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WikiProject icon Beaver is included in the Wikipedia CD Selection, see Beaver at Schools Wikipedia. Please maintain high quality standards; if you are an established editor your last version in the article history may be used so please don't leave the article with unresolved issues, and make an extra effort to include free images, because non-free images cannot be used on the DVDs.

Largest known dam[edit]

CBC News has an article noting 850-metre long dam in Alberta. Big dam! Alberta beavers build 850-metre barrier. This new discovery may need to be included in the article! --HJKeats ([[U Largest Beaver Dam Seen From Space - Discovery News The dam in northern western Canada spans 850 meters (2,800 feet) and has likely been under beavers' construction since the mid-1970s clnlgr — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cln.lgr (talkcontribs) 18:21, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

I saw a documentary where they stated the largest was 1200meters. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

"first hand"[edit]

This confuses me:

Giraldus Cambrensis reported in 1188 (Itinerarium ii.iii) that it was to be found only in the Teifi in Wales and in one river in Scotland, though his observations are clearly first hand.

Why would you say though his observations are first hand? Aren't firsthand observations the best ones? -- (talk) 22:14, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

The wording suggests (to this reader) that Geraldus himself had seen beavers only in those locations and assumed they survived nowhere else (in Great Britain), but that they may also have been present in other areas he had not visited or received relevant reports about. It has a whiff of interpretation, i.e. Original Research, about it and could do with clarificaton by the original contributor or someone else with access to the Itinerarium. (talk) 09:46, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Expanding article[edit]

As long as it already is, there are important topics that are just touched on in the existing article. The online reference that I quoted is in the public domain; all of it's about beavers, and all of it's available online: It's apparently a source for the 1911 Britannica article, and also seemed to be a source for one article reference that was only written a few years ago. There's enough quality material there to create a number of Wiki articles. Alpha Ralpha Boulevard (talk) 15:54, 6 October 2008 (UTC) ball to yoU —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:02, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

National Symbol - Error in Description.[edit]

Canada's postage stamp depicting the beaver was issued April 23,1851 (NOT 1849 as stated).



Bill —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bill Longley (talkcontribs) 01:58, 4 February 2009 (UTC)


Hey, does anyone know if beaver's hibernate during the cold northern winter up here in Alberta? -thanks for any info... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:10, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Covered in Beavers#General, "Beavers do not hibernate, but store sticks and logs underwater to feed on during the winter". However this page is for discussing improvements to the article, if you have other questions please try Wikipedia:Reference desk. Thanks WereSpielChequers 19:45, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

beaver habitat[edit]

I have a beaver living in a pond behind my house. There is no dam as this is a natural pond with an overflow to a nearby creek. My question is how destructive the beaver may be as to the local vegitation and the felling of trees when there is no need to build or maintain a dam. What are the best and easiest methods to prevent any destruction as I would prefer to not have to relocate him/her. Gregehman (talk) 20:59, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

As the article states, beavers will fell fully-grown trees for which they have no use. They have an instinct to gnaw, as their teeth grow constantly, so this might be a reason. They eat bark and tender saplings, and will quickly eliminate nearby sources of tasty food for them such as willow, alder and especially poplar. Lacking trees, they raid gardens and eat things like carrots and lettuce. They are extremely destructive to local vegetation, as they are voracious eaters with a drive to put on fat much like a hungry bear. Apart from their fur, their blubber keeps them warm, which can be very substantial. They will sometimes store food at the bottom of their pond or river, depending on climate (they do this more often when ice traps them underwater in northern regions,) so a single beaver might mow down 40-70 saplings/young trees per night, eating some and storing the others. More damage can be done if a colony is established. A colony is an alpha male and female, with younger offspring hanging around until the age of about two years old. At that time, the young are kicked out of the territory forcibly by the alphas. It could be that your beaver is one such "yearling," a recently evicted young beaver searching for his/her own territory. They often move about from stream to stream, so your beaver might not linger for long. If your beaver finds a mate, expect a colony of up to 15 beavers to become established in a relatively short period of time, maybe 2 years. By then, the damage potential will become significant, even if it was not when a single beaver lived there. You can try fencing the trees you don't want destroyed with barriers like fence-wire, but you might just be forcing the beaver to raid a garden or nursery nearby instead. If it doesn't leave on it's own, removal might be your best option. The info here comes from a book about beavers published in the 1980's, and I will try and use it to improve the article. It has much more up to date information than this current article, which is based on a 1911 encyclopedia. Tsarevna (talk) 14:04, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Raised importance rating[edit]

