The Beaver

(Castor canadensis)

Trout feed on aquatic and terrestrial insects, small fish insects and their eggs, and crustaceans. Threats to Steelhead Trout include habitat loss and degradation, disease, and dams making spawning sites inaccessible. Trout Spawn between December and June in freshwater.

A sample of local birds of the California coast found by freshwater marshes, wetlands, bogs, ponds and streams.

 

A Beaver's Habitat

Beavers live in homes they make called lodges. There are three types: those built on islands, those built on the banks of ponds, and those built on the shores of lakes. The lodge is a oven-shaped house of sticks, grass, and moss, woven together and plastered with mud. The floor is blanketed with bark, grass, and wood chips.

 

A Beaver's Physical Description

Beavers are primarily aquatic animals, and the largest rodents in North America. They have a waterproof, rich, glossy, reddish brown or blackish brown coat. Its ears are short, round, and dark brown in coloration. A beaver's hind legs are longer than its front legs! A Beaver's skull and teeth are disproportionately large. This is crucial for cutting through hard woods like maple and oak. Most noteably, the upper incisors, bright orange in color, are at least 5 mm wide and 20-25 mm long. These teeth grow throughout the animal's lifetime and are a necessity to survival, just as the animal's closable nostrils, closable ears, and transparent eye membranes are for aquatic existence.

A Beaver's Diet

Beavers eat bark and cambium (the softer growing tissue under the bark of trees). Their favorites include willow, maple, poplar, beech, birch, alder, and aspen trees. They also eat water vegetation, as well as buds, and roots. Cellulose, which usually can not be digested by mammals, is a major component of their diet. Beavers have microorganisms in their cecum (a sac between the large and small intestine) that digest this material. In zoos, beavers are fed yams, lettuce, carrots and "rodent chow."

 

A Beaver is Beneficial

Beavers are incredibly beneficial to the environment. They are instrumental in creating habitats for many aquatic organisms, maintaining the water table at an appropriate level and controlling flooding and erosion, all by building dams.


Photo Above: Beavers building a dam.


Click To Go Back To Main Page