Beaver Vs Platypus Size

Beaver Vs Platypus Size, Weight, Overall Comparison

Beavers and platypuses, though seemingly worlds apart, share a place in the fascinating tapestry of the animal kingdom. This exploration aims to unravel the distinctions between these two unique creatures, shedding light on their physical characteristics, reproductive strategies, dietary habits, and the genetic makeup that sets them apart. Understanding the diverse roles they play in ecosystems and their relations to humans adds depth to our appreciation of these extraordinary mammals. Join us on this journey of discovery as we delve into the intriguing differences that define beavers and platypuses.

I. Physical Characteristics:

Beavers are significantly larger than platypuses, weighing between 35 to 60 pounds and growing approximately 40 inches long. In contrast, platypuses have a maximum weight of about 5.3 pounds and reach lengths of around 20 inches.

beaver vs platypus
Beaver (Credit: Deborah Freeman 2021 (CC BY-SA 2.0)



II. Reproduction:

– Beavers give birth to live young, while platypuses are one of the rare egg-laying mammals. Female platypuses lay eggs, showcasing a distinct difference in reproductive strategies.

III. Dietary Habits:

– Beavers are herbivores, feeding on bark, leaves, and twigs, whereas platypuses are carnivores, consuming insects, crustaceans, and small fish. Their distinct dietary preferences contribute to their ecological roles.

IV. Genetic Makeup:

– Genetic mapping reveals the unique DNA structure of platypuses, emphasizing their distinctive features, including a beak resembling a duck’s. This genetic information showcases the peculiar nature of platypuses in the animal kingdom.

V. Size Comparisons:

– Platypuses are notably smaller in size compared to beavers. Understanding their size differences aids in visualizing and distinguishing between the two species.

Beaver Vs Platypus Size
Platypus (Credit: Roderick Eime 2015 (CC BY-ND 2.0)


VI. Laying Eggs vs. Live Birth:

– The platypus’s ability to lay eggs sets it apart from beavers, which give birth to live young. This reproductive contrast highlights the diversity of mammalian reproductive strategies.

VII. Human Relations:

– While both beavers and platypuses are mammals, beavers are more closely related to humans as placental mammals. This insight into their genetic relations contributes to our understanding of mammalian diversity.

VIII. Usage in Writing:

– Exploring the unique characteristics of beavers and platypuses offers insights into when to use each term in writing. Understanding their distinct features aids in effective communication.

– Platforms such as YouTube feature face-offs and comparisons between platypuses and beavers, contributing to public awareness and interest in these unique animals.

X. Common Confusions:

– Exploring common confusions, such as the misconception that platypuses may be related to ducks, clarifies misconceptions and promotes accurate understanding of these fascinating creatures.

XI. Habitat and Adaptations:

– Platypuses showcase adaptability with features resembling a duck, beaver, and otter. Understanding their adaptations helps appreciate their survival in diverse habitats.

XII. Notable Characteristics:

– The platypus’s distinctive mix of features, including a bill, webbed feet, and otter-like body and fur, sets it apart as a unique and intriguing mammal in the animal kingdom.