[1] An attempt is made to gauge the probability of the average reader of Wikipedia needing to look up the topic (and thus the immediate need to have a suitably well-written article on it). Topics which may seem obscure to a Western audience—but which are of high notability in other places—should still be highly rated.[2]SriMesh | talk 03:44, 1 March 2009 (UTC)


The article doesn't have the usual rating on the endangered scale.--Hitsuji Kinno (talk) 14:58, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

That only applies to articles on specific species. This article concerns a genus. --Aranae (talk) 16:39, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject Rodents[edit]

This is a notice to inform interested editors of a new WikiProject being proposed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Rodents --ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 02:03, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Beaver as a symbol of industriousness[edit]

The stated reason why the beaver is chosen as a symbol or mascot is often that the animal is a symbol of industriousness. To wit, consider the expression "busy as a beaver". Should this be mentioned? How? Frotz (talk) 07:12, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Citation for Muskrats in lodges[edit]

The Life Of Mammals, The Complete Series, Episode 4 Chisellers, David Attenborough, BBC/Discovery Channel Co Production 2002 includes footage of muskrats in beaver lodges. (talk) 09:15, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Dubious reference[edit]

"... the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta which once held the largest concentration of beaver in North America.[25]" The reference here is to a source from 1857. It is very unlikely that this sort of fact (i.e. largest concentration) could have been determined and reviewed by this date, given that large parts of Canada and the US were not even explored at this point. If the statement is in fact correct, a more recent citation should be used.

conservation status weirdness?[edit]

How come the status on "Beaver" page shows "NT", but on both American and European pages it is "LC"?

It shouldn't and I've now fixed it. --Aranae (talk) 02:30, 24 January 2010 (UTC)


I have heard this is a page that gets vandalized a lot. is this true? Robloxiscoolness (talk) 16:25, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes, just look at the history tab. So? -- Alexf(talk) 16:29, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Withdrawn Ucucha 06:45, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

BeaverCastor (animal) — The two living species of beaver (genus Castor) form part of a much larger family, all other members of which are now extinct. Currently, the article on the genus Castor sits at "Beaver" and that on the family sits at Castoridae, suggesting that "beaver" is a common name for the genus, not the more inclusive family.

That is incorrect, as in my experience all members of the family Castoridae are usually called "beavers". For examples, see the references given in the Castoridae article, all of which (except those not specifically dealing with beavers) either equate Castoridae with "beaver" in their titles or label a member of Castoridae that is not Castor a "beaver". The only counterevidence I've seen is McKenna and Bell (1997, also cited in Castoridae), which gives "Beavers" as the common name for Castor.

As "beaver" commonly means "Castoridae" and not "Castor", the two moves I propose will bring these articles in line with our policy on article titles. Ucucha 18:13, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

  • Could you explain more clearly what you think should happen to the articles. Is it simply a name swap? If so, that may confuse the general reader. Currently people looking for an article on beavers get what they want at Beaver. If they type in "beaver" and then end up at Castoridae they would be misplaced, and would have to search through to find Castor (animal), and that name would not be helpful to them. If you are proposing a rewrite of the articles to make clearer the formal terminology, then I don't think a name change is needed. Oppose on my current understanding of the request, though willing to rethink it, if my understanding is incorrect. SilkTork *YES! 22:06, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Strong oppose The existing beaver article covers what most people would understand by beavers i.e. the 2 extant species usually known by this name. Extinct species generally don't have common names, whether a few obscure extinct species related to modern beavers should be known by this name is introducing unnecessarily obscure issues. PatGallacher (talk) 00:54, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Of course the Castoridae article should be improved, but I don't see that as a reason not to carry out the necessary moves. "Beaver" means not only the two living species, but also the extinct ones, and those are not "a few obscure extinct species", but a diverse group of well over fifty species, including such not very obscure forms as Castoroides ohioensis. Ucucha 05:35, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Do I actually have to tell why or can I just let subsequent discussants state the obvious for me? — AjaxSmack 17:50, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

