Beavers are fascinating creatures. They have a unique ability to manipulate the environment around them in a way that no other animal can. But did you know that beavers were once much larger than they are today? During the Pleistocene epoch, there was a giant beaver known as Castoroides ohioensis, which lived in North America. It was roughly the size of a black bear and weighed up to 200 kg.

Giant Beaver of the Pleistocene Epoch

The giant beaver, also known as Castoroides ohioensis, is an extinct species of beaver that lived during the Pleistocene epoch. It is estimated that the species lived from 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. The giant beaver was a herbivore, feeding on plants and trees, and was known for its dam-building abilities.


The giant beaver was roughly the size of a black bear, with a body length of up to 2.5 metres and a weight of up to 200 kg. Its teeth were much larger than the teeth of modern-day beavers, indicating that it had a diet of tougher, woodier vegetation. The giant beaver was also known for its large, flat, paddle-shaped tail, which it used to help navigate through water.

Modern-Day Beavers

The North American beaver, or Castor canadensis, is the largest rodent in North America. It can weigh up to 32 kg and grow to a length of 1.3 metres. Unlike the giant beaver, it is primarily nocturnal and spends its days in its dam or lodge, which it builds with sticks and mud.

Beaver Lodge

The beaver is well-known for its dam-building abilities, which it uses to create a pond or lake that is deep enough to protect it from predators. The beaver’s dam also helps to increase the amount of available habitat for other animals, such as birds and fish. In addition, beavers help to regulate water flow and prevent erosion.

FAQs About Beavers

Here are a few common questions and answers about beavers:

1. Do beavers have any natural predators?

Yes, beavers have a few natural predators, including coyotes, wolves, and bears. In addition, beavers are hunted by humans for their fur and meat.

2. How do beavers build their dams?

Beavers build their dams by using branches and small trees that they cut down with their teeth. They then use mud and rocks to fill in the spaces between the branches and create a stable structure. Beavers will also create underwater entrances to their lodge or den, which they use for protection.

Video: Beavers at Work

Watching beavers at work can be a fascinating experience. In the video above, you can see how beavers use their powerful teeth to cut down trees and branches, and how they use those materials to create their dams and lodges.

In Conclusion

Beavers are amazing creatures that have a unique ability to manipulate their environment. While the giant beaver of the Pleistocene epoch is no longer with us, its legacy lives on through its modern-day descendants. The beaver’s dam-building abilities are essential to maintaining healthy ecosystems, and their presence has a positive impact on many other species of plants and animals.

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Castoroides ohioensis (fossil giant beaver) (Pleistocene; … | Flickr

Castoroides Ohioensis (fossil Giant Beaver) (Pleistocene; … | Flickr

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