About Beaver: Appearance, biology, life cycle, habitat, diet, behavior

The beaver is the largest rodent and it has been built for life in the water. The adults may grow up to four feet long and can be over 60 pounds. A beaver has webbed and flat feet as well as a large hairless tail. Its tail is used to maintain its balance if it is gnawing on trees, and it can also slap the tail against the water in order to tell others that there is danger or to chase away predators.

Beavers like to live near small lakes, marshes, ponds, streams and rivers. They can build lodges of mud and sticks near islands, on pond banks and on lake shores. The beaver dams are built in a dome shape and they may be over ten feet in height.

The diet of the beaver is mostly made up of tree bark and cambium. Cambium is the soft tissue found under the bark of the tree. They like to eat the bark of older trees, including poplar, beech, cottonwood, aspen, birch, maple and willow. The beavers also like to eat vegetation like buds, roots, and water plants. This helps them to digest the tree bark.

The beavers will mate for life and if one mate dies, then the other one may find a new mate. They will start to mate at the age of three years. The mating season starts from January to March or from November to December, depending on the region. The gestation takes three months. The baby has open eyes after being born and it is able to swim in 24 hours. The baby beavers will be weaned in just two weeks, and the female and male take good care of the young ones together. The beavers are able to live up to 20 years.

Beavers live in groups or in colonies. The colony is made up of a female and a breeding male together with their offspring. The beavers may be territorial and they will protect the lodges from other beavers. They use piles of mud and their scent to mark their colonies.

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