplies of bark and twigs, and in the fall he paints their shelter with mud, so that if this mud dries up in cold weather, the shelter inside it becomes good weather.

Beaver body

The beaver has a very strong body compared to the rest of the rodents.

It is rather large in size, and once it reaches adulthood, it can weigh up to 16 kilograms.

Females can be equal in size or larger.

Beaver head

The beaver has a wide head with large and powerful jaws, and it can close its round ears and small nostrils tightly to prevent water from entering them, as the beaver has three eyelids for each eye, and two outer eyelids, one upper and the other lower, surrounding the eye completely, while the third eyelid is internally transparent, withdrawing on the eye completely, allowing the animal to see in the water and protect its eyes on the ground from sharp branches when beavers cut trees, and the beaver does not see well, but it relies on its strong sense of hearing and smell to warn it of dangers.

Beaver teeth

Information about the beaver
the beaver

The beaver has 20 teeth, four of which are strong, curved front teeth for gnawing and 16 rear teeth for chewing.

The front teeth are called incisors, and they have a very hard orange outer shell, and for the inner covering of the incisors, it is much less hard than the outer shell, and when biting, the inner part of the incisors is eroded.

The inner part, which is why the teeth have very sharp tips like the tip of a chisel, and the back teeth have flat and rough ends, and there are two large gaps between the beaver's incisors and its posterior teeth, and there are two appendages, one on each side of the mouth, that fold inward and meet behind the incisors, closing the back of the oral cavity, and in this way, the beaver can cut trees on land.

Beaver feet

It has small front feet with five toes that contain claws that help it cleverly in eating, while the hind feet are rather large with five toes connected to each other by leathery tissue, making the feet useful as paddles for propulsion underwater, and the claws of the hind toes are slotted and have split edges. Serrated blades aid the beaver in cleaning his scalp.

Beaver tail

The beaver has a flat oval-shaped tail, which consists of black hexagonal scales connected to each other, and the animal uses it mainly to help it swim.

Beaver nutrition

The beaver loves to eat the bark and heart of trees (cambium), the soft tissue that grows under the bark of trees, as well as the leaves of trees.

It usually eats the bark of trees: willow, maple, birch, poplar, aspen, aspen, cotton, and beech. The beaver also eats roots, shoots, and aquatic plants, and the beaver is eager to eat the water lily.

Beaver species

Information about the beaver
the beaver

1- Eurasian beaver

  • It is one of the endangered species, and it was considered extinct in Britain, but it was brought back by humans in several areas of Scotland, Devon, Cornwall, and Kent.
  • The Eurasian beaver is characterised by its large size, strong body, short neck, large and flat tail, large teeth, and membranes like fins between its fingers.
  • They build their nests in natural pits, and if they are not available, they build their nests in soil and branches or among woody debris.

2- Beaver

  • It has the ability to adapt to cold waters, as the first layer of its fur is water-resistant, and the bottom layer helps it stay warm.
  • Between his legs there are membranes that help him to swim, and there is a membrane over his eyes, nose, and ears that protects him from water while swimming, and his tail helps him to swim by supporting and guiding him.
  • The American beaver is long and has a black tail.

3- California beaver

An extinct species of beaver that lived in western North America from the end of the Miocene to the early Pleistocene, and was similar to the American beaver but slightly larger.

Beaver habitats

the beaver

Beaver habitats are generally found in coastal waters 15–23 m deep, usually within 1 km of the shore. Water beavers tend to choose areas protected from strong ocean winds, such as rocky coasts, kelp forests, and coral reefs.

1- Dams

Most biologists who have studied beavers point out that the behaviour of these animals is innate and unlearned, and the beaver loves his work by nature, and he and his family members are constantly building huge dams in waterways and rivers, and some of these dams may reach more than 450 meters, and the beaver makes him an expert engineer Sticks, wooden twigs and mud, and supported again from below with bases of mud and stones.

the beavers constantly check and repair their dams, and help the beaver to obtain food.

the beaver is vegetarian and does not eat or seek after any mammals, fish or other insects, the beaver makes his home inside the dams, above the water level, and makes thick walls of mud and cut wood, and makes underwater tunnels to enter his house, which contains a bed of weeds, leaves and tree chips, where he can sleep and raise his young, and there are ventilation holes from the top, this water dam represents a safe place for beavers and their young from Predators such as wolves and bears are inaccessible in the heart of the water, and beavers play an important role in nature and the ecosystems around them, attracting fish, frogs and other animals.

2- Burrows

  • Beavers live in dome-shaped burrows, which they build with sticks, grass, mud, and moss over time. These shelters can be expanded and modified, and their dimensions can range from 3–6 m wide to 5–m x 12 m across at the base.
  • Each burrow is occupied by an extended family group, a pair of adult and juvenile beavers, and the burrow floor is covered with soft leaves and twigs.
  • When the fall ends, the beaver covers its burrow with mud that freezes during the winter, and the mud becomes almost stoney, preventing predators from entering the shelter.

Cut down trees

the beaver

The beaver uses its strong front teeth to cut trees and remove the bark and twigs from them, in order for the beaver to be able to cut the tree, it stands in front of it on its hind legs, using its tail as a support, then puts its front claws on the tree.

turns its head aside and stings the tree trunk by making a cut in it, then does an action Another cut in the trunk under the first piece at a distance that varies according to the size of the tree itself, and this distance increases the size of the tree, then the beaver takes several bites from the two pieces to deepen them.

then pulls the piece of wood between the two pieces with his teeth, and continues cutting and removing the wood until the tree falls, and cut The wood beaver starts from around the trunk of the tree, but sometimes it cuts the trunk on one side only, the beaver cannot control the direction in which the tree falls, but continues to cut until the trunk begins to fall, and here the beaver flees away from the tree in search of safety, usually He dives into the water near it, and waits there until he makes sure that the noise made by the fall of the tree did not attract any enemy, then he goes out to work on the tree he cut down, the beaver first bites the branches and removes them from the tree, then picks up the trunk or pulls it or pushes it or wraps it in the water , pricks The beaver has some branches in the water at great depths to feed in the winter, while the rest of the branches are used to expand or restore the dam and housing, and the beaver usually works alone, but sometimes he works with some members of his family.