Continental United States, Canada and extreme northern Mexico.
Tree lined banks of ponds, lakes and streams.
Wild: Bark, leaves, twigs and roots of Willow, Aspen, Poplar trees and aquatic plants, especially water lily shoots.
Zoo: Tree parts, carrots and corn.
100 - 110 days.
Very dense under fur overlaid with coarse guard hairs of black, brown, yellow or reddish brown. Tail is paddle shaped, flat and covered with shiny black horny scales. It functions as a rudder and to tamp mud into place. Tail is 9" x 4", total average length 46"; shoulder height 12-23"; weight 32-66 pounds. Newborns weigh about 1 pound. They are most active on summer nights, tending to sleep long hours away in winter, waking only to feed on their cache of branches fastened under water in the mud just outside their lodge. Nutrients in branches are preserved by the near freezing water. Their dams of mud, sticks, branches and stones are built across small streams at high water times forming ponds. They construct canals between ponds by loosening mud from a marshy side and pushing it aside. Behind the dam the lodge is built of mud and branches with the main room above the water level.The largest recorded beaver dam is 10 feet high and 330 feet long.
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the Wolf Wilderness at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.