Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Why do beavers build dams?

File:Beaver dam on Smilga.JPG
The ulimate reason is that a dam creates a body of water that makes a relatively safe neighborhood for a beaver family. But it is very likely that the beaver is unaware of this. The proximate reason, i.e. the real reason as far as the beaver is concern, is that he hates the sound of running water!
Researchers have shown that if you place headspeakers playing the sound of running water at proximity to beavers, the beavers will do all what they can to stop it! In one experiment, the beavers covered the headspeaker with mud until the sound stopped...


  1. What about the possibility that running water sounds like a broken dam to the beaver, rather than writing that it "hates the sound of running water?" It may think it needs to plug a leak, knowing without thought that running water is a problem for its abode.

    Saying it hates the sound doesn't tell us why, and it is making a statement that cannot be supported.

    Covering the speaker could be its way of being safe, and have nothing to do with hating the sound. Hate is a human emotion, and likely has nothing to do with the beaver's life.

    Just a thought.

  2. I agree that using the verb "to hate" is anthropomorphic and hence, not an accurate choice. Just a provocative choice. The facts are, when a beaver hears running water, he reacts by trying to stop this noise. What really crosses the mind of the beaver is indeed not known.

  3. This is animal instinct...God's intelligent design!The beaver reacts to the sound of flowing water to benefit its colony and benefits humanity. I am glad man is learning from the busy eager beaver, the innovative engineer of the animal kingdom!