Giant Bear-Sized Beavers Existed 50,000 Years Ago – What Led To Their Extinction?

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Giant beavers with the size of a bear have walked the planet long ago. More specifically, they roamed the lakes and wetlands of North America. But it seems that these giant rodents have died at the end of the last ice age.

The giant beaver may be extinct now, but there was a time when it was a really successful species.

Experts have discovered the animal’s fossil remains at sites from Florida to Alaska and the Yukon.

It seems that a super-sized version of our modern beaver, the giant one tipped the scales at 100 kilograms. But it had two main differences compared to the beavers walking the planet in our days.

The giant one did not have a paddle-shaped tail that we can see on our beavers these days. But instead, PBS.org writes that it has a long skinny tail similar to the ones of muskrats.

The teeth also seem to have been quite different. As you know, the modern beaver incisors and sharp and like chisel but the giant beaver used to have bulkier and curved front teeth. They also lacked a sharp cutting edge.

It was also reported that this species became extinct about 10k years ago.

In order to understand how the giant beaver died, it’s essential to have a clue about how it lived.

Giant beavers liked the warm and wet climate 

According to studies, it seems that the giant beaver liked it when the climate was warmer and wetter.

The online publication mentioned above writes that “from a chemical perspective, you are what you eat!”

They continue and say that “The food an animal consumes contains chemical signatures called stable isotopes that are incorporated into body tissues such as bone.”

The giant beaver was not an ecosystem engineer like the animals we have today and instead, it was having a diet of aquatic plants. This made it depend on wetland habitat for food and shelter.

It was reported that towards the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago, the climate became warmer and dryer and wetland habitats began to dry up. This is what led to the animal’s extinction.


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