Although I’ve written about this Beaver family previously, I have never been close enough to catch a photo of a Beaver’s teeth but here you can see, they really are that famously orange color!
This hungry fellow was near enough to the pond’s edge that I could see him energetically and two-fistedly stuffing his face nonstop with lily pads. I had read they roll them like enchiladas, but not this lily pad eater, he was just shoveling them in as if there were no tomorrow.
Did you ever wonder how Beavers can chew through trees?
The teeth of Beavers, like all rodents, grow constantly however, Beavers have evolved with orange teeth. Other rodents have magnesium in their teeth whereas beavers have iron. The iron makes the teeth very strong, colors the teeth, and makes their teeth more resistant to acid.
In the warmer months, Beavers devour lily plants; the flowers, the roots, the seed capsules, and as you can see here, the leaves.
Beaver food and frog hideout – Native fragrant Water Lilies (Nymphaea odorata)
Frances Backhouse writes in her book, Once They Were Hats, about the relationship between beavers and water lilies.
“Every year in late summer, the beavers devoured the seed capsules [of water lilies], digested their soft outer rinds and excreted the ripe undamaged seeds into the lake. Meanwhile, as they dredged mud from the botom of the lake for their construction projects, they were unintentionally preparing the seed bed. Seeing the lilies reminded me that beavers also inadvertantly propagate willows and certain other woody plants. When beavers imbed uneaten sticks into dams or lodges or leave them lying on moist soil, the cuttings sometimes sprout roots and grow”.
Yes, a keystone for sure. Love our Cape Ann Beavers 🙂
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