21 Unbelievable Beaver Facts And Information For Kids

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Is your child enthralled by spooky creatures? Here are some beaver facts for kids to intrigue their curious minds. Beavers are one of the largest rodents on the planet. They have a distinct physical appearance that includes thick skin fur, a scaly tail, and webbed feet that allow them to swim.

Here is a curated list of some incredible beaver facts for kids. Continue reading to find out 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.

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 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 they 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. Though the Eurasian variety lived all over the two continents, rampant hunting of them has restricted them to Scandinavia, Germany, France, Poland, and central Russia.

6. What 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.

Quick fact
Cellulose which is usually not digested by mammals, is a significant component of the beaver’s diet. They do so since they have a certain kind of microorganism in their caecum, helping them digest cellulose (2).

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.

8. How beavers build their homes

Beavers create dome-shaped homes called lodge, beaver facts for kids

Image: iStock

They create dome-shaped homes called lodge, using mud, grass and sticks. The lodge measures up to 8ft in width and 3ft in height. They’re built to clear 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.

Did you know?
Baby beavers are called kits. The kits are born with complete fur on the body, eyes open, and incisor teeth emerging (2).

10. Why beavers are 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

  1. 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.
  1. These nocturnal animals are extremely hard-working, and there’s an idiom “busy as a beaver” just for the same reason. They spend their time either building dams near ponds or eating.

    Beaver works hard

    Image: iStock

  1. They come from the Animalia kingdom with their phylum being Chordata of the class Mammalia.
  1. 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.
  1. Vanilla goo is produced from castoreum and is often sold in the market as a natural vanilla flavor.
  1. 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.

    Beavers cannot breathe underwater, beaver facts for kids

    Image: iStock

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. In some places, the dams created change the course of a river, which is why those areas get flooded. In some cases, this alteration of the course helps to prevent erosion.
  1. 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.

    World's largest beaver dam is found in North America

    Image: iStock

  1. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are baby beavers called?

Baby beavers are called kits. Some historical records also mention them as kittens. They are also referred to as yearnings when they are one year old.

2. How many teeth do beavers have?

Beavers have 20 teeth, including four incisors at the front–two lowers and two uppers. These incisors are long and help them chew complex objects such as wood.

3. How fast can beavers run?

Beavers can run upto 34 miles per hour in water when in danger. On the contrary, they are not as fast on land. However, if and when alarmed, the beaver can reach up to a speed of 43 miles per hour.

Beaver is Canada’s national animal and is found on several continents but away from the desert regions. Beavers are gigantic herbivore rodents inhabiting the waters. They are classified into two species based on where they are located, and these species have an essential role in balancing an ecosystem. However, did you know that a Beaver has a remarkable sense of hearing and smell? Also, they cannot breathe underwater, but they need water for their survival. We have compiled such fascinating beaver facts for kids to educate them about these interesting animals.

References:

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