*Details of Comparison of Beaver Vs Platypus

Criteria Beaver Platypus
Taxonomy Rodentia, Castoridae, Castor
Monotremata, Ornithorhynchidae, Ornithorhynchus
Appearance Stocky rodent, webbed feet, broad tail
Unique with a duck-bill, webbed feet, flattened body
Size 70-100 cm (excluding tail)
43-60 cm (including tail)
Weight 16-30 kg 0.7-2.4 kg
Dentition and Bite Force (PSI) Powerful incisors, ~1800 PSI bite force
Beak-like bill, less prominent bite force
Physical Offensive Advantages Incisors for tree-cutting, tail weapon
Venomous spurs for defense
Physical Defensive Advantages Dense fur, lodge construction
Streamlined body, agility
Speed 5-10 km/h on land, 7 km/h in water Up to 10 km/h
Agility More agile in water
Highly agile in water
Senses Well-developed touch, smell, hearing
Electroreception, touch, smell, hearing
Overall Physical Capacity Strong swimming abilities
Adapted for semi-aquatic lifestyles
Habitat Preference(s) and Geographic Region Freshwater habitats in NA, Europe, Asia
Freshwater ecosystems in Australia
Tracks Distinctive with webbed feet and tail marks
Subtle tracks due to streamlined body and webbed feet
Lifespan 10-15 years 10-17 years
Mode of Feeding Herbivorous, coprophagy
Carnivorous, storing prey in cheek pouches
Intelligence High intelligence
Adapted intelligence to ecological needs
Social Behavior Often lives in family groups
Generally solitary
Mode of Reproduction Sexual reproduction, gestation period
Internal fertilization, egg-laying
Parental Behavior Both parents participate in care
Female provides sole care for eggs and hatchlings
Proximity to Human-Inhabited Areas Found in proximity to human settlements
Generally more elusive around human habitats
Behavior Toward Humans Can be both beneficial and problematic
Typically avoids human interaction
Danger Posed to Humans Generally not dangerous, rare aggression
Not dangerous, but venomous spurs can cause pain
Associated Precautions Coexistence management, protective measures
Observing from a safe distance
Conservation Status Varies, some least concern
“Near Threatened” due to habitat concerns
Key Points:
  • Both species have distinct taxonomies and appearances.
  • Beavers are generally larger and heavier than platypuses.
  • Beavers have powerful incisors, while platypuses have a unique venomous defense.
  • Platypuses are more agile swimmers, while beavers are adapted for both land and water travel.
  • Beavers are herbivores, engaging in coprophagy, while platypuses are carnivores.
  • Both exhibit high intelligence adapted to their ecological needs.
  • Beavers often live in family groups, while platypuses are generally solitary.
  • Reproductive methods differ, with beavers reproducing sexually and platypuses laying eggs.
  • Beavers have a more extended parental care period than platypuses.
  • Beavers are often found in proximity to human settlements, impacting human infrastructure.
  • Platypuses are generally more elusive around human habitats.
  • Conservation concerns are higher for platypuses compared to many beaver species.

1. Taxonomy:

Beaver (Castor spp.):

Order: Rodentia

Family: Castoridae

Genus: Castor

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus):

Order: Monotremata

Family: Ornithorhynchidae

Genus: Ornithorhynchus


Beavers belong to the rodent order, while platypuses are monotremes, unique egg-laying mammals.

Beavers fall under the family Castoridae, while platypuses are classified under Ornithorhynchidae.

The genus for beavers is Castor, whereas for platypuses, it is Ornithorhynchus.

Ecological Implications:

The taxonomic differences highlight the distinct evolutionary paths these species have taken, influencing their ecological roles and interactions in their respective environments.

2. Appearance:

beaver vs platypus
Beaver (Credit: Photo by Cheryl Reynolds, Courtesy of Worth a Dam 2008 (CC BY-SA 3.0)


Beaver Vs Platypus Size
Platypus (Credit: Gary Todd 2017 (CC0 1.0)



Robust, semi-aquatic rodent with a stocky body.

Prominent features include large, orange incisors, webbed hind feet, and a broad, flat tail.

Fur color varies from brown to black, adapted for camouflage in their aquatic habitats.


Unique appearance with a duck-bill, webbed feet, and a flattened body.

Covered in dense, waterproof fur, usually brown.

Male platypuses have venomous spurs on their hind legs.


Beavers have a more traditional rodent appearance with prominent incisors, while platypuses exhibit a distinctive combination of mammalian and avian characteristics.

Both species have adaptations for their semi-aquatic lifestyles, such as webbed feet.

Ecological Implications:

Beaver appearance aids in their dam-building activities, essential for creating aquatic habitats. The platypus’s unique features contribute to its efficient foraging in water and its ability to navigate aquatic environments.

3. Size:


Length: 70 to 100 cm (27.5 to 39 inches), excluding tail.

Tail length: Additional 25 to 38 cm (10 to 15 inches).


Length: 43 to 60 cm (17 to 24 inches), including tail.


Beavers are generally larger than platypuses, with a longer body and tail.

Platypuses have a more streamlined body suited for their aquatic lifestyle.

Ecological Implications:

Size differences influence their ecological roles; beavers, being larger, contribute more significantly to altering aquatic landscapes through dam construction, while platypuses’ smaller size aids in efficient swimming and foraging.

4. Weight:

beaver vs platypus
Beaver (Credit: Carine06 2018 (CC BY-SA 2.0)


Beaver Vs Platypus Size
Platypus (Credit: Urville Djasim 2009 (CC BY-SA 2.0)



Weight: 16 to 30 kg (35 to 66 lbs).


