The Beaver (Castor canadensis), with its webbed hind feet and large flat tail, is North Americas largest rodent. It can grow up to four feet long and weigh over 60 pounds. When under water, its nose and ears close and a special membrane covers its eyes. Long incisor teeth enable it to cut down trees by gnawing completely around the trunk, and its specialized digestive system allows it to eat tree bark and cambium. Beavers mate for life, living in family colonies. They commonly burrow in riverbanks, but are best known for building dams in rivers and streams, and then building a lodge of sticks and mud in the resulting ponds.
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