Beavers are one of the world’s biggest rodents, and, if appearances are important, they are also one of the cutest. Beavers the size of bears formerly inhabited North America, but they were outcompeted by their smaller brethren, whose we now know and adore. Beavers are the ideal of healthy hardworking folk, born of a loving monogamous coupling, but what do we name a newborn beaver?
Baby beavers are referred to as “kits.” Little ones born in the spring months are referred to as “yearlings” when they reach the age of a year. Beavers are joined in the kit category by:
Kits will be reared by both of their parents in a semi-submerged house known as a lodge, where up to three generations of siblings create what is known as a colony. Female beavers may give birth to up to six kits each year, so the lodge can become rather crowded.
These fluffy workaholics are born with all of their fur and the first 25 millimeter (almost 1-inch) teeth. Kits can swim barely 24 hours after birth and take their first brave steps out of the lodge at three to four weeks.
The kits will leave their family home after two to three years of domestic bliss to choose their own life mate and posh lodgings.
The common beaver, on the other hand, is more than just a lovely face. As “ecosystem engineers,” they are always working to maintain, change, and improve their surroundings. Beavers are a keystone species, occupying an ecological niche with a greater influence on the environment than most creatures.
Not only do beavers utilize trees to create dams and lodges, but they also eat them on the job since beavers are one of the few animals that can digest cellulose.
Beavers construct enormous dams up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) tall by braiding branches together and patting in mud to form a waterproof barrier. Changing the flow of water generates enormous pools or ponds, which are ideal for a beaver colony’s shelter and feeding grounds.
Beavers may flood enormous amounts of land by modifying the flow of rivers and streams. When these semi-permeable constructions are abandoned and ultimately crumble, the formerly flooded waterbed transforms into an extremely fruitful meadow.
The dams’ silt and debris buildup also alters the chemical makeup of the environment, boosting carbon and lowering nitrogen in the environment, hence diversifying the ecosystem. These freshly formed standing water sources also attract new and diverse species.
While beavers are no longer classified endangered, they are nevertheless threatened by deforestation and urbanization in their natural habitats. Our connection with beavers is mutually beneficial, and we stand to benefit much from keeping them around.
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