Beavers eat about 2 pounds of bark a day. Cottonwood, aspen and willows are favorites. They can cut through a 5 inch diameter tree in 5 minutes.
They build their dams first by felling whole trees, then adding mud and rocks at the bottom. Then they fill in with branches, reeds, saplings and mud. They cut more trees and branches and submerge them one end down in the mud in the pond their dam made for winter food. They let a little water out of the dam after ice covers it to allow for breathing.
When they eat the bark off branches they will hold the branch in their forefeet and turn it like humans do when eating a cob of corn.
They groom their fur with the two nails on their hindfoot and waterproof the fur with castoreum from a gland.
Can stay submerged for 15 minutes.
Mom sometimes carries babies on her flat tail or in her forepaws walking upright. The babies (kits) can swim in the lodge entrance within a half hour and are good swimmers within a week.
There’s a great page about beavers at:
NPS photo of a beaver swimming:
Grand Tetons recommended reading has links to on-line bird and mammal field guides, as well as books to buy or check out from the library before the trip
Grand Tetons is the main page about the De Anza Outdoor Club trips to Grand Teton National Park.