I would add that sabre-toothed tigers were not particulary closely related to the modern tiger, but that does not mean that "tiger" should cover the lowest level of categorization of animals which covers all of these. PatGallacher (talk) 18:59, 16 August 2010 (UTC)


Given that wood is considered indigestible to most species, perhaps the article could mention how it is that the beaver is able to eat wood...? Bacteria in the stomach? Or does it have enzymes of its own to break down cellulose? RobertM525 (talk) 02:32, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

This article is deficient in that it has no sub-section on diet whatsoever. This should be rectified by capable editors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:02, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Edit requests, 25 February 2011[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}} A small typo could be fixed under 'General'. Currently, a line reads "Females are as large asor larger than males of the same age". Request that it a space be included between "as" and "or" so it would read "Females are as large as or larger than males of the same age". Dr Legitimate (talk) 21:11, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Under the section "As A National Emblem", there is a list of "others who have used the beaver in their company as an organizational symbol or as their mascot". I request that you add "Golden Beaver Winery". This winery is located in Oliver BC Canada, in the beautiful South Okanagan Wine Region. The mascot name is "Goldie". (talk) 02:50, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done - Sorry you would have to create the article on the subject first (if notable?). As red links are not normally added to this of types lists in articles. See Wikipedia:Write the article first for the reasoning y.Moxy (talk) 02:59, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Beavers are more closely related to mice than to squirrels. References: Blanga-Kanfi et al. 2009 (, Horn et al. 2011 ( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:52, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Why is this article protected? This is the encyclopedia anyone can edit, and that includes people who don't want to sign up for things. I had to log in to fix the typo mentioned above. This article was protected a fucking year go. THIS IS NOT OK. Vandalism is not an excuse for protecting articles, especially for long periods of time. Stop hurting the encyclopedia. In any case, typo is fixed now. (talk) 05:28, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

You can request unprotection here: WP:RFPP The Interior (Talk) 05:33, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Beaver Offspring "kit" or "knit"[edit]

Looks like there is a subtle word problem in the description of beaver offspring. The Encyclopedia of Life cites (Frazier, 1996; Hall and Kelson, 1959) as stating that the young offspring of beavers are "kit" or "kitten" rather than what looks to be in this article as "knit". I'll change this now and if someone can find a citation that refutes that, then it can be changed back. dwmc (talk) 22:19, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Building canals[edit]

Beavers also build canals to float build materials that are difficult to haul over land.[citation needed]

If noone can find a citation can this sentence be taken out? I find it hard to imagine a beaver building a canal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:34, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

This sentence is also paraphrased from Peter C. Newman's 1998 book on the Hudson's Bay Company "Empire of the Bay" p. 53. He is quoting A. Radclyffe Dugmore, 1870-1955, an American who collected and photographed wildlife. Unfortunately, Peter Newman does not supply a bibliography or a citation.Alethajuanita (talk) 03:35, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Web page citation to be added and external link to video of beaver building a canal.__DrChrissy (talk) 16:57, 26 June 2013 (UTC)


The range map shows the North American beaver in green in North America, the North American beaver red in Eurasia, and the Eurasian beaver green in Eurasia. Wouldn't it be better to show, say, the North American beaver green in both places and the Eurasian beaver in red? Ordinary Person (talk) 21:59, 23 August 2011 (UTC)


The beaver, one of natures best engineers, is not always right. The picture above was taken on the Black River on the north east corner of the reservation.

I'd like to include this image, but there isn't really a behaviour section. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 04:57, 20 October 2011 (UTC)


Hi Guys. Just read through parts of the article and would like to improve some of the grammar when I realised that it is semi-protected. There is a section titled Water Quality and beavers. Right after footnote 22, the new sentence begins; reading: "Norway has many beaver..." I wish I could be of more help. Many thanks... :) GoufR (talk) 19:32, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Could someone please provide a picture of a more intelligent looking beaver?[edit]

The beaver is considered an intelligent, resourceful animal - "nature's engineer". It is even the MIT mascot.

Yet this Beaver article displays a picture of a beaver with a decidedly "dufus" look to it. And I don't mean moderately mentally-challenged either; I mean tea-bagger dumb. If you look closely you'll see that the beaver is sporting a "Palin in 2016" button.

