One of my favorite things to do on this channel
is to get you to look at the world you know in a different way, to take something you
thought was ordinary, and show you why it’s amazing. Today I’m here in Alaska, and you’re never
gonna look at beavers the same way again. [OPEN] Ok, so what do most people know about beavers? They chew down trees, and they build dams. But what most people don’t know is without
beavers, North America–and much of the world–would be totally different than it is today. Beavers are one of the ultimate keystone species—a
plant or animal so important to an ecosystem, that without it, the whole thing would basically
break. Their dams create habitats for dozens of species,
filter and purify water, and enrich the soil by trapping sediment and nutrients. Beaver ponds reshape landscapes on such an
enormous scale it impacts all other wildlife and vegetation in the area. Earth is home to two beaver species today:
one in Europe, and these here in North America. They’re the second largest rodents living
today, and like most rodents they have big front teeth that never stop growing. Beaver teeth are actually reinforced with
iron, and with their enormous jaw muscles they use those teeth to slice through bark
and chop down trees. Besides being carpenters, they even play the
part of plumbers. When a beaver hears the sound of running water,
it drives them nuts, they know the dam has sprung a leak and they have an uncontrollable
instinct to go patch it up. Beavers are ecosystem engineers second only
to humans, and they stay pretty DAM busy keeping this pond nice and full. Beavers’ urge to build can sometimes cause
headaches, but NO beavers can be an even BIGGER problem. Before European colonists arrived, there were
as many as 400 million beavers in the US and Canada! North America was covered with tens of millions
of beaver dams. Imagine between 5 and 30 beavers on every
kilometer of stream or river on the whole continent! That’s a lotta beavers. But over a few hundred years they were almost
hunted to extinction. Beavers were big business. They were trapped for fur, mostly to make
hats, but also for sacs on their butts full of castoreum—a pungent substance used in
perfumes. The British Hudson’s Bay Company even tried
to eradicate beavers from the Pacific Northwestv, figuring with no beavers left to hunt, the
United States would stop its westward expansion. Wherever pioneers went, they killed every
beaver they could find, despite the fact that beavers were responsible for most of the farmland
in the West. Populations dwindled from millions to the
low thousands. Without beaver dams, huge areas of land are
left with less water. hundreds of species (like fish, birds, insects,
and amphibians) are left without a habitat. So… beaver dams are great for other species,
but what’s in it for the beavers? Why do they build them? For beavers the pond created by their dams
is a safe place to build a home, called a lodge, where they raise their young and keep
away from predators. Beavers are pretty awkward on land, but they
are safe and happy in the water. The entrance to a beaver lodge is underwater,
so beavers can safely scoot in and out. Since they don’t hibernate, this lets them
access underwater food stores even when their ponds are frozen over. Beavers’ favorite foods are the leaves and
soft outer bark of trees, but like most mammals, they don’t digest wood very well, so they
eat their excrement to get the most out of a meal… until it eventually comes out looking
like sawdust. A crew of beavers spotted in a pond is usually
a family. Beaver couples often mate for life and beaver
kits live with their parents for a couple years while they practice their engineering
skills. The oldest dams ever discovered are 100,000
years old telling us beavers or their close relatives have been altering our landscapes
even before we moved in. And for most of the thousands of years we’ve
lived together, we’ve lived in harmony. Now that we’ve realized how important they
are, beaver populations are starting to recover. More beavers means more homes for
fish and birds, fresher water, and less damage from flooding and forest fires. Beavers feature prominently in the oral histories
of North America’s First Nations people, even playing a part in many creation myths,
which is neat, because beavers really have created much of the landscape we live in,
showing us how old and important our relationship is with the smartest thing in fur pants. Stay curious! If you want to see more of Alaska’s incredible
wild life, watch Wild Alaska Live, a special 3-night live event brought to you by PBS and
BBC. Check the description for more info. Beavers are big as rodents go today, but during
the Pleistocene, Earth was home to a beaver called Castoroides the size of a black bear. Too bad they went extinct.

