One of the largest rodents found in the world is beavers. They have a unique physical appearance that comprises of thick skin fur, scaly tail, and webbed fit for swimming. Is your kid fascinated about the creepy beasties? Then, here is an article for you to share some interesting information about the creatures, with your children.
Momjunction has put together 21 unbelievable beaver facts for kids. Scroll down to learn more:
Information About Beavers For Kids:
1. Classification Of Beavers:
In general, there are two species of beavers, American and Eurasian. From their name, it is evident that the former variety is found across North America and the latter in Europe and Asia.
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2. Body Size Of Beavers:
The American variety (Castor canadensis) weighs about 60lbs, and is 23 to 39 inches long. Their tails are 7.75 to 12 inches long. The other variety (Castor fiber) is almost similar in size. The difference between these two types is that the latter has smaller skulls and narrower tails than the former.
3. How Do They Use Their Tail?
Beavers use their tails for various purposes such as:
- For notifying others about imminent predators.
- To balance their body in dry lands, so that they don’t trip while carrying heavy loads with their teeth.
4. Beavers’ Teeth:
Their teeth are of prime importance. The length of the upper incisors varies between 20 to 25mm. The presence of iron in the enamel of the tooth makes them incredibly strong and funnily the color of their teeth is orange. The growth of teeth is a gradual process and takes place throughout their life-cycle.
5. Where Do Beavers Live?
One of the prime requirements for their survival is water. Hence, they choose their habitat around marshy lands such as freshwater lakes and ponds, swamps, rivers, etc. The American varieties are found all over the continent except in the deserts and the snowy regions of Canada. The Eurasian variety though lived all over the two continents, rampant hunting of them has restricted them to Scandinavia, Germany, France, Poland, and central Russia.
6. What Do Beavers Eat?
Their ability to digest cellulose helps them to eat leaves, roots, and bark. These herbivores have often been seen eating certain aquatic plants.
7. External Body Features Of Beavers:
The eye membranes are translucent and allow beavers to see underwater. But in general, they do not possess powerful eyesight. They make it up with their excellent hearing and smelling abilities.
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8. How Do Beavers Build Their Homes?
They create dome-shaped homes called lodge, using mud, grass and stick. The lodge measures up to 8ft in width and 3ft in height. They’re built clearing the water level. There are two compartments in their lodges, one for their living and the other one for socializing.
9. Progeny Of Beavers:
The winters, i.e., between January and March, are the mating season for beavers.They give birth to their young ones called kits. The gestation periods vary. The Eurasian varieties have it from about 60 to 128 days whereas the American varieties have it about 105 to 107 days. An interesting thing to point out here is that their kids can swim just after a day of their birth.
10. Why Are Beavers Regarded As Hospitable Hosts?
Their hospitability has no bounds as they love sharing their homes with the muskrats-families (1).
Fun Beaver Facts For Kids:
- A pair of scent glands is located at the base of their tails, in both the male and female varieties. These are named castors and produce an aromatic matter called castoreum that is used to demark their region.
- These nocturnal animals are extremely hard-working, and there’s an idiom “busy as a beaver” just for the same reason. They spend their times either building dams near ponds or eating.
- They come from the Animalia kingdom with their phylum being Chordata of the class Mammalia.
- The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has declared that beavers are not an endangered species. But their number has significantly decreased over the years due to rampant poaching. Their meat, castoreum, and pelts have a high value.
- Vanilla goo is produced from castoreum and is often sold in the market as a natural vanilla flavor.
- Beavers cannot breathe underwater, but their activities require them to go underwater. To solve this problem they have an amazing ability to hold their breath for about 15 minutes.
- If you ever hear a beaver hissing, it’s best to stay away from it. They do so while they’re frightened and can attack you with their sharp teeth.
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- They are notorious for falling trees and eating them, but they also help in growing trees. They do so by trimming the bark as they feed on them.
- In some places, the dams created them change the course of a river, and this is why those areas get flooded. In some cases, this alteration of the course helps to prevent erosion.
- The world’s largest beaver dam found in Northern America has a depth of 850 meters. Researchers spotted the dam with the help of a satellite image in the year 2007.
- One of the unique features of their industrious nature is that beavers remain indifferent to cold. Even when their ponds turn icy, they continue to use them. Their body’s adaptive nature to endure cold helps them in doing so.
Beaver is the national animal of Canada, and the giant species plays a pivotal role in balancing the ecosystem. Did we miss out any of the unknown facts about beavers for kids? Please tell us below!
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