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Leave it to beavers: California joins other states in embracing the rodent

Stashed in: Science!, Rodents!, Engineers!, Awesome, California, Caltech, Beavers!

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I've never liked beavers because they have beady eyes and kill trees... but apparently I may have been too hasty in my hate because their net effect might be positive for the ecosystem.

I had no idea beavers were so important!

Beaver dams bestow benefits to the environment that we humans can't easily copy. They turn land into a sponge for water. Their gnawing and nesting promotes richer soil and slows down water, improving imperiled fish habitat. Their dams raise water tables, nourishing shrubbery alongside streams that stabilize eroding banks and add habitat for birds and deer. They also help the endangered California Red-legged frog.

After beavers move to a new area, at night, they drag a tree across a shallow stream to start a dam. They carry rocks and mud with their paws and branches with their big incisors. Water in these beaver ponds would otherwise flow away. So it's no surprise that thirsty western states are turning to the furry critters with open arms.

Nature's engineers!

this is so cool!

the answer was there before us, as usual.  ;)

"industrial buck teeth" indeed!  a fun fact my 4-year-old taught me: beaver teeth grow an inch a week!  over 4 feet a year!  thankfully, all that tree-cutting keeps them short.

So they NEED to gnaw or their teeth would be too long?

Form really does follow function. 

And yes, how cool that nature has a way.

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