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INF2011 North American Beaver _wikipedia

INF2011 North American Beaver _wikipedia

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american beaver by wikipedia
american beaver by wikipedia

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05/06/2011 20:08North American Beaver - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaPage 1 of 16http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Beaver
Castor canadensis
Conservation status
Least Concern
(IUCN 3.1)
[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom:AnimaliaPhylum:ChordataClass:MammaliaOrder:RodentiaFamily:CastoridaeGenus:
astor
C. canadensis
Binomial name
Castor canadensis
Kuhl, 1820
Subspecies
[2][3][4][5]
C. c. acadicus
Bailey
C. c. baileyi
Nelson
C. c. belugae
Taylor
Cook Inlet beaver
C. c. caecator
Bangs
North American Beaver
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The
North American Beaver
(
Castor canadensis
) isthe onlyspecies of beaver in the Americas, native to North America andintroduced to South America. In the United States and Canada,where no other species of beaver occurs, it is usually simply referredto as
beaver
. Its other vernacular names, including
Americanbeaver
[2]
and
Canadian beaver
,
[6]
distinguish this species from theone other extant beaver,
Castor fiber
, nativeto Eurasia. ("Canadian beaver" also refers to the subspecies
Castor canadensis canadensis
.)
Contents
1Description2Behaviour3Subspecies4Differencesfrom European beaver5 Ecology5.1 Effects on stream flows and water quality5.2 Effects on bird diversity5.3 Effects on trout and salmon5.4 Effects on riparian trees and vegetation5.5 Beavers and streamrestoration6Urban beavers7As introduced non-native species8 As food9 Symbolism10 References11 Further reading12 External links
Description
This beaveris the largest rodent in North Americaand the third largest rodent in the world, after the South American capybara andthe Eurasian beaver. Adults usually weigh 15 to 35 kg (33 to 77 lb),with 20 kg (44 lb) a typical mass, and measure around 1 m (3.3 ft) intotal body length. Very old individuals can weigh as much as 45 kg(99 lb).
[7]
Like the capybara, the beaver is semi-aquatic. The beaver has manytraits suited to this lifestyle. It has a large flat paddle-shaped tail andlarge, webbed hind feet reminiscent of a human diver's swimfins.
 
05/06/2011 20:08North American Beaver - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaPage 2 of 16http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Beaver
 
Newfoundland beaver
C. c. canadensis
Kuhl
Canadian beaver
C. c. concisorC. c. carolinensis
Rhoads
Carolina beaver
C. c. duchesneiC. c. frondator
Mearns
Sonora beaver
C. c. idoneusC. c. labradorensisC. c. leucodonta
Gray
Pacific beaver
C. c. mexicanus
Bailey
Rio Grande beaver
C. c. michiganensis
Bailey
Woods beaver
C. c. missouriensis
Bailey
Missouri River beaver
C. c. pacificus
Rhoads
Washington beaver
C. c. pallidusC. c. phaeus
Heller
Admiralty beaver
C. c. rostralisC. c. repentinus
Goldman
C. c. sagittatusC. c. shastensis
Taylor
Shasta beaver
C. c. subauratus
California Golden beaver
C. c. taylori
Davis
C. c. texensis
Bailey
Texas beaver
Beaver lodge, Ontario, CanadaBeaver dam, northern California,USA
The unwebbed front paws are smaller, with claws. The eyes arecovered by a nictitating membrane which allows the beaver to seeunderwater. The nostrils and ears are sealed while submerged. Athick layer of fat under its skin insulates the beaver from its coldwater environment.The beaver's fur consists of long, coarse outer hairs and short, fineinner hairs (see Double coat). The fur has a range of colours butusually is dark brown. Scent glands near the genitals secrete an oilysubstance known as castoreum, which the beaver uses to waterproof its fur.Before their near extirpation by trapping in North America, beaverwere practically ubiquitous and lived from the arctic tundra to thedeserts of northern Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the PacificOceans.
[8][9]
Explorer David Thompson, after crossing much of North America in 1784, stated that "this Continent...from theAtlantic to the Pacific Ocean, may be said to have been in thepossession of two distinct races of Beings, Man and the Beaver."
[10]
Behaviour
Beavers are mainly active atnight. They are excellentswimmers but are morevulnerable on land and tend toremain in the water as muchas possible. They are able toremain submerged for up to15 minutes. They use theirflat, scaly tail both to signaldanger by slapping thesurface of the water and as alocation for fat storage.They construct their homes,or "lodges," out of sticks,twigs, and mud in lakes,streams, and tidal riverdeltas.
[11]
These lodges maybe surrounded by water, ortouching land, includingburrows dug into river banks.They are well known forbuilding dams across streamsand constructing their lodge in the artificial pond which forms.When building in a pond, the beavers first make a pile of sticks and
 
05/06/2011 20:08North American Beaver - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaPage 3 of 16http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Beaver
C. c. canadensis
, feeding in winter
then eat out one or more underwater entrances and two platforms above the water surface inside the pile.The first is used for drying off. Towards winter, the lodge is often plastered with mud which when it freezeshas the consistency of concrete. A small air hole is left in the top of the lodge.The dam is constructed using sections of deciduous trees, especially birch, aspen, willow and poplar. Theinner bark, twigs, shoots and leaves of such trees are also an important part of the beaver's diet.
[12]
Thetrees are cut down using their strong incisor teeth. Their front paws are used for digging and carrying andplacing materials. Some researchers have shown that the sound of running water dictates when and where abeaver builds its dam. Besides providing a safe home for the beaver, beaver ponds also provide habitat forwaterfowl, fish, and other aquatic animals. Their dams help reduce soil erosion and can help reduceflooding.Beavers are most famous, and infamous, for their dam-building. They maintain their pond-habitat byreacting quickly to the sound of running water, and damming it up with tree branches and mud. Earlyecologists believed that this dam-building was an amazing feat of architectural planning, indicative of thebeaver's high intellect. This theory was questioned when a recording of running water was played in a fieldnear a beaver pond. Despite the fact that it was on dry land, the beaver covered the tape player withbranches and mud.
[13]
The largest beaver dam is 2,790 ft (850 m) in length—more than half a mile long—and was discovered via satellite imagery in 2007.
[14]
It is located on the southern edge of Wood BuffaloNational Park in northern Alberta and is twice the width of the Hoover Dam which spans 1,244 ft(379 m).
[15]
Normally, the purpose of the dam is to provide water around theirlodges that is deep enough that it does not freeze solid in winter. Thedams also flood areas of surrounding forest, giving the beaver safeaccess to an important food supply, which is the leaves, buds, andinner bark of growing trees. They prefer aspen and poplar, but willalso take birch, maple, willow and alder. They will also eat cattails,water lilies and other aquatic vegetation, especially in the earlyspring (and contrary to widespread belief,
[16]
they do not eat fish).In areas where their pond freezes over, beavers collect food in latefall in the form of tree branches, storing them underwater (usually bysticking the sharp chewed base of the branches into the mud on thepond bottom), where they can be accessed through the winter. Often the pile of food branches projectsabove the pond and collects snow. This insulates the water below it and keeps the pond open at thatlocation.Beavers usually mate for life. The young beaver "kits" typically remain with their parents for up to twoyears.Common natural predators include gray wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions. Less significant predatorsinclude bears, which can dig into a lodge, wolverines, river otters, Canadian lynx, bobcats, and mink.
[17]
Subspecies
There are 25 subspecies of beaver in North America, but different subspecies have been reintroduced toareas with previously geographically isolated subspecies, following population decline or extirpation of the

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