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Gallery photos and information: Giant Beaver Skeleton

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The Castoroides fossils were discovered in 1837 in a peat bog in Ohio, hence its species epithet ohioensis. Catalogue no. 1195, Mus. North. Ind. Hist. Soc. Well- preserved skull of Castoroides ohioensis but with the mandibles lost, both zygomatic arches missing, and the facial portions of the maxillae broken away; dental series complete and in good condition. Castorrides had cutting teeth up to 15 cm-long with prominently-ridged outer surfaces. These strong enamel ridges would have acted as girders to support such long teeth. Further, the deep masseteric fossa of the lower jaw suggests a very powerful bite. Perhaps their teeth could have acted as both wood-cutters and gouges. There is no clear evidence that the giant beaver felled trees or built dams, but a possible lodge was discovered near New Knoxville, Ohio about 1912. Part of a giant beaver skull and the lodge were located in a peaty layer surrounded by loam. In Ohio, there have been claims of a possible giant beaver lodge four feet high and eight feet in diameter, formed from small saplings. The recent discovery of clear evidence for lodge building in the related genus Dipoides indicates that the giant beaver probably also built lodges.

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