Seriously, couldn't someone come up with a more intelligent looking specimen, such as the Beaver on the Castoridae article?Mlavie (talk) 09:55, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Plural of beaver[edit]

I noticed that in several places in this article, the word "beaver" is used to refers to many beavers. An editor above noted that the articles mentions that "Norway has beaver...", for example. Is beaver normally its own plural or is this just an error? D O N D E groovily Talk to me 19:41, 27 March 2012 (UTC)


This section seems incorrect. The stem exist in germanic (I mean, Danish is bæver, quite close, right?) and old English was beofor, befer (dutch is bever) and BTW Celtic was not *befros, Gaulish was *bebros (it gave bièvre).

About the etymology of beaver ->

The incorrect (untill proven otherwise) part should be changed.

  • "It is probable that beaver in English is either borrowed from the Old French bièvre or came directly from the Celtic *befros." — Yes, I heartily agree. This is a load of codswallop and there ought to be information from a more trustworthy source than this. I suggest the one that the writer above (whoever that is) has named. It seems far more comprehensive than most. Furthermore, all reputable dictionaries give the source as the Old English beofor (and a Proto-Germanic root before that). So let's blast this nonsense away...... Kelisi (talk) 17:47, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Edit request on 13 July 2012[edit]

The map at the end of the article seems to be wrongly captioned as a map of beavers in the Hudson RIVER valley, whereas close inspection of the map and texts associated therewith refer to Hudson's BAY. Otherwise, a very thorough article. (talk) 02:48, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

It is indeed a map of the Hudson River Valley. It may be confusing as it is rotated 90 degrees from north. Tilt your head to the right when you loo at it. μηδείς (talk) 02:57, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Correct. Rivertorch (talk) 08:50, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Addition request on August 18, 2012[edit]

I wish to insert the following segment under "Territorial" section:

In rare cases, a beaver would contract rabies, which cause them to abandon instinctive need for territorial protection and wander around proactively attacking any animal[1][2] or human.[3][4][5][6][6]

Egberts (talk) 00:22, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Since you're autoconfirmed and have already added this to the article, I assume your request is for feedback. I reverted your addition for multiple reasons. First, it's awkwardly written. Not a big deal—I initially was going to just copyedit it—but there are other problems. For one thing, I think it's misplaced; rabies is mentioned nowhere else in the article, and its effect on territorial behavior per se probably shouldn't be the main focus. Most importantly, the sources you cite really don't support what you've written. One of them, a YouTube video, is a completely unreliable source and, other than its depicting a beaver (rather blurrily and in the distance), appears to be irrelevant. The others are news stories reporting on individual rabid beaver attacks. Rather than a whole bunch of weak sources pieced together like that, one or two strong sources that provide a reliable overview of the incidence of rabies in beavers, how they contract it, and how it typically affects them would be a good idea. (I haven't looked, but I'd run a Google Scholar search, as well as a general web search looking for info from government agencies, universities, and perhaps zoos. It's impossible to write a final draft without having found the sources, but I'd hope we could end up with something something like this:

Beavers sometimes contract rabies, usually from rabid whatevers, and make unprovoked attacks on other animals. [Number x] beaver attacks on humans were reported in [country/continent] between [year] and [year].

I hope that was at least a little helpful. Good luck! Rivertorch (talk) 07:25, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

edit request, population is in recovery[edit]

The lede talks about the recent historical decline of the beaver, but the article talks about a significant recovery in North America and Europe, and the beaver has in fact been recovering its range. Shouldn't the lede say "the decline had been due to [past tense] hunting and habitat encroachment, but wildlife conservation management has stablized/reintroduced/recovered/"etc? (talk) 19:30, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Suggestion for new addition to section on beavers in culture[edit]

I have a suggestion for a new addition to the section called "Beavers in culture". This could refer to how the term "beaver" is used as a phrase in the English language (as in the phrase "beavering away) to refer to working hard at something, because the beaver is a very hard-working animal. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 11:49, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Beaver beetle[edit]

Not sure where it would best go, but I just made a new stub about the Beaver beetle, which is rather interesting. In general, information about parasites on beavers is interesting, encyclopedic content but seem under-represented in the article. Jason Quinn (talk) 04:09, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 10 April 2013[edit]

Add this entry to the list of others who use the beaver as their mascot:

