The largest rodent in North America (north of Panama), the beaver is a clumsy animal on land, but when it takes to the water it propels itself with grace and speed thanks to its powerful webbed hind feet. Beavers have a large, scale-covered tail that helps them maneuver through the water. They also slap the water's surface with their tail when sounding an alarm. A mostly nocturnal rodent, beavers build dams of sticks and mud across streams and can be found living in ponds, small lakes, streams and rivers. As strict herbivores, beavers eat a combination of woody and herbaceous species, such as mountain alder, aspen and willows. For more, visit Montana Field Guide.
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