Beavers interact very differently with beavers from their own colony and beavers that are from other colonies. Their noses are very significant when it comes to interactions with other species. Beavers leave their scent on mounds that surround territory that they believe belongs to them. If a beaver smells a mound and doesn’t recognize the smell as belonging to one from his or her own colony, the mound is usually demolished. If there are numerous beaver colonies in an area, the mounds are located everywhere. The mounds caution beavers from other areas that the area they are in is currently taken. The scents on the mounds are produced by the anal gland. Beavers that are related can tell which scents come from relatives even if they have never seen each other. Another frequently used signal is the tail slap. This is done when they hear, smell, or see anything suspicious. When this happens, they raise their tail into the air and hit it onto the water with great strength. This can be heard by humans from distances as far as 100 meters. Other beavers respond by seeking safety in the den or water and sometimes doing a tail slap back so that the beaver knows that others have taken precautions. The beavers then come back out of the water with caution. When young beavers tail slap, it is less powerful and is often disregarded by older beavers. Finally, hissing is very important in communicating between beavers. It is a defense mechanism that is used when they see a predator or are alarmed. Beavers hiss at muskrats whenever they see them. Younger beavers often make whining noises that sound like a baby crying. They do this to in order to let the parents know that they are hungry.


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