Beavers come from the rodent family. Beavers are some of the largest rodents found all over the world. Generally, their species are in the North American regions, Asia and Europe.
That is the reason, just see Beavers in two main categories. First is the North American species and the second one is the Eurasian species. In this guide, we will let you through the complete diet of Beavers. And do beavers eat wood?
Furthermore, you will get to know some amazing facts about Beavers in the ecosystem. So if you are eager to know about these incredible animals.
Then be with us and start reading this comprehensive guide. So that you can know all the information about these amazing animals on the earth.
Do Beavers Eat Wood?
This question is the main subject of our guide. According to all the research done by the zoologist, it is a transparent fact that Beavers are completely herbivore animals.
These very large semiaquatic rodent animals completely rely on plant-based foods. They never eat meat or attack other animals as their food source. If we talk about the Beaver’s food, then it is completely the plant parts, or different shrubs and ferns.
These animals change their eating habits according to the season of the year. For instance, they prefer eating different food in the summers. While in winters they choose other food options. Of course, we will go through their diet of Beavers in the next sections of this guide so keep reading it.
Beavers Eating Wood
As we have talked about it earlier, Beavers completely eat plant-based food. But the question remains there, do Beavers swallow wood, or do they eat wood as their food?
So it is true, Beavers do eat wood as their food. Mainly beavers like to eat the inner portion of the tree bark. It is comparatively soft and also full of nutrition. Hence we can say that we Beavers can easily fill their appetite with the wood.
Some species of Beavers are very selective in eating woody plants. For example, they like to eat;
How Do Beavers Eat Wood?
If you are thinking about how Beavers eat wood even if it is too hard? Beavers are gifted with very sharp teeth by God. The front teeth of Beavers are also called incisors. These are very long and sharp. And can cut down the hard tree barks very easily.
Naturally, these incisors of Beavers tend to grow. As a result, they are very long and visible. In order to keep their teeth in the right size, beavers do a special thing. They gnaw often on the tree barks to maintain the length of their incisors.
If Beavers did not do so, they could die due to starvation. Because they will not be able to eat wood properly and in an adequate amount.
For Extra Reading: Do Beaver Eat Fish
Beavers’ Teeth Strength
What about we tell you a very interesting fact about the teeth of Beavers? As we are discussing, do Beavers eat wood? And how they are capable of tearing down the incredible hardwood and eating it.
So here it goes, Beavers teeth are remarkably strong. If you focus on them they are in a golden orange tone.
Have you ever thought about why? The teeth of Beavers are coated with enamel, it is a protective coating over the teeth of these animals. Furthermore, their teeth are enriched with iron. Hence this gives more strength to their teeth so that they can easily break the wood.
To couple with, the teeth of Beavers are arranged in a chiselled manner that also help in cutting down wood and chewing the hard objects like the bark of the tree. Beavers use their molar teeth to grind wood.
How Do Beavers Digest Wood?
How do Beavers digest wood? Of course, this question will pop into your mind. So why hold it back let’s get into it right now.
· Beavers’ digestive system is highly specialised to digest cellulose. Cellulose is the main component of wood.
· Generally, cellulose is not adjustable to every animal. As it is one of the complex compounds. And its digestibility rate is very low. As it takes much time to break down.
· In order to digest the woody parts of the plant, Beavers have different microorganisms in their gut.
· These microorganisms secrete special enzymes that help in the digestion of cellulose. Consequently, the breakdown of cellulose compounds becomes very easy.
· Hence Beavers munch on wood and other woody plant parts without any difficulty of digestion
Now, you are completely familiar with the fact that do Beavers eat wood? And what is that digestion mechanism in the stomach of these rodent animals?
How Do Beavers Eat?
Although we are talking about Beavers eating wood. But they do not eat the complete bark of trees. Firstly Beavers gnaw on the layer. Their sharp teeth tear down the hard upper layer.
Beavers use it for building dams and lodges. After that, the inner and relatively soft inner bark is left. These animals eat this portion of the tree bark.
Beaver’s Food Preferences With Seasons
Beavers are very genius semi-aquatic rodents. They plan their food consumption and food variety according to the availability of food.
Let us consider an example here, in summers surplus amount of food is available. The plants are green and their nutritious leaves are the prime choice of food to these animals. Moreover, there are a massive amount of shrubs and mushrooms.
Twigs, ferns, branches, and other leafy matter is also abundant. Hence there is no food shortage, and they can munch on their favourite food in summer.
On the other hand, the availability of food is not very good in winter. Mostly in North America as well as in Europe, the winters are very harsh. And everything is covered with snow so there is no greenery.
In this situation, the consumption of the inner bark of trees becomes high. However, sometimes beavers tend to store a good amount of food in the mud in their lodges. This helped them to eat in their houses without getting out and searching for food.
We hope now you have got all the answers of your mind regarding the diet of these rodent animals from the Kingdom Animalia.
Summarising our discussion about do Beavers eat wood. We can now say that Beavers only eat plant-based foods and woody plants. However, their food consumption differs with the season.
Beavers have a very distinct digestion system that helps them to digest the wood material cellulose. The beneficial microbes help them to do so. Hence these animals are highly beneficial and maintain a good balance in the ecosystem.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Do Beavers eat grass?
Yes, Beavers do like to eat grass. In Particular, Beavers eat soft food in summer. As beavers are herbivores so they eat all the species of grasses and enjoy eating them.
Q2:Do Beavers swallow wood?
Beavers have very strong and sharp teeth to grind wood. Generally, Beavers use their back teeth known as molars to tear down wood. Of course, they do not swallow wood pieces.
Q3:Which plants do Beavers prefer to eat?
Beavers prefer cottonwood, birch, aspen, willow, poplar, alder, black cherry, oak, and apple.
If they do not find any of these then they prefer to step on fir, pine, and other species of confers. However, they do not like it very much.
Q4:What is the food consumption of Beavers per day?
An adult Beaver can eat 1.5-2 kilograms of food in summers. In winters this amount lessens up to 0.9 kilograms.
Baby beavers drink the milk of their mother. And eventually, start eating soft plant parts and grasses.