The beaver is a large, dark brown rodent with a black, scaly tail that looks like a paddle. The tail is used as a rudder while swimming, as a sturdy support on land and for balance when the beaver carries heavy tree branches. The average weight of a beaver is 45-60 pounds.
Beavers can be found all the way from northern Canada down to the southern United States. They live near rivers, streams, marshes, lakes and ponds. Beavers could be found near the marshy areas of Holliston.
Although beavers cannot move fast on land they are very strong swimmers. Their hind feet are webbed and their fur is oily and thick. The beaver sees well underwater. The beaver is highly adapted to its aquatic life with webbed feet, a rudder-like tail, valves that close off the ears and nostrils, skin flaps that seal off the mouth but leave the incisors free for underwater gnawing and carrying. The beaver eats the leaves and the bark of trees. It also likes cattails and other water plants.
Beavers are very hard workers. They work together to build a dam and their homes called lodges. First they make a pond by building a dam across a stream. The dam holds back water and forms a deep pond. The beavers then build their lodges in the middle of the pond where they are safe from most enemies, which include wolves, coyotes, bears, wolverines and lynx. The Lodges are made out of intertangled twigs and sticks and mud.
Beavers are best seen on summer evenings around their lodges or dams.
They make a big V on the water when they swim.
The beaver uses its tail to warn other beavers by slapping it on the water to make a loud noise.
Baby beavers are called kits.