Beavers have no problems gnawing through trees!
If you have spent any amount of time exploring the wilds of North America, odds are you have had an encounter with a beaver at some point. Or, at the very least, you have seen their handywork near a lake or stream. There are two subspecies, the North American beaver (Castor canadensis), and the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber).
Regardless of the subspecies, the second largest rodents on Earth are big, mean, and they have some of the gnarliest front teeth in the animal kingdom.
In fact, recent studies have shown that despite that ugly orange color, beaver teeth may be some of the toughest on the planet, more resistant to tooth decay that many other species. To show just how tough beaver enamel is, this close-up video of one gnawing on a tree should prove fascinating.
One thing is for sure, those are some nasty-looking self-sharpening incisors! In recent years, researchers at places like Northwestern University have been closely studying a beaver's teeth to gain insights in how to better treat human teeth. According to a 2015 report, they found these herbivores have more iron in their teeth that makes them less resistant to decay. Even without the use of protective substances like fluoride.
By studying the tooth enamel of these creatures, and how they gnaw through hard objects, it could lead to better dentistry treatments in human enamel. That is something everyone can get behind: less time and less pain in the dentist's office!
While we have often run across the handy work of beavers in our outdoor travels, this was the first time we got the chance to see one cutting through a tree close-up like this. Hearing those orange teeth scrape on that wood is a little disturbing. However, it is amazing to see how quickly and cleanly they can cut a branch apart. We have a newfound respect for these critters and their abilities after watching this!
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