Beavers are one of the semi-aquatic (mammals that spend much of their lives
in the water) mammals and can generally be seen in the area of North America,
northern Europe, and northern Asia. Beaver modify their environment for their
own purposes more than any other animal except man.
They are also known
for their "danger signal": when startled or frightened, a swimming beaver
will rapidly dive while forcefully slapping the water with its broad tail. This
creates a loud 'slap', audible over large distances above and below water. This
noise serves as a warning to other beavers in the area. Once a beaver has made
this danger signal, all nearby beavers will dive and may not reemerge for some
Beavers are strictly plants eating animals and they do not migrate
from one place to another place. They eat the inner bark of the trees during the
winter season. During the growing season, they eat a variety of vegetation including
various aquatic plants and the leaves and small twigs of many different kinds
Beavers continue to grow throughout life. Adult specimens weighing
over 25 kg (55 lb) are not uncommon. Females are as large as or larger than males
of the same age, which is uncommon among mammals.
Beaver dams are created
both as a protection against predators, such as coyotes, wolves and bears, and
to provide easy access to food during winter. Beavers always work at night and
are prolific builders, carrying mud and stones with their fore-paws and timber
between their teeth. Because of this, destroying a beaver dam without removing
the beavers is difficult, especially if the dam is downstream of an active lodge.
Beavers can rebuild such primary dams overnight, though they may not defend secondary
dams as vigorously.
The largest dam build by them was 2,140 feet long,
14 feet high and 23 feet thick at the base. With their human-like family life
and highly developed engineering skills, beavers have always fascinated people.