Weight: 0.7 to 2.4 kg (1.5 to 5.3 lbs).


Beavers are significantly heavier than platypuses.

Ecological Implications:

The weight difference is reflective of their ecological impact; beavers, being heavier, can exert more force in altering landscapes through dam construction, influencing water flow and ecosystem dynamics.

5. Dentition and Bite Force (PSI):

beaver vs platypus
Beaver (Credit: Sylvain Haye 2008 (CC BY-SA 3.0)



Prominent, orange incisors continuously grow throughout their life.

Powerful bite force: estimated around 1800 PSI.


Beak-like bill with grinding plates instead of teeth.

Bite force not as prominent, adapted for capturing and consuming aquatic invertebrates.


Beavers have specialized incisors for gnawing wood, while platypuses have a unique bill for capturing prey.

Ecological Implications:

Beaver’s strong incisors facilitate tree cutting for dam construction, influencing local vegetation. Platypuses, with their unique dentition, are adapted for a diet of aquatic invertebrates, contributing to maintaining ecological balance in aquatic ecosystems.

6. Physical Offensive Advantages:


Powerful incisors enable efficient tree-cutting for dam construction.

Tail can be used as a weapon against predators.


Males possess venomous spurs on hind legs, providing a defense mechanism.


Beavers rely on their robust incisors and tail, while male platypuses have venomous spurs for defense.

Ecological Implications:

Beaver’s offensive advantages contribute to altering landscapes through dam construction. Platypus venom may serve as a defense against potential threats, enhancing survival in their habitats.

7. Physical Defensive Advantages:

beaver vs platypus
Beaver (Credit: Deborah Freeman 2021 (CC BY-SA 2.0)



Dense fur provides insulation against cold water.

Lodge construction provides a secure retreat from predators.


Streamlined body and agility aid in evading predators.


Beavers rely on fur and lodge construction, while platypuses use agility for defense.

Ecological Implications:

Beaver’s dense fur and lodges contribute to thermoregulation and protection, supporting their semi-aquatic lifestyle. Platypuses’ agility helps them navigate and escape predators in their aquatic habitats.

8. Speed (Km/hour or Mile/hour):

beaver vs platypus
Beaver (Credit: Bureau of Land Management Alaska 2011, Uploaded Online 2014)


Beaver Vs Platypus Size
Platypus (Credit: Charles J. Sharp 2023 (CC BY-SA 4.0)



On land: 5 to 10 km/h (3 to 6 mph).

In water: 7 km/h (4 mph).


Swim at speeds up to 10 km/h (6 mph).


Similar speeds, but beavers are adapted for both land and water travel.

Ecological Implications:

Speeds are crucial for foraging and escaping predators, allowing both species to navigate their habitats effectively.

9. Agility:


Agile in water due to streamlined body and webbed feet.

Land agility is limited compared to aquatic agility.


Highly agile in water, aided by webbed feet and a streamlined body.


Both species exhibit agility in water, but platypuses may have a slight advantage.

Ecological Implications:

Agility in water is vital for foraging and evading predators, ensuring both species can thrive in their semi-aquatic environments.

10. Senses:

beaver vs platypus
Beaver (Credit: yrjö jyske 2020 (CC BY 2.0)



Well-developed senses of touch, smell, and hearing.

Keen sense of smell aids in foraging.


Excellent sense of electroreception, detecting electric fields generated by muscle contractions of prey.

Well-developed senses of touch, smell, and hearing.


Both species have acute senses, but platypuses possess a unique electroreceptive ability.

Ecological Implications:

Beaver senses aid in locating suitable materials for dam construction and foraging. Platypuses’ electroreception is crucial for detecting prey in aquatic environments, enhancing their hunting efficiency.

11. Overall Physical Capacity:


Strong swimmers with a semi-aquatic lifestyle.

Adapted for efficient tree-cutting and dam-building.


Excellent swimmers with streamlined bodies.

Well-adapted for hunting aquatic invertebrates.


Both species exhibit remarkable physical capabilities suited to their semi-aquatic lifestyles.

Ecological Implications:

Their physical capacities contribute to their roles in shaping and interacting with their respective aquatic ecosystems.

12. Habitat Preference(s) and Geographic Region:

beaver vs platypus
Beaver (Credit: Rhododendrites 2013 (CC BY-SA 4.0)


Beaver Vs Platypus Size
Platypus (Credit: Klaus 2012, Uploaded Online 2013 (CC BY-SA 2.0)



Prefers freshwater habitats like rivers and streams.

