Beaver

The beaver (genus Castor) is a primarily nocturnal, large, semi-aquatic rodent. Castor includes two extant species, North American beaver (Castor canadensis) (native to North America) and Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) (Eurasia). Beavers are known for building dams, canals, and lodges (homes). They are the second-largest rodent in the world (after the capybara). Their colonies create one or more dams to provide still, deep water to protect against predators, and to float food and building material. The North American beaver population was once more than 60 million, but as of 1988 was 6–12 million. This population decline is due to extensive hunting for fur, for glands used as medicine and perfume, and because their harvesting of trees and flooding of waterways may interfere with other land uses.

Read more about Beaver:  General, Etymology, Species, Habitat, Commercial Uses, In Culture

Famous quotes containing the word beaver:

    I saw young Harry with his beaver on,
    His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly armed,
    Rise from the ground like feathered Mercury,
    And vaulted with such ease into his seat
    As if an angel dropped down from the clouds
    To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,
    And witch the world with noble horsemanship.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    The mission of men there seems to be, like so many busy demons, to drive the forest all out of the country, from every solitary beaver swamp and mountain-side, as soon as possible.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    This ferry was as busy as a beaver dam, and all the world seemed anxious to get across the Merrimack River at this particular point, waiting to get set over,—children with their two cents done up in paper, jail-birds broke lose and constable with warrant, travelers from distant lands to distant lands, men and women to whom the Merrimack River was a bar.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)