This very large, dark brown rodent has a black, scaly tail which is horizontally flattened and paddle shaped and used as a rudder while swimming , as a sturdy support on land and for balance when the beaver carries heavy tree branches or building materials in its front paws. The back feet are large, webbed and black; the eyes and ears small; incisors are very large and chestnut coloured. Average weight is 45-60 pounds but they have been recorded at up to 110 pounds.
The beaver builds its lodge out of intertangled twigs and sticks; as freezing weather nears they plaster the lodge with mud making a concrete layer that no predator can break through. Predators include coyotes, wolves, bears, lynx, and wolverines; mink, hawks and owls will also take some kits.In late April to early July 3-4 kits are born. The beaver is highly adapted to its aquatic life with webbed hindfeet, the rudder-like tail, valves that close off the ears and nostrils, skin flaps that seal off the mouth but leave the incisors free for underwater gnawing and carrying and clear membranes that slide over the eyes protecting them from floating debris.
Check out the work of
these beavers at Moutoux Park