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What's Unusual about a Beaver When It Goes Underwater?

A beaver is a type of large rodent that lives in rivers, wetlands and marshes. Beavers are known for changing their habitat by constructing homes and dams. Beavers can swim long distances, staying under water for considerable amounts of time without a break. Some say that beavers can remain under water for four minutes, while others estimate that they can remain under water for up to 15 minutes. Beavers are very active under water thanks to their transparent eyelids, as well as nose and ear valves, that automatically close underwater.

A beaver under water is sort of like a swimmer wearing goggles and ear plugs. Along with their naturally waterproof fur, beavers have all of the qualities needed for a successful life in water. Experts believe beavers are essential for the health and balance of wetlands in the world. Although human residents of areas with large beaver populations may be troubled by the occasional flooding caused by beavers' dams, environmentalists say the same dams help clean polluted water. It is one more reason to like our furry friends.

More about beavers:

  • Beavers are the most common rodents in North America.

  • Beavers make their homes out of mud and wood in water, with an underwater entrance for safety.

  • Beavers weigh about 60 pounds (27 kilograms) and eat water plants, roots and twigs.

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