  • Buc-ee's Convenience store chain in Texas

Bevo-boy (talk) 22:28, 10 April 2013 (UTC) Yes check.svg Done Anna Frodesiak (talk) 03:28, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Edit request: Fatal beaver attack on human[edit]

A reliable source has reported a fatal attack by a wild Eurasian beaver on a human being: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:55, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

This was added to the article a day or two ago. Rivertorch (talk) 08:56, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
.. and that same source was used. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:04, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Slang term[edit]

It is a little strange for the article to contain no mention of the rude slang usage, refering to a view of female public hair. Hard to know quite how it ought to be worded, and sure be an endless cause for dispute... Would be interesting to know where/when the usage arose, in which languages, and what the geographic spread has been over time. - (talk) 21:55, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Not strange at all. This article is about the animal. If you look at the very top, there's a link to a disambiguation page where you'll find that other usage mentioned. (Btw, I think you meant pubic hair.) Rivertorch (talk) 05:07, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Beavers are not closely related to squirrels[edit]

In the first paragraph of the Species section, it states: "Beavers are closely related to squirrels (Sciuridae), agreeing in certain structural peculiarities of the lower jaw and skull." It then goes on to note skeletal differences between beavers and squirrels. This information is highly outdated. The idea that beavers and squirrels shared a close relationship came about before molecular phylogenetics, and was based on the superficial similarity in the zygomasseteric system, in which both are sciuromorphous. It is clear, however, and has been clear for quite some time that the different zygomasseteric configurations are polypheltyic. Beavers are more closely related to gophers, pocket mice, and kangaroo rats than to other rodents, forming the clade Castorimorpha. Squirrels (Sciuridae), belong to a clade with the mountain beaver (which is not a beaver) and the dormice, and are likely sister to the rest of rodents. If you have any doubt about this, please peruse the following references:

Fabre et al. 2012 "A glimpse on the pattern of rodent diversification: a phylogenetic approach" BMC Evolutionary Biology. 12(1): 88. Churakov et al. 2010 "Rodent Evolution: Back to the Root" Mol. Biol. Evol. 27(6):1315–1326.