Why BEAVERS Are The Smartest Thing In Fur Pants
Tagged on:                                                                                                                             

100 thoughts on “Why BEAVERS Are The Smartest Thing In Fur Pants

  • July 19, 2017 at 3:57 pm
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    I decided to name the beaver I met "Justin". Now he's Justin Beaver.

    Hope you enjoyed learning about the most under-appreciated engineers in nature!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2019 at 1:40 am
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    Clickbait title, doesn't go over the intelligence of beavers at all. The only thing that even comes close is the mention of "when a beaver sees a leak in a dam, it has a strong, instinctual urge to patch it up," but as I'm sure you're aware, instincts =/= intelligence. The mammalian diving reflex, for example, has absolutely no bearing on how intelligent a being, human or otherwise, is.

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 4:35 pm
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    I’ve always been obsessed with these creatures , it seriously doesn’t get better than this !

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 6:35 pm
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    Purify? They can give you beaver fever if u swim in their toilet,which is anywhere they Pete and poo

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  • July 29, 2019 at 6:38 pm
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    Yea white ppl have always killed everywhere they went ,beavers,buffalo,NATIVE Indigenous PEOPLE! !!!

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 2:39 pm
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    I live in Alaska.

    Reply
  • August 2, 2019 at 2:02 pm
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    Beavers are pretty dam interesting

    Reply
  • August 3, 2019 at 6:35 am
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    When he said Europe colonialism I knew what followed

    Reply
  • August 4, 2019 at 6:43 pm
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    My rats could take down a tree!🌳🐀It might take a little longer!

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 5:00 am
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    I found my uncles playboys when I was like 8, I never looked at beavers the same way again since

    Reply
  • August 7, 2019 at 2:06 am
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    Some of these clips are from National Geographic……..

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 2:07 pm
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    I wish they make products without harming animals and im crying when they died. They died without defensing their self.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 2:31 pm
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    I believe I was 14 or 15 when I learned to never look at a beaver the same way again.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 6:57 pm
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    A world without Beavers~I shudder to think! Here in Michigan, beavers are most essential to our eco-system with so much forestry and our lakes, river and streams wouldn't be as scenic and clean without the busy beavers. Thanks for uploading! 🙂

    Reply
  • August 11, 2019 at 11:21 am
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    Man so cute and hardworking. Thank you beavers!

    Reply
  • August 12, 2019 at 3:24 am
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    Beavers put my super to shame….. 🤷🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️💭💭💭

    Reply
  • August 17, 2019 at 3:29 am
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    Interesting that every story about extinction level threats to non-human animals often start with "before European invaders arrived." LOL

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 7:33 pm
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    They sure like harassing me in my kayak. They let you know who's water your in.

    Reply
  • August 20, 2019 at 9:15 am
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    löl jewish desert canücks ^?^

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 4:32 am
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    Beavers are really impressive engineers they just know how to build dames

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 9:43 am
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    Humans killed thousands of beavers for selfish reasons. We are the pests compared to them. Really..

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 12:07 am
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    Sad that you had to go to Alaska to find one

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  • August 24, 2019 at 5:32 am
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    Humans: we don't care

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 2:04 pm
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    Beavers 🙂

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 7:16 pm
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    If you study nature and the history of flora and fauna in it, you will find one prominent villainous character in almost each of the story…Man

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 7:47 pm
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    You fool none with those fake glasses

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 12:39 am
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    Would have liked the video better without the clickbait title.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:05 pm
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    I was watching that beaver patching the dam the whole time

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 3:50 am
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    Hehehe…. Beaver. Hehehe (in my best Beavis & Butthead voice)

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 4:00 am
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    Who doesn't love a nice, furry beaver?

    Reply
  • August 28, 2019 at 5:06 am
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    As a member of the no pants club full fursuit club myself, I have to say you are wrong. I may be a bit 'brave' but that doesn't discount my ingenuity, imagination and mathematical abilities.

