NatureMapping Animal Facts for Kids


Beaver (Castor Canadensis)

distribution map

What they look like: The beaver is dark brown. It has a tail that looks like a paddle. A typical beaver can weigh about 30-60 pounds, so a really big beaver could weigh almost as much as you! The tail, is very thick, will cause a loud SPLASH when the beaver dives into water. The beaver also has huge front teeth.

Where they live: Beavers are found all over our America except in really hot and really cold places. Beavers are very good swimmers and like to live in streams and lakes with trees, or on banks.

A few things tell you a beaver is near. A stick-and-mud dam built across a stream at the edge of a lake can tell you a beaver is nearby. If you see stumps of small trees in the area showing tooth marks you will also know a beaver is nearby.

What they eat: Even though they have big front teeth, beavers only eat plants. Beavers like to eat a few different kinds of trees, including aspen, poplar, birch, maple, willow, and alder. Beavers also eat bark and small twigs, and store small sections of logs underwater near I their lodge to eat later.

Habits: Beavers mostly sleep during the day and are awake at night, when you are sleeping. But, they are sometimes seen during the day. Families of beavers, live together. In a family there are parents, yearlings (big kids), and kits (little kids). Beavers usually have one mate for life, just like people do! Once a beaver is two-years-old, it leaves the family. In beaver years, being two is a lot like being old enough to go to college.

Predators: Some animals, like bears, wolves, wolverines, lynx, and otters, like to eat young beavers for dinner. They can also face danger from fishers, who fish near their homes.

Beaver Tracks
Beaver Tracks
by J. Wernet, age 12

Beaver Silhouette

Beaver Photo

Animal silhouettes available to purchase »

Home | About Us | How to Participate | Biodiversity Modules | Projects | Maps | News | Resources