Beavers: Nature's Engineers Essay

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BEAVERS: Nature’s Engineers Figure [ 1 ] By Yura Galvez February 4, 2011 Table of Contents Table of Contents Facts about beavers1 Fast Facts table1 History of American beavers1 Beaver ponds1 Beaver dams1 Figure 1 1 The scientific name for the North American beaver is castor Canadensis. The beaver is an incredible mammal that inhabits most of North America. The few areas they don’t inhabit are the deserts and the extreme northern sections of the continent. Type | Mammal | Diet | Herbivore | Average life span in the wild | Up to 24 years | Size | Head and Body: 23-39 inchesTail: 7.75-12 inches | Weight | 60 pounds | Group name | Colony | FAST FACTS The beaver has been vital to the survival to Americans, both native and the early settlers. The beaver has provided meat, clothing and surprisingly, habitat for humans. Beavers are active throughout the year, therefore providing a food source all four seasons. Beavers can be easily tracked because of the “beaver ponds” they create. Their fur keeps them warm and dry also provides similar protection for humans (see Figure 1). The beaver ponds attract all types of animals, especially game animals (deer, elk, etc.) thus attracting humans that hunt those animals. Beaver populations were declining in Europe approximately the same time Europeans were populating the American continent. Beaver felts and beaver hats were extremely popular in Europe, so the trapping and killing of beavers was not only a financial boon for early settlers, but it also led to explorations of the vast continent by hunters. Populations of beavers in North America were estimated to be 200 million to an estimated current population of 10 million (Feinstein-Johnson 2006). Beavers build dams that are made from mud, sticks and stones. Their domed home in a pond is called a lodge. Once a lodge is built,

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