North American Beaver: Meet Our Animals








Kingdom:  Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Rodentia

Family: Castoridae

Genus: Castor

Species: canadensis

Height: Head and body, 23 to 39 in (60 to 100 cm); tail, 7.75 to 12 in (20 to 30.5 cm)

Weight: 60 lbs (27 kg)

Lifespan: Up to 24 years


  • Beavers are primarily aquatic animals, and the largest rodents in North America. They have a waterproof coat and use their webbed rear feet like swimming fins,and their paddle-shaped tails like rudders.  They can remain underwater for up
    to 15 minutes without surfacing.
  • Beavers eat bark and cambium (the softer tissue under the bark of trees). They also eat water vegetation, as well as
    buds, and roots. Cellulose, which usually can not be digested by mammals, is a major component of their diet.
    Special microorganisms allow them to digest this material.
  • Beavers create habitats for themselves and other animals by building dams. Gnawing trees with their strong teeth and powerful jaws, they create massive log, branch, and mud structures to block streams and turn fields and forests into the large ponds that beavers love.
  • Domelike beaver homes, called lodges, are constructed of branches and mud. They are often strategically located in the middle of ponds and can only be reached by
    underwater entrances.



Currently at ZooMontana:

  • Huck:  Female, Born May 2010
  • Finn:  Male, Born May 2011



 Click HERE to Return to the "Meet Our Animals" Page.