Beaver Fact of the Week: Beavers Are 100% Vegetarian

A lot of people who I talk to seem to be under the impression that beavers, like river otters, will eat fish or other aquatic animals. The beaver has to maintain its roughly spherical, 60 lb physique somehow, right? And it’s just a silly myth that beavers actually eat trees, right?

Wrong – on both accounts! Beavers are 100% vegetarian. And they do eat trees.

Adult beavers use their sharp, chisel like teeth to cut down trees like willow and aspen, then use them to scrape out the energy-rich, sugary bark.

beaver-orange-teeth.jpg
Don’t be fooled – these big, sharp teeth are simply for munchin’ on trees and plants.

Young beavers aren’t quite powerful enough or skilled enough at gnawing sticks and trees to survive off them yet, so after they have weaned off their mother’s milk they typically eat soft aquatic plants until their teeth harden and they grow strong enough to deal with whole trees.

Thus, at no point in the beaver’s life will it eat anything other than plants. They are totally vegetarian. And if you don’t count drinking their mother’s milk as consuming animal products, then they would even qualify as 100% vegan!

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