And the Best Civil Engineer award goes to … the beaver! Scientists recently stumbled upon the world’s biggest beaver dam. Twice as long as the Hoover Dam, this whopping woodland creation can be seen from space.
Using their mad landscaping skills, several beaver families have been working on this 2,790-foot Canadian compound since 1975 (I wonder if their lodges have shag carpet). The hardest-working mammals in the construction business, beavers are a keystone species, whose dams create and maintain wetlands. Beavers are also gentle, curious, family-oriented animals who mate for life and share in child-raising duties. Did I mention that they’re also fond of flute music?
Important, intriguing, and dam fine builders, beavers’ biggest predators are humans who trap them for fur (fur trapping is the number one cause of death for beavers) or pick on them because they’re perceived as “pests.” Resolving conflicts with beavers and other wildlife is easy if you think like a beaver. Ingenuity, industriousness, good planning skills, and architectural know-how go a long way in peacefully coexisting with all our wild neighbors. So seriously, let’s leave beavers alone and let them enjoy their music.
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth