North American Beaver Creates Large Wave

I was fortunate enough to capture an amazing wildlife moment during my visit to Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I was standing on the fishing pier near the Reeves Boat Ramp, admiring a pair of North American Beavers in the distance. Suddenly, one of the beavers began swimming towards the pier.

North American Beaver Creates Large Wave
North American Beaver Creates Large Wave

As the Beaver swam closer, I couldn’t help but notice the large wave it was creating in front of it. Despite not having anything in its mouth to create such a high wave, it was pushing an impressive amount of water. I was momentarily concerned that the wave would reach my location on the pier, but the beaver made a sudden turn just before reaching me, and the wave dissipated harmlessly.

I couldn’t believe what I had witnessed, and I took a photo in the hopes of capturing the incredible moment. Looking back at the photo, I still can’t quite tell if it accurately conveys the height of the wave. Regardless, it was an unforgettable experience that I feel grateful to have witnessed.


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Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R7
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM


  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: March 4, 2023 (08:32 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f7.1
  • Shutter speed: 1/800
  • ISO: 800 (Auto)
  • Exposure Compensation: -1/3
  • Focal Length: 500 mm

How Long Can A North American Beaver Remain Underwater?

North American Beavers are impressive swimmers and can remain underwater for quite a long time. In fact, they are so well-adapted to aquatic life that they are often referred to as “nature’s engineers” for their ability to construct elaborate dams and lodges in rivers and streams.

So, how long can a North American Beaver remain underwater? The answer varies depending on the circumstances, but in general, beavers can hold their breath for up to 15 minutes. This is thanks to a number of adaptations that allow them to conserve oxygen and slow their heart rate while underwater.

In addition to their ability to hold their breath for extended periods, Beavers are also powerful swimmers. They use their large, flat tails as rudders, and their webbed hind feet as paddles, to propel themselves through the water. They can swim at speeds of up to 5 miles per hour and can even swim while carrying sticks or other materials in their mouths.

Despite their impressive aquatic abilities, Beavers are not completely adapted to life underwater. They are mammals and need to breathe air to survive, so they must surface periodically to take in oxygen. However, their ability to remain underwater for extended periods makes them highly efficient at navigating their watery habitat.

In summary, a North American Beaver can remain underwater for up to 15 minutes, thanks to their ability to conserve oxygen and slow their heart rate while submerged. They are also powerful swimmers, capable of swimming at high speeds and carrying objects in their mouths. These adaptations make them highly adapted to life in and around the water, where they play an important role in maintaining the health of the ecosystem.