Why do beavers build dams?

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Q & A -

Dam-build­ing is syn­ony­mous with beavers, the ul­ti­mate aquatic en­gi­neers. Us­ing branches from trees they have felled, these large ro­dents dam lakes to cre­ate moat-like ponds of still wa­ter where they con­struct is­lands known as ‘con­i­cal lodges’ out of tim­ber, mud and rocks. The body of wa­ter sur­round­ing the lodges pro­vides pro­tec­tion from preda­tors – res­i­dent beavers en­ter and exit their so­phis­ti­cated homes incog­nito via wa­ter-filled tun­nels lead­ing from the lodges to the pond. The largest lodge, found in Al­berta, Canada, mea­sures over 500m in length – though con­trary to a widely cir­cu­lated myth, it is not vis­i­ble from space! In deep or fast-mov­ing wa­ter ar­eas, beavers sim­ply ex­ca­vate into river banks and set up home there in­stead. CC

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