This section should be immediately edited. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lophiomys (talkcontribs) 18:56, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out. "Immediately" is a tall order, however, and there's no fire. Two questions for you. First, do you think the two sentences simply ought to be removed or should they be modified to note the previous understanding and the newer research that refutes it? If the latter, please propose the replacement text. Second, can you link to one or more reliable sources that are available online? Book sources are often the gold standard on scientific matters, but if there is consensus among zoologists that what you say is true, there should be indications of it on the web by now, and it's important that our readers can verify what they read. Rivertorch (talk) 19:20, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Ideally the text would be edited to include a discussion of the history of our understanding of the evolutionary relationships between Castor and other rodents, but that discussion doesn't really belong in the section "Species". Even if those sentences were factually correct, they seem out of place, and it makes the following paragraph initially confusing to read. I would recommend removing them completely. Another section just prior to "Species" entitled "Evolution and Phylogenetic Relationships" or something like that, would be ideal. The beaver fossil record is pretty well known, so hopefully someone could eventually come along and add that material into this new section. As for the phylogenetics portion of the section, I would offer this bit of text (at least for now):
"Beavers were traditionally classified in the suborder Sciuromorpha along with squirrels (Sciuridae), the mountain beaver (not an actual beaver) (Aplodontidae), gophers (Geomyidae), and pocket mice and kangaroo rats (Heteromyidae), based on the morphology of the masseter musculature [7] . This classification was met with skepticism early on, as most other morphological characters, such as the dentition, were not congruent with this system [8]. Today, the zygomasseteric muscle configurations are known to be polyphyletic, having evolved convergently a number of times within Rodentia. Molecular phylogenetics has robustly supported beavers as residing within the suborder Castorimorpha, which includes the Castoridae and the Geomyoidea [9][10]."
In the preceding text I cited two traditional papers in rodent taxonomy and two recent-ish books on rodent taxonomy that are congruent with the consensus in the primary literature. Here's a list of papers from the primary literature on rodent molecular phylogentics, in case you're wondering whether there's (still) a consensus on this issue:
Adkins et al. (2001) "Molecular Phylogeny and Divergence Time Estimates for Major Rodent Groups: Evidence from Multiple Genes" Mol. Biol. Evol. 18(5):777–791
Debry and Sagel. (2001) "Phylogeny of Rodentia (Mammalia) Inferred from the Nuclear-Encoded Gene IRBP" Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 19(2): 290–301.
Huchon et al. (2002). "Rodent Phylogeny and a Timescale for the Evolution of Glires: Evidence from an Extensive Taxon Sampling Using Three Nuclear Genes" Mol. Biol. Evol. 19(7):1053–1065.
Montgelard et al. (2002) "Molecular Systematics of Sciurognathi (Rodentia): The Mitochondrial Cytochrome b and 12S rRNA Genes Support the Anomaluroidea (Pedetidae and Anomaluridae)" Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 22(2): 220–233.
Adkins et al. (2003). "Higher-level systematics of rodents and divergence time estimates based on two congruent nuclear genes" Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 26(3): 409–420.
Veniamenova et al. (2007) "Phylogeny of the Order Rodentia Inferred from Structural Analysis of Short Retroposon B1." Russian Journal of Genetics 43(7): 757–768.
Montgelard et al. (2008) "Suprafamilial relationships among Rodentia and the phylogenetic effect of removing fast-evolving nucleotides in mitochondrial, exon and intron fragments" BMC Evolutionary Biology 8:321
Blanga-Kanfi et al. (2009) "Rodent phylogeny revised: analysis of six nuclear genes from all major rodent clades" BMC Evolutionary Biology 9:71.
Churakov et al. (2010) "Rodent Evolution: Back to the Root" Mol. Biol. Evol. 27(6):1315–1326.
Fabre et al. (2012) "A glimpse on the pattern of rodent diversification: a phylogenetic approach" BMC Evolutionary Biology. 12(1): 88.
Ryu et al. (2013) "Complete mitochondrial genome of the Eurasian flying squirrel Pteromys volans(Sciuromorpha, Sciuridae) and revision of rodent phylogeny" Mol Biol Rep (2013) 40:1917–1926. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lophiomys (talkcontribs) 22:40, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, I believe you, but I'd still like to look at a reliable source that I actually can access without paying money or driving to a university library. If no one more knowledgeable than I stumbles across this in the next few days, I'll leave a note at a relevant WikiProject and ask someone with a more appropriate background to take a look. Rivertorch (talk) 06:25, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
I will gladly send you each or any of these papers as a pdf. I also cited two books in my last message that should be easily available without need for institutional access (I've added them below, along with a few others). Also, I'll note that the page Castorimorpha already exists, and essentially every other page on Wikipedia that concerns rodent systematics with reference to beavers or other castorimorphs already mentions beavers as members of this clade. I imagine the reason this page is out of date is simply because it's frequently vandalized and in need of protection (but even so, as long as Wikipedia has existed the beaver-squirrel clade has been long out of date).
Korth, W. 1994. The Tertiary Record of Rodents in North America. Plenum Press, New York, NY. pgs. 31-32.
McKenna, Malcolm C., and Bell, Susan K. 1997. Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press, New York, 631 pp. ISBN 0-231-11013-8.
Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World: Volume 1. Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore, MD
Carleton, M. D. and G. G. Musser. 2005. Order Rodentia. Pp 745-752 in Mammal Species of the World A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
Stefoff, R. 2009. The Rodent Order. Marshall Cavendish Benchmark. Tarrytown, NY. pg. 39.
Linzey, D.W. 2012. Vertebrate Biology. 2nd Ed. Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore, MD. pg. 489. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lophiomys (talkcontribs) 17:28, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
As I said, I believe you, but it would be a good thing for our readers to be able to verify the information as well. If you can provide a link (e.g., Google Books? Google Scholar? university web site?), that would be great. Otherwise, I'll ask for more eyes on this. Rivertorch (talk) 18:43, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Here are some of the book sources for the taxonomy:
Carleton, M. D. and G. G. Musser. 2005. Order Rodentia. Pp 745-752 in Mammal Species of the World A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
McKenna, M.C., Bell, S.K., Simpson, G.G. 1997. Classification of Mammals: Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press. pg 129.
And here are two open access papers:
Fabre et al. (2012) "A glimpse on the pattern of rodent diversification: a phylogenetic approach" BMC Evolutionary Biology. 12(1): 88.
Montgelard et al. (2008) "Suprafamilial relationships among Rodentia and the phylogenetic effect of removing fast-evolving nucleotides in mitochondrial, exon and intron fragments" BMC Evolutionary Biology 8:321 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lophiomys (talkcontribs) 15:36, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
The original Simpson paper that I cited in my passage above (which represents the old view) is also freely available: Simpson, G.G. (1945) "The principles of classification and a classification of mammals." Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 85: 197-203. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lophiomys (talkcontribs) 15:43, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks very much. That should be helpful. I've left a note at WikiProject Rodents in the hope that someone who actually knows what they're doing will come take a look. Rivertorch (talk) 16:00, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
You are of course right that beavers are no longer thought to be closely related to squirrels, and I've removed the offending text from the page.
We should have a discussion of the relationships of beavers (ideally also including extinct forms, such as eutypomyids and Rhizospalax), but I don't fully agree with your proposed text. There is hardly a single traditional classification of rodents: many have used Sciurognathi—Hystricognathi rather than Sciuromorpha—Hystricomorpha—Myomorpha, and even before the advent of molecular studies several students recognized correctly that glirids are related to sciurids and should go within Sciuromorpha, even though they are hystricomorphous or myomorphous (see discussion in Holden and Musser, 2005, in MSW 3). Also, characters can't be polyphyletic (taxa can), and McKenna and Bell do not say anything about convergent evolution of zygomasseteric structure and certainly do not base their classification on molecular data. Ucucha (talk) 06:18, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for removing the text about squirrels.
I agree with everything you said. I agree there is not a single "traditional" classification and did not mean to use that term in some formal sense. It wasn't my intention to add a full systematic history of rodent taxonomy in the beaver article, so I wasn't too concerned about discussing everything that came between Simpson and today. Sciurognathi and Hystricognathi were definitely important "clades" in the history of rodent taxonomy, so they're worth mentioning if you think there should be a more detailed overview.
You're right that characters are not polyphyletic. It would be more appropriate to say the zygomasseteric configurations are homoplasic, or the clades that were based on those configurations are polyphyletic.
My citation for McKenna and Bell was simply a reference to the recognition of the suborder Castorimorpha outside of the primary literature. I'm not aware of any books that give a good review of recent molecular studies, which is why I've simply included the major papers in the reference list. There is, however, a clear consensus that beavers belong to a Castorimorpha that includes Geomyoidea, so until a proper "Evolution" section is drafted, we should at least add "suborder: Castorimorpha A.E. Wood 1955" to the classification box on the right hand side.
A. E. Wood. (1955) "A Revised Classification of the Rodents" Journal of Mammalogy. 36(2): 165-187. Lophiomys (talk) 20:37, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Bipedal motion![edit]

