Not a Beav: Animals Who Look Like Beavers

You saw a furry, brown critter. So, was it a beaver?

This is a muskrat.

Not a beav.

Muskrats are smaller than beavers with long, skinny, hairy tails, but they do often share habitat. When they swim at the surface, muskrats move their tails from side-to-side in the water. This is the easiest way to identify a muskrat vs. beaver in the water when size can be tricky to determine.

This is a groundhog.

Not a beav.

Groundhogs are smaller than beavers, often lighter in color, and with stubbier, furry tails. The biggest difference though, is habitat. If there is no water nearby, you have likely seen a groundhog. They are also more common.

This is a nutria.

Not a beav.

Nutria have very obvious long, white whiskers and skinny tails like a muskrat. They are smaller than beavers, and are found in limited parts of the Mid-Atlantic.

This is an otter.

brown otter near green grass
Not a beav.

Otters have longer, more slender bodies and more pointed heads than beavers. They also move differently through the water.

This is a platypus.

Not a beav.

Platypuses don’t live in North America. But they kind of look like backwards beavs?

This is a beav.


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