American Beaver

American beaver

Castor canadensis

At the Detroit Zoo
A family of four American beavers resides at the Jane and Frank Warchol Beaver Habitat on the northern edge of the Cotton Family Wetlands: male Linden and females Eve, Wicket and Sassafras.

Description
The largest rodents in North America have lustrous reddish- or blackish-brown, waterproof fur coats, webbed hind feet and broad, flat, scaly tails that are roughly 10 inches long. Beavers have disproportionately large skulls and four powerful, orange-colored teeth – two upper and two lower incisors – that are used to gnaw on tree bark. Their small, round ears can close to keep water out.

Fun Facts

  • Beavers are one of only three “keystone” species – along with elephants and humans – that have the ability to change the earth’s landscape.