Have you ever wondered why a murder of crows is called a murder? or why an ambush of tigers is called an ambush? Sometimes the collective nouns we use to describe a group of animals makes clear and obvious sense, and other times we can be left scratching our heads.
Quite often the collective noun is relevant to a specific behaviour, feature or characteristic of the animal it represents. So what is a group of beavers called? Can you guess? let’s take a look.
What Is A Group Of Beavers Called?
A group of beavers is commonly called a “colony” or a “family.” There may be other collective nouns for beavers, but these are the most commonly used terms. Beavers are very social animals and live in close-knit family groups. They are also one of the most industrious animals in the animal kingdom, and are known for their lodge and dam-building skills.
While some animals have different collective nouns for different sizes of group, this is not the case with the beaver. Groups tend to be around the same size, so the terms colony and family are both used to describe the same type of group.
Both colony and family are very fitting descriptions of a group of beavers, as they live in tight, co-operative units, generations of family. These terms are used widely for both the American beaver and the Eurasian beaver.
Other Common Terms For Groups Of Beavers
Other terms used to describe groups of beavers include “beaver lodge” and “beaver dam.” However, these terms are used incorrectly when used to describe a group of beavers, and actually refer to the buildings that beavers create within their groups.
Beavers are master crafters and will manipulate their environment to suit their habitation needs. They are the only species, other than humans that can manipulate their environment and build to the extent that they do.
What Are A Group Of Baby Beavers Called?
Individually, baby beaver are called ‘kits’, but collectively they are known as a ‘litter‘. A litter of beavers is usually no larger than 6 kits, but a litter, in the wild, will always be part of the family or colony group.
What Is The Usual Size Of A Group Of Beavers?
The usual size of a group of beavers is around six to eight individuals. The beaver family will consist of mating adults, with their offspring from two years. Colonies or families tend to consist of only one mating pair and their offspring. It is a tight knit group and can often be territorial. They will chase off other beaver colonies that trespass on their territory.
Beavers will have a litter of 1 to 6 kits every year, and as these kits reach maturity at around the age of two, they move on to try to form their own colony. A new colony will consist only of two mating beavers until they have their first litter. Depending on the volume of kits born in their litters, a colony can be up to 12-13 beavers, but this is more than the norm.
When beavers come together to form a colony, they do so in order to build a shared lodging or nesting structure called a lodge. This lodge serves as both a home and a place of safety for the beavers, who will often spend much of their time inside it during the winter months.
A beaver colony will also build a dam to create a water course that surrounds their lodge for defence from predation, and also for easy access to food. They are great swimmers and love to be in the water.
So, while the word “colony” can technically be used to refer to any group of beavers, it is most commonly used in relation to a family of beavers who have come together for the purpose of building a shared home or dam.
Why Do Beavers Live In Groups?
Beavers live in groups for a few reasons. First, it helps them stay safe – there are more eyes and ears to watch for danger and to warn others. Second, it makes for better communication and coordination when they’re working together to build dams, lodges and food caches.
Third, living in a family allows beavers to raise their young more successfully. In fact, studies have shown that young beavers who don’t live with other beavers are much more likely to die before they reach adulthood. Finally, as social animals, beavers enjoy the company of their own kind.
Within the family unit, older siblings help the adults to run the family unit, finding food and looking after their younger infant siblings. A beaver colony is a truly functional family, all members contribute and make it work.
Do All Beavers Live In Groups?
Beavers do far better in groups than they do on their own. When beavers reach the age of two, they leave their existing colony, to head out and start their own new one. This is the most dangerous time in a beaver’s life. Without the protection of family they are at their most vulnerable to predators like coyotes, bobcats and foxes.
They are also at their most vulnerable to threats such as roads, when travelling to find a new home. When looking for a mate and a new home, they are also at risk of attack from other beavers if they stumble across the waters of an existing colony. It’s not an easy life for a single beaver on the hunt for a new home.
Facts About Groups Of Beavers
- A group of beavers is called a colony or a family.
- Beavers live in colonies for protection, communication and raising their young.
- Young beavers who don’t live with other beavers are much more likely to die before they reach adulthood.
- Beavers are social animals and enjoy the company of their own kind.
- A group of baby beavers is called a litter.
- Beaver families are territorial and will defend their area.