The American Beaver males and females of this species are similar. They have very dense underfur overlaid with coarse guard hairs of black, brown, yellow, or reddish brown. Their tail is paddle-shaped, flat and, covered with shiny black horny scales. It functions as a rudder and to tamp mud into place. Their tail is 0.25 to .33 meters, and their total average length is 1.4 meter with a shoulder height of 0.33 to 0.67 meters. Their weight is between 32 to 66 pounds, with newborns weighing about 1 pound. The torpedo-shaped body has short legs and black feet with 5 claws. Claws on the first 2 toes are split to aid grooming. Claws are 1 inch long for digging, and hind feet are webbed. Forepaws are designed to allow dexterity in manipulating sticks and other objects. They can sit erect, freeing paws for architectural work.