This is a fun way of examining the complexity of a beaver accomplishments offered by a monthly newsletter calling itself “the mostly widely circulated sephardic paper in the world.” I guess it is even more convincing testament to the creator if you think about all the wildlife that depends on the beaver creations.
If holding back people is difficult, how much more so would that apply to
Everyone has heard of, or seen, dams. Dams allow water to be stored in reservoirs, controlling the water supply throughout the year. Water from a reservoir can be used to drive turbines, which provide electricity. But how do you set about building a dam? Keep in mind, dams have to withstand more pressure and weight than any other
man-made structure. The massive Hoover Damon the Colorado River is a colossal 577 feet high, and holds back 38 billion tons of water! There is no doubt about it. You have to be clever to dam a river…
Sorry, there’s been an interruption!
I have a small creature here (two-and-a-half
feet long, a foot high and about 50 pounds) who seems a little agitated. He’s been damming rivers since he was created, and he doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about! Speak up, Mr. Beaver!
Listen carefully and you will hear – Crash! The cool stillness of the forest is suddenly shattered by the sound of a young tree falling to the ground. A small,brown, furry creature scurries through the undergrowth and slips into the nearby river for safety. It waits there until it is sure that no enemies have been attracted by the noise, then returns to the tree. Its strong front teeth set to work gnawing through the branches, stripping the trunk bare. The North American beaver then grasps the trunk in its powerful jaws, and drags it into the water. The creature tugs and pushes the trunk into position, amongst the mound of branches, twigs, mud, and boulders, which makes up its dam.
Pause for a moment, and consider the remarkable little animal that has built this amazing structure. His back feet are webbed like a duck’s, his forefeet are strong, and his little hands are agile, like a monkey’s. He also has a broad,scaly, multi-purpose tail. It’s used as a rudder when swimming, a prop when standing or sitting, and a transmitter of news always. When a beaver scents danger, he spanks the water with his tail. On quiet days, the ringing noise can be heard a quarter of amile away, causing every beaver within earshot to disappear. If you surprise a beaver on land, he will not fight back. Instead, he will run for his pond, dive like an expert and swim like a champion. He possesses the ability to close his nose and his earswhile doing so, as transparent coverings slide down over each eye so that he can see underwater. Mr. Beaver relaxes his muscles, and drops the rate of his heartbeat by half, allowing him to remain underwater for 15 minutes. Each of these features is noteworthy, for, without them the beaver could not survive.
The article goes on with an inventory of the beavers assets. Surprisingly, there is almost nothing incorrect except for the notion that he builds a dam because of the coming winter, which obviously doesn’t apply to all the beavers in unsnowy areas. Like Martinez. Still, this is a pretty good list of why beavers are specially adapted to their environment, even if it’s lacking the PART TWO of all the special things beavers DO for the environment!
The fact that beavers are sociable, peaceful, industrious, and faithful is admirable. The fact that they are fully equipped to chop down trees, build solid dams, and intricate homes without the assistance of a single machine is an inspiration. No amount of wishful thinking will enable you to grow a security tail, webbed feet, transparent eyelids, or self-replenishing teeth – but Mr. Beaver, dam builder extraordinaire can thank the Creator, Who designed and formed him with such wisdom.
Well, I appreciate your description of the Hebrew beavers, but I’m pretty sure beavers are pagan tree-worshipers. I could be wrong. I admire your attention to detail in this column, and always am happy to encounter an accurate writer when it comes to beavers! So congratulations are in order.