The Beaver (Castor canadensisis)
The beaver is a very interesting and outstanding animal. Even though the beaver really doesn’t look that big, it can weigh up to forty-five to sixty pounds! That is amazing. Beavers differ in size between the males and female sexes. The female is actually larger than the male beaver. The average length from head to end of tail is thirty-five to forty-six inches. Could you imagine something like that chasing after you? Just the tail alone is an average of twelve to eighteen inches long! They could probably do a lot of damage just with their tail doing defense tactics.
If you are traveling through Wisconsin; you will be more apt to seeing beavers in the northern portion of the state. There are more supplies for habitat and food. Although it is rare, there are some communities of beavers in the south-eastern area of the state. Beavers are a fun and entertaining sight to see if you get the privilege to see them in action. The beaver is one of the most outstanding animals in Wisconsin because they have the ability to use their different body parts for daily activities. One of those is they prop their long tail on the ground and use it to help them balance while standing upright. You will notice that a beaver is in danger when you see them slapping their tail down on the surface of the water. They do this to warn their other beaver friends and to warn predators to go away.
The beaver’s tail can have multiple tasks. One of its other tasks is to move in a motion that acts as a rudder when the beaver is swimming through water. The beaver is one amazing animal. You might also have the chance of seeing the beaver sharpening its teeth on trees or other rough surfaces/objects. The beaver then uses these sharp teeth to chew through food and carrying hard objects when building their homes. About 15 feet in diameter and five to six feet high; the beavers live in dams that they make out of many sticks and mud. These dens not only give them a sturdy home to live in, but they also help to protect them from bad weather or lingering predators.
When preparing to set up their dens, they gather up their community of beavers and set up shelter around streams or ponds. The beaver has a behavior that seems to catch the human eye. Beavers spend most of their time gathering food to eat and finding items to help maintain their homes. They are very active animals that like to keep their habitat looking nice. The beaver will cover the den with a strong scent to warn outsiders of their presence.
The beaver’s diet is one consisting of a variety of foods. They will generally collect items to eat like: leaves, twigs, bark, sedges, water grasses, fleshy roots, water lilies, apples, dead fish, and many others. Beavers will eat a great amount of food while they are awake and during the summertime, but they tend to hide some of their foods in their dens to make sure they have a supply during the winter season. Did you know that a beaver will consume up to twenty to thirty each day?
Towards the end of the winter season is usually when beavers start mating. They begin mating between late January and late February. Beavers will be officially old enough to start mating once the meet the age of two years. Once the females become pregnant, they will usually carry the babies for around one hundred and twenty days before they will give birth. Then a miracle happens for the mother beaver. The female beaver can have anywhere from one to eight babies, but it is very common for them to have four baby beavers. Once a beaver finds its mate; those two animals will be mates for life. The parents keep their babies with them and protect them for about two years before sending them out on their own to live their life and start their own families.
What is really interesting about the beaver is that they can stay under water for up to ten minutes! They have that ability because their eyelids are transparent so they can keep them closed and still see while swimming. They also have valves on their ears and nose to help keep the water out. What an interesting creature! Even though this animal seems to have so many qualities to its life, it does have its unfortunate downfalls. The human race tends to hunt down beavers for their fur, oil glands, and other reasons. The beavers also seem to have some major wildlife predators that stalk the beaver communities.
The beaver does have some qualities that can help other animals survive in the wild. Turtles, frogs, birds, and fish like to make homes in the abandoned dens that the beavers have created. The beaver’s dens also seem to have the ability to cleanse the water and filter out pollutants and silt. The beaver definitely makes its purpose in the wildlife and nature community. There are some downfalls that the beaver unfortunately seems to acquire and pass along to others. If there are too many; the beaver dams can cause flooding and can also damage fish and farm ponds. Humans need to keep watch because when the beaver goes out to feed, they can damage some of the farm fields.
Besides humans, beavers have a scary line of predators coming after them. These include: black bears, coyotes, dogs, bobcats, great horned owls, and different species of wolves. That is one of the reasons why beavers stay in communities. Then there is always someone watching out for these bad guys. If the beaver is not killed by these predators, they have a chance of living up to twenty-four years in the wild or up to fifty years if they are held captive by humans. That is a long time for an animal!
Last of all, I would like to share with you some extra facts about this creature. The beaver is able to change their habitat like no other animal if they have the need to. The are also known to be the largest rodent in North America. What I think is the most interesting is they store fat in their tail for the oncoming winter season. The beaver is one of a kind!