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How It Works


Eating underwater

Their lips can close behind their front teeth so that they can gnaw underwater and still keep water and splinters out of their mouths.

They can spend the winters in their lodge and surrounding water, safe from predators below a layer of ice.

Oxygen conservation

They have slow circulation to their extremities, huge lungs, and a huge liver for storing oxidized blood.

They are able to stay underwater for longer periods of time.

Cutting down trees

They have large, ever-growing, chisel shaped teeth.

Gives them access to food that they couldn't reach without felling the tree like buds, leaves and bark of trees. Also provides them with woody branches to use in making their dam and lodge.

Waterproof coat

Dense underfur acts as insulation and keeps the skin dry with the help of castor oil. They produce an oil called castor oil that they rub through their fur with a split toenail called a grooming claw, making their fur water proof. (It has to be regularly reapplied by the beaver.)

The waterproof fur keeps the skin dry and warm while the beaver is immersed in cold water.

Underwater vision

They have a clear eyelid that protects their eyes and allows them to see in the water while they are swimming.

Enhanced underwater activity.

Flat, wide tail

Stores fat in the fall and winter and acts as a heat radiator releasing excess heat from it furry body during the warmer months,

Also acts as a rudder while they swim and can be used for communication between beavers and to startle predators by the beavers slapping it on the water as they dive.

Valves in ears and nose

Special valves close as they dive underwater.

Allows beaver to dive deeper and be underwater longer.

Webbed hind feet

Large hind feet have webbing of skin between the toes.

Good for swimming strength while front feet used like hands.