A state symbol can come in the form of state animals, mammals, a state bird and flower, amphibians, nicknames, state seals, and much more.
State symbols were adopted by states to best represent them and their historical roots, their geological makeup, their past and present successes, and the ecosystems and habitats that make up the state. Like all other states, there are many New York state symbols.
What is the State Animal of New York?
New York’s state animal is the Beaver (Castor canadensis). The friendly and incredibly loyal beaver was adopted as the official state animal of New York back in 1975. Beavers are incredibly unique and beautiful animals, with unusual flat tails and glistening fur. The beaver was adopted as the New York state animal as their loyalty and behaivour represent the people of the state past and present. They are known as “natures engineer”.
In the wild, beavers will create dams on streams, rivers, and shallow valleys, creating a home for themselves as well as a constant supply of fish by cutting off their access to the rest of the stream. Beavers are unfortunately under serious threat due to their wetland homes being destroyed and used for commercial purposes.
Beavers are incredibly important to our ecosystem, their dam-building is crucial to the natural water flow and erosion control. Dams are built by beavers for a number of good reasons, however, the main reason is to create a pond where they will then build their homes, which are called beaver lodges. These lodges protect them against predators such as bears and wolves, and also provide a constant supply of food.
The state animal of New York is an incredibly hard worker, mainly doing their work at night. Beavers will carry mud and stones with their paws and timber between their teeth when they collect resources. The largest known beaver dam is located in Montana and is a whopping 2,140 feet long, 14 feet high, and 23 feet thick! Funnily enough, the beaver is not just the New York state animal, they represent Oregon too, and it is even used in their state nickname.
New York State Animal Facts
Beavers are found across the globe, they are incredibly durable and adaptable. This is partly the reason why they have been around for such a long time – 12 million years old!
Here are some other cool facts about the New York state animal:
- Beavers have naturally orange teeth! This is due to a protective layer of iron-rich enamel.
- Beavers are constantly adding to and modifying their habitat, which is called a dam.
- They will slap their tails on the water to indicate danger.
- Beavers can hold their breath underwater for around 8 minutes.
- They are the largest rodents in North America.
- Wood is the main staple in their diet.
- They can reach a weight of 77 lbs (35 kg).
Most states will have their symbols showcase a relevant story, that is indicative of the state and its history, and the Empire State puts its history and what it stands for across very well in its state animal.
These interesting facts about New York and a whole host of others are what makes the state so unique and fascinating to those that live there or are researching the historical events of the state.