Facts About Beavers

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Beavers have the distinction of being the largest rodents in North America and the second-largest rodent in the world.  Beavers weigh from 30-60 pounds and can grow up to 40 inches in length inclusive of the tail. The body is covered with reddish-brown fur whereas the tails are hairless and paddle-shaped for swimming purposes.

The tails are used for the storing of fat  and are also used as a warning appendage by slapping against the water to alert other beavers of any danger in the surroundings.

Fact 1. Beavers are found in all American states in American except for Hawaii, from the arctic to the deserts of northern Mexico.

Fact 2.  Beavers live in wetlands and are able to considerably alter the appearance and function of rivers.

Fact 3.  Beavers are capable of creating environments for the storing of carbon and the processing of nitrogen.  This is beneficial for the ecosystem as reactive nitrogen supports eutrophication, hypoxia, and dead zones around the estuaries of rivers.

Fact 4.  The pelts of dead beavers can be used to make accessories whereas the teeth can be used to make a beaver tooth knife.

Fact 5.  European countries such as Belgium and Germany have introduced beaver initiatives to alleviate flooding.

Fact 6. Wolves are one of the beaver’s best enemies as well as friends. The healthy vegetation due to the presence of wolves provides food and shelter for beavers. Beavers do their part by creating dams that keep rivers clean.

Fact 7. In the 1820s there was widespread action taken to eliminate beavers.  The British Hudson Bay Company tried to prevent the westward migration of the United States by removing beavers from the ecological system with the notion this would discourage migration.

Fact 8.  In Medieval bestiaries, beavers are illustrated as on the run while being pursued by hunters and hunting dogs. The interesting reason for this was because the testicles of the beaver were highly sought after for medicinal purposes.

Fact 9. Historically, prior to the arrival of Europeans to North America, the population of beavers ranged upwards of 400 million, and their behaviors have determined the sedimentation of  the American soil to a certain extent.

Fact 10.  Beavers normally live near water sources such as rivers, streams, and small lakes. Their main job description is to cut down trees of an appropriately small size to dam up streams. The maximum range of trees a beaver is capable of cutting down annually can amount to 216 trees.

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