The Canadian beaver (Castor Canadensis) is the largest rodent in North America. They are relatively short and fat and have webbed feet to help them swim. Beavers are found in streams and lakes in both remote and settled areas. They live in family groups. Beavers are almost entirely aquatic, but can go on land to cut down trees for their dams. The entrances to their lodges are sub-surfaced for protection from predators.
Beavers are mainly active at night. They are excellent swimmers but are more vulnerable on land and tend to remain in the water as much as possible. They construct their homes, or “lodges,” out of sticks, twigs, and mud in lakes or streams. These lodges may be surrounded by water, or touching land, including burrows dug into river banks. One of the national symbols of Canada, the beaver is depicted on the Canadian five-cent piece and was on the first Canadian postage stamp, the Three Penny Beaver.