Beaver Skull - Castor canadensis
The [North] American beaver, Castor canadensis, is the largest rodent in North America and the second-largest rodent in the world behind the capybara. It’s an excellent swimmer, using its webbed feet and its distinctive scaly, paddle-like tail to propel itself through the water. The beaver is a herbivore, consuming sedges and aquatic plants during the warmer seasons and subsisting on bark from felled trees throughout the winter. It uses wood from felled trees to construct large, aquatic lodges and dams where they live fairly safe from most predators. The beaver is perhaps best known for its four large, orange incisors (two on top, two on the bottom) which it uses to grip, gnaw, and chisel through wood. As with those of many other rodents, these incisors never stop growing and must constantly be worn down. The beaver can seal its lips behind these incisors, allowing it to grip, gnaw, and chisel underwater with its mouth closed. After also sealing its ears, nose, and eyes (behind see-through eyelids), the beaver can stay submerged for up to 15 minutes.
The average adult beaver’s skull is about 5.5 inches long, and 4.5 inches wide. Each of its front incisors can be up to 5mm, wide and between 20 and 25mm long. An elongated maxilla and mandible project the incisors away from the beaver’s much smaller premolars and molars; it has no canines. This Specimen comes with their jaw glued shut.
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