Gnawties are beaver-like enemies in the Donkey Kong series. They are considered to be the Goomba of Donkey Kong, being the most common enemy and appearing in many Donkey Kong games. They were replaced by Awk in Donkey Kong Country Returns.
Donkey Kong Country/Donkey Kong Land
Gnawties first appeared in Donkey Kong Country, in which they are the weakest enemy in the game, being defeated by being jumped on, throwing a barrel at them, or using an Animal Buddy. Later in the game, they are seen ridding giant stone wheels chasing Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. There are also two bosses in this game, named Very Gnawty and Really Gnawty, which are large species of Gnawties.
In Donkey Kong Land, Gnawties play the same role as they did in Donkey Kong Country.
Donkey Kong 64
In Donkey Kong 64, they were found in almost every level, and they are once again the weakest enemy and can be defeated with any attack. In an unlockable minigame called Beaver Brawl, Rambi tries to defeat as many Gnawties as possible before time runs out.
Gnawty is word play on the word naughty, which is what a person is when they misbehave, and gnaw which is another word for chew, like a beaver gnaws on wood.