Beaver

Beaver Introduction

Beavers are powerful swimmers that can swim underwater for up to 15 minutes. As the beaver dips underwater, the nose and ears shut to keep water out. Transparent inner eyelids close over each eye to help the beaver see. Second only to humans, beavers alter their environment more than any other organism on the planet. These tireless animals always face challenges of predators and the full fury of the elements. They have thick fur, webbed feet and flattened, scale-covered tails. With powerful jaws and strong teeth, they chomp through trees to use the wood in order to build homes and dams, often changing their environment in ways few other animals can. In fact, the phrases “busy as a beaver” and “eager beaver” are synonymous with being industrious and hardworking. Beavers have large teeth and their upper incisors are range from 20 to 25 mm long, according to ADW, which is the Animal Diversity Web. They continue to grow throughout a beaver’s lifetime. Beavers have adapted to a semi-aquatic existence with closable nostrils and ears, and transparent eye membranes.

Keywords to learn

ADW: An abbreviation for Animal Diversity Web


About Me

Hey Kids, my name is Brandy the Beaver and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @ www.kids.nationalgeographic.com

 

Key Data

  • Order:
    Rodentia.
  • Lifespan:
    24 years.
  • Class:
    Mammalia.
  • Scientific Name:
    Castor canadensis.
  • Mass:
    60 pounds.
  • Length:
    Head and body: 23 to 39 inches; tail: 7.75 to 12 inches.
  • Region found:
    North america and Eurasia.
  • Population Status:
    Least concern.
  • Current population trend:
    Unknown.
  • Diet:
    herbivorous.
  • Sexual maturity:
    2 years.

 

Beavers can be aggressive at times and can also be dangerous, so be very careful if you encounter them. They have sharp teeth, can bite, which can cause disease. They would probably would not confront you however be aware. They are rodents after all. 

 

Now that you know more about the beaver by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.

 

Download questions about how the beaver here: Beaver (answers are on this page)

 

Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on the beaver.  Click on Kidskonnect Worksheets

 

Beaver Fun Facts for Kids

  • # 1. Both male and female beavers have a pair of scent glands, called castors, at the base of their tails. They use the secretions from these glands, a musk-like substance called castoreum, to mark territory.    
  • # 2. All beavers need water to survive. They live in or around freshwater ponds, lakes, rivers, marshes and swamps. American beavers live throughout North America, but stay clear of deserts and the far northern areas of Canada.
  • # 3. Eurasian beavers once lived all over Europe and Asia. Now, they only live in small numbers throughout southern Scandinavia, Germany, France, Poland, and central Russia due to overhunting.
  • # 4. A beaver’s home is called a lodge. Lodges are little dome-shaped houses made from woven sticks, grasses and moss plastered with mud. They that can be up to 8 feet (2.4 m) wide and up to 3 feet (1 m) high inside, according to ADW.
  • # 5. Beavers are primarily nocturnal. They spend most of their time eating and building. Beaver create dams to make ponds, their favorite place to live. Dams are created by weaving branches together, felling trees by cutting them down with their teeth, and waterproofing the construction with mud.

Q&A Corner

  • # 1. What are beavers famous for?
  • # 2. Where can beavers be found?
  • # 3. What is the primary food source of the beaver?
  • # 4. What age do beavers live to?
  • # 5. What age do beavers sexually mature?

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