The beaver is a large, primarily nocturnal, semiaquatic rodent. They are the second-largest rodent in the world. They have a number of adaptations that make them adept swimmers including webbed feet and a broad, flat tail that is covered with scales. They also have an extra set of eyelids which are transparent and close over their eyes enabling beavers to see while underwater. Beavers also seem to use their tails to regulate their body temperature. The tail is not well insulated, so when a beaver is too hot it can offload excess body heat through its tail.
Beavers have very large teeth in proportion to their skull. The incisors have a structure that means they are self-sharpening. Their incisors grow at an angle towards the beaver’s left eye. The outer surface is coated in enamel and the inner surface coated in dentine. This enamel is orange to chestnut brown in color. The softer dentine erodes faster than the hard enamel, maintaining a sharp cutting edge as the beaver gnaws. Beaver’s incisors grow at the fairly nifty speed of almost 0.5 cm a month. The top and bottom teeth keep each other sharp. This is in large part down to its powerful jaw muscles, which give it a far larger bite force for its body size than most other rodents. Beavers’ teeth grow continuously throughout their lives. As beavers chew through tree trunks and bark, their teeth get worn down, so the continuous growth of their teeth ensures they always have a sharp set of teeth available to them. To further assist them in their chewing endeavors, beavers have strong jaw muscles and significant biting strength. Beavers can unleash nearly 180 pounds of biting force per square inch, compared to the human’s 88 pounds.
Beavers are well known for the thunderous warning slaps or splashes of their tails that alert other family members to the presence of intruders. A beaver colony marks an area by building mounds of mud near the lodge and dam near trails. On these mounds, which usually vary from 2-7 in numbers and are 5.0-7.5 cm.
Beaver Kills Belarus Man With Deadly Bite
11th April 2013
The below article is written by Mr. Daniel D. Snyder from outsideonline.com
A man in Belarus found out the hard way that beavers are not to be trifled with. The unidentified victim was on a fishing trip with two friends at Lake Shestakov when they spotted the massive rodent on the side of the road. The man approached the beaver intending to take its picture when the creature pounced and bit him in the thigh. The bite severed a main artery and the man bled to death.
Beaver attacks are a rarity, but the animals can become more aggressive at about two years of age when they leave their colony to find a mate. Beavers can unleash nearly 180 pounds of biting force per square inch, compared to the human’s 88 pounds.
Last July, two girls were attacked by a beaver by while swimming in a lake in Virginia. There were no fatalities, save for the beaver, who was shot. A month later, a boy scout leader was attacked while swimming in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The beaver was brought down by a group of angry, rock-wielding boy scouts. Again, there were no fatalities, but the scout leader had to receive treatment for rabies.
Beaver knocks out power to thousands after chewing down pole near Prince Albert
Oct 30, 2017
The city of Prince Albert, Sask., and a large chunk of northern Saskatchewan lost power for about an hour after a beaver partially chewed through a power pole southeast of the city on Sunday.
SaskPower is calling this a very Canadian problem.
“This was one of our larger wooden power poles and there was ample evidence of beaver damage at the base of it, so beavers had been chewing away at it,” said spokesperson Jonathan Tremblay.
Animals account for roughly one-third of the power outages experienced by SaskPower customers.
“Usually, it’s birds flying into substations, or squirrels chewing at things they shouldn’t,” he said.
In May, the Crown utility had to repair another line after beavers gnawed through a pole in the southwest.
Beavers are more active this time of year, as young beaver kits are pushed out of lodges.
While SaskPower was able to reroute power around the area, people near the village of Weldon were without power for nearly five hours.
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