The beaver, North America’s largest rodent at 30 to 60 pounds, formerly lived throughout most of the United States and Canada. The social demand for beaver hats in the East and Europe in the early 1800s played a major role in the opening of large areas of the West. Luckily for the beaver, the style of hats changed in the 1850s.
The beaver’s flat, scaly tail, 10 to 12 inches long and six inches wide, is used for:
Trees and branches are used for building dams some of which are over a quarter mile long, and for constructing their lodges complete with underwater entrances. Sometimes they will burrow into the bank especially along rivers. The ponds created by beavers provide habitat for other animals and reduce the damage from stream flooding. Beavers usually have two to four kits that leave home or are driven out after two years.
Sightings at Bighorn Canyon
Did You Know
Did You Know?
Long before the Bighorn River was tamed by the Yellowtail Dam, the roiling waters through the canyon were feared. During spring snowmelt, the water turned into a raging torrent, a combination of whirlpools, rapids, and eddies. Conversely, the river through the canyon had a reputation for being placid by late summer, when dry heat and lack of rainfall turned it into a sedate stream. More...