Large semi-aquatic rodents know for a large flat tail, buck teeth which they use to cut down trees, and building dams with those trees.
The first video game about Beavers was released in 1983.
The ponds created from their dam building provide a place for their lodge. Their lodge looks like a pile of wood and has an underwater entrance. The ultimate statement in exclusiveness, beavers value their privacy. They often used quite large trees for their dams an lodges and will dig canals to the place where they fall them.In this way they can cut down and use trees too far and/or large to drag to the water by floating them down the new canal. All this beaver activity is possible the main source of the existence of wetlands habitat meaning tens of thousands of species owe their continued existence to beavers. The work needed for logging, dam, lodge, and canal building, shows that beavers have a great deal of patience and capacity for delayed gratification. But more often they are used symbolically for their industriousness and work ethic. Because of their buck teeth, speaking beaver characters are often depicted as having a severe lisp. Not only do their teeth never stop growing, the beaver themselves grow continuously until the die of old age. Fossil beavers the size of black bears have been found. Thus, beaver characters are often depicted as fat, in contrast to their lack of laziness. Their ever growing teeth require the beavers to gnaw on anything to wear them down and prevent them from getting too long. When gnawing down trees to build, this is not a problem. But they must store wood to gnaw on for the winter, as well as food to eat.
Beaver dams are usually made of stout pillar poles placed vertically to hold horizontal twigs packed together with mud and weeds (using their wide tails). Once their dam slows the water flow, their lodges are built in the new pond and constructed in a similar manor but in the shape of a dome under which they, their mates, and their children will live. The Lodge can only be entered or exited via an under water passage. Inside a lodge are typically two dens, one for living in and another for drying off in. They also construct smaller woodpiles with underwater access where they can store food for the winter. These piles keep the food and water's surface underneath them from freezing so they will have thawed food and breathing access when the outer water surface freezes. This is important since they can become trapped under the frozen water surface for months. The woodpiles can be used as stores for gnawing materials also. Tree bark provides them with a small amount of nutrition but they prefer leafy greens or flowers such as water lilies or daisies as their main meals.
While trees they downed themselves are usual, they have been known to pilfer man made materials if they are better for the construction project. Including metals of the right size and shape. A 100% natural beaver dam can withstand dynamite. Just breaking a spillway into one can require 3 or more dynamite sticks. If a beaver has incorporated man made materials, their structures can be considerable stronger. This strength is necessary to protect against predators. A bear, for instance, is stopped by few natural barriers (they've been know to destroy small trees themselves, to bring down an out of reach food source) but is usually not strong or determined enough to tear into a beaver lodge to make a meal of its residents. Even wolverines will not bother with beaver lodges. If a beaver dam is damaged, or even totally destroyed, the beaver can replace it overnight. This means modifying or eliminating a beaver dam usually requires removing the beavers themselves. Or at least all nearby stores of materials, which the beavers stockpile for such occasions. Also, they may keep backup dams, lodges, and storages, even in an unfinished state (so they go unnoticed), to renovate and move into within hours should their primary residence become unlivable. These behaviors are a problem in areas were beavers are not native but have been introduced. Some areas do not have trees that survive the beavers normally non-fatal falling process. So instead of using one tree for generations of twigs and food, they fell many of the fast dying trees a year, devastating forests. They become an invasive species that is particularly difficult to eliminate. In recent years, Beavers, without human intervention, have returned to their former ranges despite these areas now being urbanized. This famously includes New York City and the the City of Chicago. New York has welcomed back the former residents who use a combination of natural and human created materials for their constructions but Chicago is unsuccessfully trying to eliminate them with traps and poisons over concern about their domesticated trees.
Often, beavers will fall a tree without killing it by not completely severing it from its base. The tree will continue to grow giving the beaver easy access to gnawing branches, food bark, and food leaves for many generations.
Beavers are capable of and often do move on land but are somewhat awkward. They are excellent swimmers and can stay submerged for 15 minutes.
If disturbed, a beaver will slap its tail hard on the surface as it dives underwater. Beavers have excellent hearing and all beavers withing miles will hide when their hear this warning. However, on rare occasions, beavers have been know to behave aggressively and even attack.
Because of its aquatic nature, beaver has been classified as a fish under Catholic dietary rules.