Lutheran Island Camp
45011 230th St
Henning, MN 56551-9449
Beavers are not only a design marvel, but are themselves master engineers. The dams they create can completely transform the surrounding landscape creating wetland habitat that benefits a wide variety of other living things. These lodges provide the beavers with safety from predators as they eat, sleep, and care for young. These beaver are more capable of altering the landscape to suit their needs than any other animal except humans.
In engineeering the dam, they will often use a natural constriction in the waterway to anchor the lodge. The beaver will place foundation sticks into the mud and then build up the superstructure with sticks, bark, rocks, mud, grass, and anything else that is available to them. They often have two chambers. The first chamber provides a place to eat and dry off, and the second chamber is used for sleeping and caring for their young. The beaver lodge is so well constructed that even in the subzero winter temperatures, when the pond is covered in ice, the interior of the lodge will not freeze. Once they begin to flood the surrounding land they will no longer need to travel as far to find food. This food is primarily the woody and aquatic vegitation that will grow in these areas.
Where did the beaver learn these incredible construction skills? It was not from their parents, since young beavers removed from their parents will still build lodges. The engineering knowledge of the beaver was a gift from the Creator of the beaver!
The beavers knowledge of dam building is far from the only testament to the design of this extraordinary creature. Did you know?
Beavers have special valves on their ears and nose that will automatically close when they dive underwater.
The beavers' eyelids are transparent, acting like goggles, allowing the beaver to see underwater with eyes closed.
Beavers have self-sharpening incisors, allowing them to collect trees for food and dam building.
Behind these front teeth, beaver have a flap of fur to seal off the rest of the mouth so they can chew sticks underwater.
The beavers tail acts like a rudder when swimming to compensate for drag when swimming with sticks.
Beavers produce an oil for their fur that acts as water-proofing that is so effective that water rarely reaches the skin.
Beavers can dive for extended time periods due to enlarged lungs and liver that store oxygenated blook for the beaver's brain during dives. They are also able to alow their heart rate to conserve oxygen.