Found in North America, Europe, and Asia.


Inhabits freshwater ecosystems, such as rivers and streams.

Native to Australia, including Tasmania.


Both species inhabit freshwater environments but are geographically distinct.

Ecological Implications:

Their habitat preferences influence the ecosystems they shape and impact, contributing to the biodiversity of their regions.

13. Tracks:


Distinctive tracks showing webbed hind feet and tail drag marks.

Often leading to dams, lodges, or feeding areas.


Tracks are less distinct due to their streamlined bodies and webbed feet.

Frequenting areas near water sources.


Beaver tracks are more recognizable, while platypus tracks are subtler.

Ecological Implications:

Tracking helps researchers study their movements and behaviors, aiding in conservation efforts and ecological research.

14. Lifespan:


Typically 10 to 15 years in the wild.


Average lifespan of 10 to 17 years in the wild.


Similar lifespan ranges, with individual variations.

Ecological Implications:

Lifespan influences the duration of their ecological impact on habitats, especially concerning dam-building and foraging behaviors.

15. Mode of Feeding:

beaver vs platypus
Credit: yrjö jyske 2020 (CC BY 2.0)



Primarily herbivorous, consuming bark, twigs, and aquatic plants.

Engages in coprophagy, re-ingesting fecal matter to extract more nutrients.


Carnivorous, feeding on aquatic invertebrates.

Stores prey in cheek pouches while hunting.


Beavers are herbivores, while platypuses are carnivorous.

Ecological Implications:

Differences in feeding habits contribute to the ecological balance of their respective habitats.

16. Intelligence:


Displays high intelligence in dam construction and resource management.


Exhibits advanced problem-solving skills and efficient hunting techniques.


Both species demonstrate intelligence adapted to their ecological needs.

Ecological Implications:

Their intelligence influences habitat modification, foraging efficiency, and responses to environmental challenges.

17. Social Behavior:

beaver vs platypus
Credit: Groucho M 2005


Beaver Vs Platypus Size
Platypus (Credit: daniel.baker 2010, Uploaded Online 2011 (CC BY-ND 2.0)



Often lives in family groups, with a monogamous pair and their offspring.

Cooperative dam construction and lodge maintenance.


Generally solitary, with overlapping territories.

Limited social interactions, more focused on mating.


Beavers exhibit more complex social structures compared to the mostly solitary platypus.

Ecological Implications:

Social behaviors affect the scale and impact of their activities in shaping and maintaining their habitats.

18. Mode of Reproduction:


Reproduces sexually through copulation.

Gestation period of about 105 days.

Typically gives birth to 2 to 4 kits.


Reproduces through internal fertilization.

Female lays eggs (1 to 3) and incubates them for about ten days.


Beavers follow a more typical mammalian reproductive process, while platypuses lay eggs.

Ecological Implications:

The different reproductive modes contribute to their ecological roles, affecting population dynamics and genetic diversity.

19. Parental Behavior:


Both parents participate in caring for and protecting offspring.

Kits stay with the family for about two years.


Female provides sole care for eggs and hatchlings.

Young platypuses are weaned after a few months.


Beavers exhibit more extended parental care and cooperation.

Ecological Implications:

Parental behaviors influence the survival and development of offspring, impacting population dynamics in their habitats.

20. Proximity to Human-Inhabited Areas:


Often found in close proximity to human settlements, leading to both positive and negative interactions.


Generally more elusive and less commonly encountered near human habitats.


Beavers may be more adaptable to human-altered landscapes.

Ecological Implications:

Human interactions can affect the behavior and survival of these species, with potential implications for local ecosystems.

21. Behavior Toward Humans:

Beaver Vs Platypus Size
Platypus (Credit: TwoWings 2001-2002 (CC BY-SA 3.0)



Can be both beneficial and problematic for humans.

Dam-building can mitigate floods but may lead to property damage.


Typically avoids human interaction but may be vulnerable to habitat disturbances.


Beavers may have more direct impacts on human infrastructure.

Ecological Implications:

Interactions with humans can influence the success and conservation status of these species, affecting ecosystems and local communities.

22. Danger Posed to Humans:


Generally not considered dangerous to humans.

May become aggressive if cornered or feel threatened, but attacks are rare.


Typically not dangerous, but male platypuses possess venomous spurs that can cause severe pain.


