The beaver is the largest rodent in North America, averaging 40-100 lbs (18-45 kg). These busy rodents are ecosystem engineers; their constructive behavior can completely alter their environment. Strong, continuously growing front teeth are used for gnawing down trees to build dams and create wetlands. An iron-rich protective coating on their teeth gives their large incisors, the unique orange color. The inner bark of trees and various aquatic plants make up the bulk of a beaver’s diet.
Beaver furs are prized for their warm and waterproof qualities. They were sold and traded around the world as clothing items.