A sweet image and video shared by NewHouse Wildlife Rescue shows a young North American beaver hospitalized at a Massachusetts wildlife recovery center building a dam in front of a wooden door. The North American beaver lives in the forest areas of Alaska, Canada, and much of the United States.
It lives in small colonies made up of a set of several family units formed by a male, one or 2 females and the offspring up to the second year of life. The female is the dominant individual, except during the mating season.
During the winter the North American beaver does not hibernate and, although it rarely appears outdoors, it continues to remain active in the den.
Little beaver builds a dam in the center where he is hospitalized
The adults survive almost exclusively thanks to the fat accumulated in summer by feeding on leaves, bark and roots, while the young feed on the branches collected and set aside by the adults in the favorable season.
The North American beaver is the largest rodent in North America. The weight of an adult specimen varies roughly between 13 and 32 kg (on average about 20 kg) and the length is about 0.9-1.1 m. The morphological features, very similar to those of the European species, are the result of adaptation to the semi-aquatic life.
They are aquatic mammals with waterproof fur. The coat is long, coarse, reddish-brown or black-brown, and, together with the thick gray fur underneath, retains body heat. The American beaver has long whiskers that help it find its way in the dark.
The rear feet are longer than the front ones. The hind legs are large and webbed. The teeth are large and strong for gnawing wood and develop over the life of the beaver. The eyes have a nictitating membrane which makes it able to see underwater.
The nostrils and the openings of the ear canals may close when the animal dives. Physician naturalist Edgar Alexander Mearns' 1907 report of beaver on the Sonora River may be the earliest report on the southernmost range of this North American aquatic mammal.
However, beavers have also been reported both historically and contemporarily in Mexico on the Colorado River, Bavispe River, and San Bernardino River in the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua. Before their near-extirpation by trapping in North America, beavers were practically ubiquitous and lived from south of the arctic tundra to the deserts of northern Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans.
They are widely distributed in boreal and temperate ecoregions, where populations are rebounding from historic over-exploitation. Recently, beaver have been observed colonizing arctic tundra, likely as a result of climate-induced increases in riparian shrubs.