Beavers are less likely to pose a direct danger, while platypuses have a unique venomous defense.

Ecological Implications:

Understanding potential risks from these species can aid in conservation efforts and human-wildlife coexistence.

23. Associated Precautions:


Encouraging coexistence through proper management of water flow and vegetation.

Implementing protective measures for property when beaver activities may cause issues.


Observing from a safe distance in the wild to avoid accidental encounters with venomous spurs.


Precautions involve understanding and respecting the natural behaviors of each species.

Ecological Implications:

Implementing precautions helps mitigate potential conflicts and supports the conservation of these species in their habitats.

24. Conservation Status:


Various species of beavers have different conservation statuses, with some considered of least concern.


Concerns about habitat loss, pollution, and climate change have led to a “Near Threatened” conservation status.


Platypuses face higher conservation concerns compared to many beaver species.

Ecological Implications:

Conservation status reflects the health of populations and the need for targeted conservation efforts to protect these species and their ecosystems.


I). Similarities:

Both beavers and platypuses exhibit remarkable adaptations for a semi-aquatic lifestyle.

They play crucial roles in shaping and maintaining their respective ecosystems.

II). Differences:

Divergent reproductive methods, with beavers following a more typical mammalian approach, while platypuses lay eggs.

Varied social structures, as beavers often live in family groups, while platypuses are predominantly solitary.

*Summary of Comparison


Beaver: Rodentia, Castoridae, Castor.

Platypus: Monotremata, Ornithorhynchidae, Ornithorhynchus.


Beaver: Stocky rodent with webbed feet, prominent incisors, and a broad tail.

Platypus: Unique appearance with a duck-bill, webbed feet, and a flattened body.


Beaver: 70-100 cm (excluding tail).

Platypus: 43-60 cm (including tail).


Beaver: 16-30 kg.

Platypus: 0.7-2.4 kg.

Dentition and Bite Force (PSI):

Beaver: Powerful incisors, bite force ~1800 PSI.

Platypus: Beak-like bill, less prominent bite force.

Physical Offensive Advantages:

Beaver: Incisors for tree-cutting, tail as a weapon.

Platypus: Venomous spurs for defense.

Physical Defensive Advantages:

Beaver: Dense fur, lodge construction.

Platypus: Streamlined body, agility.


Beaver: 5-10 km/h on land, 7 km/h in water.

Platypus: Up to 10 km/h.


Beaver: More agile in water.

Platypus: Highly agile in water.


Beaver: Well-developed touch, smell, and hearing.

Platypus: Electroreception, touch, smell, and hearing.

Overall Physical Capacity:

Both exhibit strong swimming abilities, adapted for semi-aquatic lifestyles.

Habitat Preference(s) and Geographic Region:

Beaver: Freshwater habitats in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Platypus: Freshwater ecosystems in Australia.


Beaver: Distinctive tracks with webbed feet and tail marks.

Platypus: Subtle tracks due to streamlined body and webbed feet.


Beaver: 10-15 years.

Platypus: 10-17 years.

Mode of Feeding:

Beaver: Herbivorous, engaging in coprophagy.

Platypus: Carnivorous, storing prey in cheek pouches.


Both exhibit high intelligence adapted to their ecological needs.

Social Behavior:

Beaver: Often lives in family groups.

Platypus: Generally solitary.

Mode of Reproduction:

Beaver: Sexual reproduction with a gestation period.

Platypus: Internal fertilization with egg-laying.

Parental Behavior:

Beaver: Both parents participate in care.

Platypus: Female provides sole care for eggs and hatchlings.

Proximity to Human-Inhabited Areas:

Beaver: Found in proximity to human settlements.

Platypus: Generally more elusive around human habitats.

Behavior Toward Humans:

Beaver: Can be both beneficial and problematic.

Platypus: Typically avoids human interaction.

Danger Posed to Humans:

Beaver: Generally not dangerous, rare aggression.

Platypus: Not dangerous, but venomous spurs can cause pain.

Associated Precautions:

Beaver: Coexistence management and protective measures.

Platypus: Observing from a safe distance.

Conservation Status:

Beaver: Varies among species, some least concern.

Platypus: “Near Threatened” due to habitat concerns.



Both exhibit remarkable adaptations for a semi-aquatic lifestyle.

Crucial roles in shaping and maintaining their ecosystems.


Divergent reproductive methods and social structures.

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