The article states "Eurasian beavers tend to be slightly larger, with larger, less rounded heads, longer, narrower muzzles, thinner, shorter and lighter underfur, narrower, less oval-shaped tails and shorter shin bones, making them less capable of bipedal locomotion than the North American species". Are EITHER of the species capable of bi-pedal motion other than tripoding with their tail? If so, this should be mentioned.__DrChrissy (talk) 18:20, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Beaver attack[edit]

2013 March: A man in Belarus died of blood loss after being attacked by a beaver. The 60 year-old former serviceman was bitten multiple times by the rodent, which sliced an artery with its sharp teeth. Doctor Leonty Sulim remarked that neither he, nor his fellow medical colleagues, had ever encountered such injuries before. It has been suggested that the man was trying to catch the beaver to have his photo taken with it. Such attacks are said to be on the increase in Belarus due to the increasing beaver population, but this is the first recorded fatality.

"Belarus: Man dies after being attacked by beaver". BBC News. 29 May 2013.  (Video)
Karmanau, Yuras (29 May 2013). "Beaver Kills Fisherman In Belarus; Wildlife Experts Blame Aggressive Behavior For Upsurge In Attacks". HuffingtonPost. 
"Beaver Bites Man To Death". The Telegraph. ..Sergei Shilinchuk, deputy head of Brest's environmental protection committee, said he had never heard of a fatal attack before. "People have lost fingers – that's the worst I've come across."

