Medina Journal-Register — This early fall I had a wonderful opportunity to photograph a family of beavers that apparently have not been harassed by people as they were very tolerate of me. It was kind of a remote area and there were two adults and three young ones. Most of the time beavers are nocturnal but this family had just moved in and were busy setting up a new home so they offered some daylight photographing.
The Beaver is similar to our Muskrat except he is much bigger and someone ran over his tail and flattened it out! He also likes to chew on larger vegetation like trees.
He is our largest rodent and averages around 35 to 45 pounds but weights of 60 pounds are sometimes reached and there are records of them weighing over 100.
Like the muskrat his front feet are small but the hind feet are huge and can be 6 inches long and just as wide by the toenails. It has a unique split toenail in each hind foot that is used as a comb for grooming. His big flat tail is use to help steer him through the water as well as for sounding an alarm.
The brown silky fur is about 2 inches long and is underlain with a soft, dense under fur about 1 inch long that protects the animals skin from the cold water. There is but a single lower body opening that serves as the urinary and bowl tract and covers the reproduction organs of both male and female. It also covers an oil gland (called castors) that, with the use of those split toenails for grooming, is used to keep the fur waterproof.
The eyes have an extra eyelid that cover the eyes while swimming under water that allows them to see but not get abrasive particles on the eyeball. They can stay submerged for 10 to 15 minutes and can travel a half-mile under water.