Even in the coldest of winters, there is often a thaw around this time of year that frequently allows beavers to escape the cold (+/- 34°F) dark lodge where they reside during most of the winter. Our most recent thaw was such that in many beaver ponds, ice didn’t even have to be broken in order for resident beavers to forage for food on land.
When beavers are confined to complete darkness (under the ice) their 24-hour circadian cycle extends to a 28 hour day. During this time beavers sleep for longer periods at a time and thus need less food. As spring approaches and the days lengthen, the slightest exposure to daylight will reset the beaver’s biological clock back to the circadian cycle. (Leonard Lee Rue, Beavers) (Photo by Alice Trageser)
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