The numerous ways a Beaver shapes its environments for survival are extremely impressive. Here are 10 fun facts on Beavers that you might not have known about.
- Beavers used to be giants back in the Ice Age. Named “Castoroides”, they looked similar to the modern beavers, but only much bigger. They were able to grow up to 8 feet long and weigh a staggering 200 pounds.
- Beaver’s front teeth are orange in colour. They are in need of strong teeth to gnaw through trucks of trees, and their tooth enamel, fortunately, contains iron. This makes their teeth extremely strong, sharp and indeed orange.
- The tail of a beaver has use in both land and water. Their leathery, oversized tail can grow as long as 15 inches and it can be used for swimming (uses its tail as a rudder) or as a warning to other beavers that a predator is present (through slapping it against the water).
- To help them navigate through the water, beavers make use of a wide variety of adaptations (important for the mammal to live a semi-aquatic life). For example, the valves in their ears and nose shut when they enter to swim to keep out the water. In addition, their lips shut behind their oversized front teeth which enables the beaver to transport food and materials for building without drowning.
- Beavers are able to remain underwater for 15 minutes without breathing.
- To help them see underwater, beavers are equipped with a third transparent eyelid.
- The wilderness of northern Alberta is home to the largest beaver dam (stretching 850 meters) in the world. It was discovered in 2007 via a satellite image, and scientists believe that numerous generations of beavers have been working on the dam, and it goes back as far as the 1970s. An explorer named Rob Mark was the first person to reach the dam.
- Although hard to wrap your head around, beavers have once travelled via a parachute. As the people of Western Idaho began to clash with the beaver population back in 1948, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game were determined to move these threatened beavers to a nearby area that was more protected. They devised a plan, and this included using World War II surplus parachutes to drop boxes of beavers down from planes. Out of the 76 beavers that made the skydive, every beaver except one survived the fall.
- Property damage caused by beavers in the U.S. is estimated to be around $100 million every year!
- The front teeth of a beaver never stop growing, as with all rodents.
Do you know any interesting facts about beavers that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section below!
Related 'Animals & Nature' Facts