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Name: Ilia
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Age: N/A
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Question:
I know that beaver incisors grow continuously. Is is a feasible case, that the teeth grow too fast for the animal to wear them out by active chewing the wood, and may prevent the other back teeth from complete closure? I found a skull of a young beaver (less than two feet long including the tail)in good condition and when cleaned and assembled it, this is what I was surprised to notice. The huge front "tasks" were preventing the back "molar" teeth from closure and kept them at the distance of about 1/2". Could this be the cause of the death of the young animal? Another question: could beaver teeth continue to grow after death of the animal, like our nails and hairs? This could also explain my finding.


Replies:
Answering the second question first, no, the teeth would not grow after the animal died. I have not seen beaver skulls as you describe, but have seen them with deformed front incisors that caused the jaw to not close properly, and would probably have caused the animal to starve to death.

J. Elliott


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