Why do beavers build dams?
Asked by: Julie L. Elkins
1346 Gorby Lane
Tylertown, MS 39667
Ans: Dam-building is a synonym for the ultimate aquatic engineers, beavers. Such large rodents dam lakes using branches from trees they’ve felled to create moat-like still water ponds where they make islands known as ‘conical lodges’ out of timber, mud, and rocks. The water body around the lodges provides protection from predators – resident beavers join and exit their sophisticated incognito homes through water-filled tunnels leading from the lodges to the pond.
The largest lodge, located in Alberta, Canada, measures more than 500 m in length-although it is not visible from space, contrary to a widely circulated myth! Beavers literally excavate into river banks in deep or fast-moving water areas, and then set up home there.