Beavers are heavily built animals with short legs, a flattened and scaly tail, and webbed hind feet. The fur is glossy dark brown above, with lighter under parts, and the tail becomes lighter with age. The front feet have strong claws for digging and grasping tree limbs. Beavers can grow 3-4’ long and weigh 30-75 pounds. They have one litter per year, born between April-June.
Beavers are monogamous and live in colonies of 4-8 related individuals. They construct dams to form ponds in which they build their lodge. They consume primarily herbaceous vegetation in the spring and summer, and bark and small twigs in winter. Beavers store branches and logs underwater near the lodge for winter, sometimes under ice, but will go ashore to cut fresh trees if they can break the ice at the edge of the pond. They are primarily nocturnal and live an average of 6-11 years.