By: Statesman Journal
Today, Tuesday, April 7 is International Beaver Day. To help the state celebrate its state animal, we’ve compiled, with help from sites including the Oregon Blue Book, YoungVeggie.com, the Lands Council, and IMDb.com, 10 interesting facts about the largest living rodent in North America:
- The American beaver (Castor canadensis) was named Oregon state animal by the 1969 Legislature. Prized for its fur, it was overtrapped by early settlers and eliminated from much of its original range. It can live up to 24 years, usually 5-10 years in the wild.
- An adult beaver can weigh up to 60 pounds.
- Beavers are vegetarians; they eat plants and trees, and prefer aspen, cottonwood, willow and dogwood. Contrary to popular opinion, they do not eat fish.
- A beaver’s two front teeth continue to grow throughout their lives. They are kept short by their constant gnawing.
- A beaver’s home is called a lodge.
- A beaver can stay underwater 15 minutes and swim at speeds up to 5 miles per hour.
- A beaver has transparent eyelids so that they can see underwater.
- Oregon is the only state in the union to have an image on both sides of its state flag. The state seal is on one side and a gold beaver is on the reverse.
- The world’s largest beaver-built dam was discovered using satellite imagery in 2007 in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. It measures almost 2,800 feet in length.
- Jerry Mathers, who starred as Theodore Cleaver or “the Beav” on the 1957-1963 television series “Leave it to Beaver,” was 9 when he was hired for the lead role.