1. Okay, so chances are, your beaver knowledge is pretty limited.
Y’know, besides the obvious beaver jokes and Angry Beavers the TV show.
2. But that’s okay! That’s why you’re here, to learn more about the magical* animal known as the beaver.
*No proof of magic found… YET.
3. First of all, did you know that baby beavers (kits, they’re called officially) can fit their teeth into their mouth, and they always look like they’re smiling?
Forget angry beavers… the babies are always looking happy as can be!
4. Baby beavers are generally born in the month of January.
What a way to ring in the new year!
5. Beavers build homes called lodges. Ideally they’re built in the middle of bodies of water, and are only accessible via underwater entrances.
They’re, like, super exclusive. Don’t even try to get in.
6. So their homes look kinda blah from the outside. It’s true.
Looks like a pile of sticks, amirite?
7. But inside there’s an ARCHITECTURAL MARVEL.
Just LOOK at that construction. Multiple entrances, a ventilation shaft, a spot to keep their food… even a dam to make sure the water is at the right level. These dudes have it figured OUT.
8. I know what you’re thinking: what about wintertime? BISH PLEASE. They have it handled.
They make sure the ice level is at the right spot and then they straight-up chill (get it?) and live their lives all winter. Remember how the kits are born in January? Yeah, winter’s when they get busy.
9. See? You could be cruisin on your cross-country skis like a goddamn fool and not even realize there’s a RAINBOW WORLD UNDERNEATH YOU.
They livin their lives, making babies, doin their thang. And you’re on your goddamn skis trying to go UPHILL.
10. So at this point you probably want your own beaver lodge in your backyard, right?
The cool dude with the half-sunglasses on his teeny horse is your hero. I get it. I mean, it’s kind of dumb that you’re idolizing a plastic toy, but it’s not dumb that you’re realizing how awesome beavers are.
11. Well here’s the thing: beavers, while magnificent and wonderful, are not perfect. They have flaws.
12. For every incredible dam they build to perfection, there’s a waterway that’s being effed up by it.
According to National Geographic, “beavers are second only to humans in their ability to manipulate and change their environment.”
13. Also, the sticks that make up their lodges are gathered by the beavers chewing down trees.
“You mad, bro?” — this beaver
14. In order to spend their lives chewing on trees they have these CRAZY TEETH. And they don’t stop growing.
They just get filed down as they chew.
And I think it goes without saying that their front teeth, the incisors, are crazy too, since they’re GIGANTIC AND ORANGE.
15. Beavers can chew through a 6-inch tree in 15 minutes.
Oh, and they have a second set of lips BEHIND their teeth that make it so they don’t accidentally swallow splinters.
16. So, while we’re on the topic of beaver teeth, let’s discuss beaver attacks. This is Normand Brousseau, a 51-year-old boy scout leader that was attacked last summer.
Not to make light of the horrifying event, but here are some highlights from the August, 2012 article in The Daily News about it…
“‘It just kept attacking me and attacking me,’ he said. ‘I’d get it off me and then it would bite me again. I got bit in six different spots…. on my butt too.’”
“There, the bleeding Brousseau hurled the animal to the ground and his scouts pounced on it — stoning the beaver to death.”
“Brousseau said he, another scout leader, and four scouts, were holding on to foam noodles and floating down the river on Aug. 2 when he spotted bubbles in the water and felt something brush between his legs.”
…BUBBLES IN THE WATER.
17. Now, this beaver was rabid, so that explains the attack. See, beavers aren’t known to get violent, and this was seen as an anomaly.
There’s no need to panic any time you see some “bubbles in the water.”
…OR IS THERE?!!
18. But here’s the thing: beaver attacks have become increasingly common in Belarus, where a 60-year-old man was even killed by one a couple months ago.
They were hunted to near extinction in Europe… and now they’re back (with a vengeance?). Experts are attributing the attacks to the increase in population. And while beaver attacks are very rare, they’re common in the Spring now because there are so many adolescent beavers are in search of their own territory to stake out and build lodges on.
…So yeah, if you don’t know whom to believe or how to feel, that’s normal.
19. Uh, so. The mood got a little dark, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get back to fun beaver facts, right? RIGHT!
See? That’s a cute baby. Everyone likes those.
20. So, beavers have TWO SETS OF EYELIDS. One set is transparent and they act like goggles when the beavers are under the water.
Gotta see to get stuff built, right? Right.
21. Also, they can hold their breath up to 15 minutes, and their fur is oily and waterproof!
And even though they waddle clumsily on land, the beavers are graceful and powerful when swimming. Their paddle tails and webbed toes in the back are ideal for moving underwater.
22. And let’s just take a moment to notice how ecstatic this man is to be holding this baby kit. Is that not pure joy?
Only a baby beaver could inspire that level of happiness.
23. So now that you’ve learned so much about beavers and have been so very mature, it’s time to let loose with a few beaver jokes.
Ready? On the count of 1… 2… 3…
28. And if you did laugh at those, just know that you’re not alone… Even law-enforcement officials can’t resist a good Beaver joke.
From the article regarding the arrest of an Oregon State University athlete (whose school’s mascot is the beaver) who was running around naked, terrorizing people:
“Officer Hagardy pointed to his privates and said, ‘look boys it’s a Beaver,’ said Benton County deputy sheriff Scott Westland. ‘We all got a good laugh at that because of the double entendre. Hagardy is a laugh riot.’ Westland then explained that the joke may have enraged the young lineman. ‘He told us to stop laughing and Hagardy said we would as soon as his Beaver went back into hibernation,’ Westland said. ‘Then he got into a three-point stance and Hagardy just whispered ‘vagina’ and the kid basically did a pass-rushing drill on the officer. That’s when we tased him and booked him. Man that was funny.’”