American beaver in exhibit

American Beaver

Scientific Name
Castor canadensis canadensis
North America
Wetlands and forests
American beaver in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

More Information

American beavers are brown, semiaquatic rodents that can weigh up to 71 pounds and reach up to three feet in length, not including their tail. Beavers, as a whole, are one of the few animals that can actively change an ecosystem. Well-known for their ability to build dams, they block waterways with trees and mud, often creating new lakes, ponds, and floodplains. They also build homes, called lodges, out of branches and mud. These structures are often only accessible from underwater entrances.

Did You Know?

The American beaver is the largest rodent in North America and the second-largest in the world, behind only the South American capybara.

They have a large, flat, paddle-shaped tail and large, webbed hind feet that help with swimming. Their unwebbed, highly dexterous front paws allow them to dig and manipulate plant materials, like sticks.

Their eyes are covered by a membrane that lets them see under water, and they can seal their nostrils and ears while submerged.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

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The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.

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