A. rufa Skull Replica measures 2.8 inches. A. rufa Skull Replica is museum quality polyurethane cast. 2-part skull (separate cranium and jaw). Made in USA. Known as Mountain Beaver. Our precise skull can be used as a teaching tool, museum skull exhibit, home decor skull, or office decor skull.

A. rufa are gray or brown, but their fur can range from slightly more reddish to more blackish depending on subspecies, with a light patch under each ear. The animals have distinctively short tails.

Adults weigh about 18–32 oz. Total length is about 12–20 in., with a tail length of 0.39–1.57 in. Their superficial similarity with true beavers reflects only their relatively large size (for rodents), strong odor, preference for living in extremely watery moist habitats, and propensity to consume tree seedlings as food.

A.rufa do not fell adult trees (though such trees may be killed by “girdling”), build dams, live in lodges, or communicate by tail slappings. The Aplodontia rufa are predominantly nocturnal in above ground activities.

They are known to climb trees a few meters to acquire food in the form of branches and leaves, but otherwise their diet consists mostly of ferns, especially species which are toxic to other animals.

The skull is protrogomorphous; it has no specialized attachments for the masseter muscles as seen in other rodents. It is flattened and lacks a postorbital process.

A. rufa have an unusual projection on each molar and premolar tooth, which is unique among mammals and allows for easy identification of teeth. This projection points toward the cheek on the upper tooth row, but points toward the tongue on the lower.

The cheek teeth lack the complex folds of other rodents and instead consist of single basins. They are hypsodont and ever-growing. Two upper and one lower premolars are present, along with all the molars.

A. rufa are found in the Cascade Mountains of British Columbia and southward to include the rest of the Cascade Range in the United States, the Olympic Mountains and Coast Ranges of Washington and Oregon.

Mountain beavers are capable of climbing trees, but rarely travel far from burrows. Their thumbs are slightly opposable and the animals will sit on their hindquarters and manipulate food with their forelimbs and incisors.

A. rufa or Mountain beavers are asocial and generally do not live in shared burrows. Burrows usually consist of a network of tunnels built in deep soil. The entrances to these burrows often contain clumps of wilted vegetation which the animal likely uses as a kind of food cache as well as a source of nesting material.

Mountain beavers seldom travel more than a few meters from their burrow entrances, taking advantage of the protection such burrows offer from predators such as cougars and owls.

They exhibit coprophagy and eat soft fecal pellets to obtain maximum nutrients; hard fecal pellets are transferred to fecal chambers located within the burrow system.

A. rufa food includes fleshy herbs and young shoots of more woody plants. Ferns probably make up the bulk of their diets. They appear to be strictly herbivorous. Their consumption of seedling trees has led some to consider them as pests.