ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- You can learn about the Giant Beaver that used to roam our area.

Beaver Island Brewing is hosting the Minnesota Science Museum fossil exhibit and short presentation this Saturday.

Alex Hastings is the Chair of the Paleontology Department at the Science Museum. He says the event will be from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. with a special presentation at 3:00 p.m.

We are going to be bringing some actual fossils from the vault, which would include our state fossil that we are putting forward for legislation the Giant Beaver Casteroides, as well as a bunch of other cool things thing that people can touch like ice age fossils.

Hastings says it has a lot of similarities to the beaver we know today.

It's definitely a close relative of the modern beaver.  We know that it relied a bit more on aquatic plants more so than woods.  We don't know if was doing the cool dam building.  It was a big rodent with big incisors, it would have chewed a lot.

As for whether it had a flat tail, they aren't sure, but it is more likely that it had a tail similar to the thick tail the muskrat has. Hastings says the Giant Beaver spent a lot of time in that water, probably even more than the current beavers.

Hastings says the Giant Beaver lived mostly in the Twin Cities area and the southern part of the state a little over 10,000 years ago.

At 200 pounds it was about the size of a black bear.

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Besides being at Beaver Island this Saturday, the Science Museum is also traveling to Bemidji State University - the home of the Beavers.

It is part of their renewed push to get the Minnesota State Legislature to designate the Giant Beaver as the official Minnesota State Fossil.


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