30 Apr 2021

Beaver Buddies

These fuzzy vegan chonkers are full of personality and vital to the ongoing health and diversity of forests and waterways. Their forestry and dam building efforts filter water, create wetlands, and make room for the next-in-line trees and bushes. All of that encourages more types of animals to come.
Though the beaver in this picture was so chill that it popped up to check out my kayak, most of the time the only notice of a beaver is the sound of its big flat tail slapping the water in warning as it dives to be alone.

Bonch o' Beaver Facts

  • 2 to 4 babies (kits) each year
  • live in family colonies until at least 2 years old
  • grow to 3 ft long and 40 lbs on average
  • orange teeth because of iron in the enamel covering
  • teeth never stop growing
  • hold breath 15 minutes underwater
  • webbed feet help them swim up to 8 km/h
  • vegan diet includes bark as well as water plants like lily pads and cattails
  • tireless builders, they seem motivated to stop the sound of running water
  • see-through eyelids help them see underwater
  • closeable nostrils and ears keep water out, as well as lips behind their teeth!
  • very important in the fur trade that was key in founding Canada
  • build enormous dams that can be many meters tall — the longest found is 850 m, and it's right here in Canada!
  • live up to 12 years in nature
  • home is a lodge pile of sticks and mud that can keep at 10°C even in the coldest –40°C of winter
  • like scritches, just like a cat

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