Non-Fiction: Beavers: Radical Rodents and Ecosystem Engineers

Written By Illustrated By Published By
Frances Backhouse   Orca Publishers

Do you really know everything you need to know about Canada’s official national animal?

Backhouse describes beavers as “goofy looking.. with orange buckteeth … and a tail that looks like it was run over by a tractor’! But did you know that Castor Canadensis is the world’s second biggest rodent? Their dense fur made them a target of the fur trade. Beavers can “water-proof” their thick fur with oil and they groom constantly to protect themselves from the cold. Beavers are such expert engineers that they design and build entire ecosystems benefiting other fish, birds and mammals. Walking on their hind legs they carry mud to the top of the lodge to waterproof and protect their kits from predators and long winters. This book covers history, Indigenous peoples, environmental science –everything you need to know about our “four footed lumberjacks”. 


  •  How long can a beaver hold their breath underwater? 
  • How many species of beavers are left in the world? 
  • Beavers have as many hairs in one square inch of fur as humans have on their whole _____? 
  • What year was the beaver first featured on the Canadian nickel? 
  • Cellulose from trees is hard to digest so beavers are coprophagic which means they eat their own ____?