North American Beaver

Castor canadensis

Virginia, USA - July 2001

The American Beaver is North America's largest rodent, with mature adults measuring over 1m long and weighing 30kg.

Virginia, USA - July 2001

They are well adapted to an aquatic lifestyle. Their large, webbed feet and broad rudder-like tail help make them excellent swimmers and they are capable of staying underwater for up to 15 minutes.

Virginia, USA - July 2001

The engineering feats of Beavers are legendary. To create their dams and lodges, Beavers fell trees by knawing the wood around the base. They then cut off the branches, reduce their length and transport them to whereever they are needed. Branches with fresh leaves attached are also taken to underwater storage chambers deep within their lodge, where the cold water keeps the leaves fresh and provides a supply of food over the winter months.

Beaver-damaged tree - Virginia, USA - March 2002