There appears to be a problem with rogue beavers. Do we require a new subheading in this article? -- Hillbillyholiday talk 17:57, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Many animal articles have a section "Relation with humans". This article does not. If it did, under this could be the sub-sections "Commercial use" and "trapping", along with "Attacks on humans" although we would need to be careful that these are not all repprting the same incident.__DrChrissy (talk) 19:23, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
I noted in an edit summary way back when that a new section would be a good idea for this content. I don't think this one incident is indicative of "a problem with rogue beavers", though. Rivertorch (talk) 22:47, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Once hunted nearly to extinction in Europe, beavers have made a comeback as hunting was banned or restricted and new populations were introduced. In Belarus, a former Soviet nation between Russia and Poland, the beaver population has tripled in the past decade to an estimated 80,000, according to wildlife experts. That has caused beavers increasingly to wander into populated areas, creating more grounds for conflict.

The Belarusian emergency services said that this year, for the first time, they have received a rash of reports of aggression by beavers.

Wildlife experts attribute the upsurge in attacks partly to spring bringing about more aggressive behavior in young beavers that are sent away to stake out their own territory. Largely nocturnal, beavers can also become disoriented during the daytime and attack out of fear, according to Viktor Kozlovsky, a wildlife expert.

Karmanau, Yuras (29 May 2013). "Beaver Kills Fisherman In Belarus; Wildlife Experts Blame Aggressive Behavior For Upsurge In Attacks". HuffingtonPost. 
Rivertorch, care to comment here?
It's not just this one incident though. It seems beaver attacks in general are becoming a problem in some areas of Belarus, and the sources provide some interesting information regarding beaver-human interaction: -- Hillbillyholiday talk 22:56, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Sure. I'd just be wary of phrasing it in a way that suggests that the beavers themselves are abnormal or atypical in any way. It may be that they are, and if the sources say so we can report that they say it, but beaver-human interaction is a two-way street. I'd be curious to know whether the humans in the relevant area are doing anything new or different that might explain it. Rivertorch (talk) 06:04, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Two items not fully addressed: food storage and summer residence[edit]

I don't personally know enough to fill these holes, and I don't have sources to help, but there are two items the article touches on only briefly that seem important:

1. Where beavers live/sleep in summer. The article says they prepare the lodge only for winter, and mentions them roaming in summer. How far do they go from their pond in summer? Do they have a single summer home or many? What kind of home--a hole, a nest/hollow? Does the family stay together in summer? Most of the info on how they live seems to be winter-specific.

2. Food storage. The term "cache" appears in the article in passing, and there's a vague reference to the dam serving two functions: to protect the lodge AND to provide food access. What does that mean? I'm told beavers make a pile of food ("cache") in the water near their lodge, which can be accessed from beneath the ice but is visible at the surface. Is so, what food is this? (Sticks that they eat whole? Sticks that the eat only the bark from? Leaves?) Is it the same kinds of food they would eat in summer? Is the cache a winter-only structure? A picture of it might be useful too: it seems like an important third artificial "structure" in addition to the dam and lodge.

Inquiring minds want to know! (talk) 02:17, 16 November 2013 (UTC)Morgan

scent mount or scent mound[edit]

Seems to be slight inconsistency in current version of article... AnonMoos (talk) 00:22, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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"Semiaquatic" is a dead link[edit]

"Semiaquatic" is linked, but goes nowhere. The link should be taken out. I don't think I'm allowed to, however.

The-Penultimate-Defenestrator (talk) 14:35, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Rabid beaver attack dog, cars and broom in Jefferson". 1998-08-24. 
  2. ^ "Giles County woman recovering after rabid beaver attack". 
  3. ^ "Rabid beaver attacks two sisters on Lake Anna". 2012-07-12. 
  4. ^ "Rabid beaver attacks man swimming in Delaware River". 2012-08-13. 
  5. ^ "Scouts stone rabid beaver to death after attack". 2012-08-13. 
  6. ^ a b "Giles County woman recovering after rabid beaver attack". 2012-07-19. 
  7. ^ Simpson, G.G. (1945) "The principles of classification and a classification of mammals." Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 85: 197-203.
  8. ^ Wood, A.E. (1965) "Grades and Clades Among Rodents." Evolution. 19(1): 115-130.
  9. ^ Carleton, M. D. and G. G. Musser. 2005. Order Rodentia. Pp 745-752 in Mammal Species of the World A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  10. ^ McKenna, Malcolm C., and Bell, Susan K. 1997. Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press, New York, 631 pp. ISBN 0-231-11013-8.