Beavers have been in my life ever since I was a child.
Perhaps I should stipulate that, for the sake of this post, when I say beaver, I’m making reference to the animal. Not the other version of a beaver.
Our irrigation ponds on the farm are home to beavers, some more than others, and my family and I have collectively agreed to name these beavers Benny. I think at this point in my life we are on Benny #5, at least, but they’re all Benny nonetheless.
I was down at one of our ponds a few days ago and spotted Benny making waves with his tail across the water. Seeing as I’m not overly knowledgeable about beavers, I thought I would do a bit of reading on them; this information comes from nationalzoo.si.edu.
“1. Beaver teeth are orange. Beavers have long incisors that get their orange color from an iron-rich protective coating of enamel. Their teeth grow continuously throughout their life, but daily use helps trim them down.
2. Beavers are one of the few animals that modify their habitat. Beavers build watertight dams made of woven sticks, reeds, branches and saplings caulked together with mud and rocks.
3. Beavers don’t just build dams. They also build lodges. These dome-like lodges are often constructed away from the shore, forming islands that can only be entered from the water.
4. Beavers slap their tails on the water to indicate danger. Beavers communicate using scents, vocalizations and posturing, but one of their most important signals is the tail slap. Typically performed by an adult, this loud alarm signal alerts others to seek refuge in deep water and may even frighten a potential predator away.
6. Beavers are the largest rodents in North America.
8. Beavers can stay underwater for about 6-8 minutes,” the web page states.
Let’s hear it for beavers, my friends.