So much news today, I am fairly bursting at the seams. First the and most relevant is that Jakob Shockey of the Applegate Partnership and Watershed Council from Oregon is currently training with Mike Callahan learning flow device installation in MA. This all came about at the State of the Beaver Conference when folks really felt like they needed their own expert in the state. Well now they’re going to have one. They repaired a culvert fence and installed protections on a spill way.
By Mike Callahan
Jakob Building a Flexible Pond Leveler to install on a manmade dam spillway in western MA.. We also fixed a failed Trapezoidal Culvert Protective Fence that had worked perfectly for 5 years, looked great a month ago, and then suddenly the beavers dammed all around it. Very strange. I don’t know why it happened. Maybe related to our current drought. Nevertheless that same day we also built a Flexible Pond Leveler and installed the pipe through the failed fence to control the water level and keep a highway from flooding. Jakob is very bright, a good worker and a pleasure to spend time with.
I just love when smart people working together make beavers safer! Oregon is going to be so proud! They have a lot to brag about at the moment because they just discovered a previously unknown beaver fossil in John Day. A missing beaver-link if you will.
A fossilized skull and teeth from a newly described species of beaver that lived 28 million years ago have been discovered in Eastern Oregon.
The fossils worked their way out of the soil within a mile of the visitor center at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, said the monument’s paleontologist, Joshua Samuels.
The find is significant, he said, because unlike the other species of ancient beavers found at the monument, this one appears related to the modern beaver, a symbol of Oregon found on the state flag. The others all went extinct.
The species is named Microtheriomys brevirhinus.
It was less than half the size of a modern beaver and related to beavers from Asia that crossed the Bering land bridge to North America about 7 million years ago, Samuels said.
This diminutive beaver roamed the earth during the Oligocene period after the dinosaurs but with neighbors like the three toed horse and sabertooths. While there are really only two types of beaver left today, fossils tell us there used to be hundreds, which is awfully fun to think about. I love the idea of a tiny beaver. Just imagine how small THOSE kits were!
Speaking of kits, Rusty snapped this last night of his famous new Napa family member. Doesn’t it look like a new species of lesser-known beaver-snake?
Our own beavers have been hard at work and it looks like dad is getting ready for the new kit debut by making a training tree available they can munch on. Do you think he saved it for just this purpose?