The Beaver

Harrison Brosius, Jaden Ji

What Is A Beaver?

The beaver is part of the rodent family, and are large and bulky, with a scaly, paddle shaped tail. They are also tremendous builders.
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Beavers are commonly found in every county in Illinois. They thrive in marshes, lakes, rivers, and streams. Every area has suitable food sources like the Maple and Willow trees.
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Beavers are known for their building skills, mostly for constructing dams, and lodges, in streams and rivers. The dam gives the beavers protection from enemies and gives them a close access to food. The dam mainly keeps the entrances of their underwater dens from freezing. They usually use their teeth to cut down trees and shrubs for building materials. They raise the young in dens or lodges. Dams range from four to seven feet high. Groups of beavers who live together are also known as colonies
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Beavers consume the bark of twigs and the outer bark of branches, and tree trunks. The preferred trees are Willows, River Birch, and Maple. They also eat marsh grasses, clover, and sometimes eat pine trees.


Breeding begins in February or January. One litter consists of three to four kits. Some female beavers can have six or seven kits. (kits are newborn beavers) When the kits are born they already have fur, front teeth and the ability to swim. They leave the den when about six weeks old.
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During the 1800's beavers were abundant in Illinois. Without laws to protect them, the beaver population decreased rapidly from hunting and trapping. Soon there only remained a few beaver colonies. Finally, protective regulations were introduced in 1933. Beavers provide many benefits, though they are threats to agriculture, and transportation. Beavers now can be hunted but are only to be hunted during their specified season. This ensures the damage caused by beavers lowered, and allowing the beaver population to not exceed.

Cool Facts

- Beavers can close both their ears and nose

- Beavers can live up to 24 years old

- Beavers possess transparent eyelids enabling them to see underwater

- Beavers have been known to share their homes with muskrats

- Beavers use their tails to slap the water as a warning of danger

- In beaver years, being 2 is as if being old enough to go to college

- Beavers teeth never stop growing

Heres a Cool Video!!

(Below is video of beavers building a dam)
How Beavers Build Dams | Leave it to Beavers | PBS