[149] Eric Collier's 1959 book, Three Against the Wilderness, provides an early description of a string of beaver ponds serving as a firebreak, saving the home of his pioneer family from a wildfire in interior British Columbia. During the roughly 30 years (1806–1838) of the era of the mountain man, the West from Missouri to California and from Canada to Mexico was thoroughly explored and the beaver was brought to the brink of extinction. Their survival is aided by their ability to breed rapidly. [37], Beaver are herbivorous generalists with sophisticated foraging preferences. [47], Species of giant rodent in the cavy family, This article is about the animal. [201] It is also the state animal of Oregon and New York of the United States, and a common school emblem for engineering schools, including the California Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Alberta as well as the mascot for Oregon State University, Babson College, and the City College of New York. Further research has shown that many animals and birds carry this parasite, and the major source of water contamination is by humans. [109], As trees are drowned by rising beaver impoundments, they become ideal nesting sites for woodpeckers, which carve cavities that attract many other bird species, including flycatchers (Empidonax spp. These traits are not unique to beavers, and are in fact present among all rodents. Finally, beaver ponds may serve as critical firebreaks in fire-prone areas. Very old individuals can exceptionally exceed normal sizes, weighing more than 40 kg (88 lb) or even as much as 50 kg (110 lb) (higher than the maximum known for the Eurasian beaver).[33][34][35][36]. [95], The term "beaver fever" is a misnomer coined by the American press in the 1970s, following findings that the parasite Giardia lamblia, which causes giardiasis, was putatively carried by beavers. Adults usually weigh from 11 to 32 kg (24 to 71 lb), with 20 kg (44 lb) being typical. As such, the seal of New Netherland featured the beaver; likewise, the coats of arms of Albany, New York and New York City included the beaver.

[166] In a 2017 TRCA report on local occurrences of fauna in Greater Toronto, beavers were given a score of L4. The beaver also appears in the coats of arms of the Hudson's Bay Company,[202] University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the London School of Economics. The brain masses of a beaver weighing 11.7 and 17 kg are 41 and 45 g respectively. [37] They prefer aspen and poplar, but also take birch, maple, willow, alder, black cherry, red oak, beech, ash, hornbeam, and occasionally pine and spruce. After an 80-year absence, a beaver was spotted in Stanley Park's Beaver Lake in 2008. The scientific name, both hydrochoerus and hydrochaeris, comes from Greek ὕδωρ (hydor "water") and χοῖρος (choiros "pig, hog"). The sound of running water dictates when and where a beaver builds its dam. Canals are used to float logs to a pond, and dams may also be used to maintain the water levels in these canals. Before the 1849 California Gold Rush, an earlier, 19th-century California Fur Rush drove the earliest American settlement in that state. [11] The fossil genera Cardiatherium, Phugatherium, Hydrochoeropsis, and Neochoerus are all capybaras under that concept. [62], Communication is highly developed in beaver, including scent marking, vocalization, and tail slapping. [34] Both sexes have these glands, but males have much larger morrillos and use their anal glands more frequently. Imagemagick provides a great image comparison algorithm which.

Towards winter, the lodge is often plastered with mud which, when it freezes, has the consistency of concrete. Although North American beavers are superficially similar to the European beaver (Castor fiber), several important differences exist between the two species. The surface of beaver ponds is typically at or near bank-full, so even small increases in stream flows cause the pond to overflow its banks.

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