    Reply
  • August 28, 2019 at 7:41 am
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    Uh, beavers do what beaver's do. The beneficial end results are not planned by them. If you're talking about intelligent mammals, besides primates, surpassing some, look to the Honey Badger. Amazing!

    Reply
  • August 29, 2019 at 5:38 am
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    It's OK to bea very smart am i right bros?

    Reply
  • August 29, 2019 at 5:45 am
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    Disliked because it's been proven that humans have been in N America as long as 130,000 years ago. It's great that you want to educate people. You need to be sure of your facts before you put them out there for public consumption.

    Reply
  • August 30, 2019 at 6:28 pm
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    gotta love the British
    they sold opium in east Asia, hunted slaves in Africa, sent their criminals to Australia and almost killed off the beavers in North America

    Reply
  • August 30, 2019 at 11:22 pm
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    People have to go through 4 years of engineering school to get a degree while these guys get their degree by being born

    Reply
  • September 1, 2019 at 10:58 am
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    Beavers and bees are the pillars upon which the world rests.
    And beer. Also bears.

    Reply
  • September 1, 2019 at 1:16 pm
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    the beavers be like:
    wtf man, get the f off my house!!!

    Reply
  • September 2, 2019 at 5:24 am
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    Snoop dogg left the chat.
    Justin bieber joined the chat.

    Reply
  • September 2, 2019 at 12:19 pm
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    That's only because I left my fur pants at the dry cleaners…

    Reply
  • September 2, 2019 at 10:40 pm
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    Wonder how that leak in the dam started pricks

    Reply
  • September 4, 2019 at 12:46 am
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    Is it ok to be dumb?

    Reply
  • September 4, 2019 at 2:07 am
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    Hunt them to extinction? Yep, I'm gonna let beavers chew their bone to dust in the next life 😉

    Reply
  • September 4, 2019 at 2:09 am
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    They cute little guy.

    Reply
  • September 4, 2019 at 6:48 pm
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    Well, this "Keystone Species" also met the "Door Species". xD

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 12:37 am
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    2 beavers are better than 1l!

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 2:35 am
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    I’m from Sitka Alaska, where in Alaska where you?

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 4:39 am
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    My country was built on beaver. CANADA!! (I don't actually like the beaver hunt of our early history. I was really sad in social studies)

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 2:21 pm
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    Beavers numbers dropped drastically
    Especially since the 80s

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 3:20 pm
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    I once saw an otter with a little top hat

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 7:25 pm
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    Beavers feature prominently in my oral history, too.

    Reply
  • September 6, 2019 at 6:22 am
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    Save the North American Beaver

    Reply
  • September 7, 2019 at 4:16 am
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    THIS IS SO FASCINATING!!!! It's so terrible that they were almost hunted to extinction!!! That makes me sad, and FURIOUS 🙁 🙁 🙁 But I'm glad to hear humans are helping the beavers out now! I had NO idea just HOW essential they were! I gotta include one in a story!

    Reply
  • September 7, 2019 at 4:33 pm
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    That beaver was like, "Excuse me sir, it would be much appreciated if could you please not stand on my dam. No, oh that's alright. I'll just keep building then."

    Reply
  • September 7, 2019 at 6:12 pm
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    I DIED TO THE BIG BEAVERS

    Reply
  • September 7, 2019 at 8:19 pm
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    Wow, I love beavers now! 🙂

    Reply
  • September 7, 2019 at 8:19 pm
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    There's a reason it's Canada's national animal!!

    Reply
  • September 8, 2019 at 12:01 am
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    Beavers use Haki on their teeth

    Reply
  • September 8, 2019 at 5:32 am
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    oh my god, My girlfriend is such a BEAVER

    Reply
  • September 8, 2019 at 9:34 pm
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    So brown teeth are better than white teeth

    Reply
  • September 8, 2019 at 11:05 pm
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    I wonder what the world would look like if humans had the knowledge of the environment we have today back then

    Reply
  • September 8, 2019 at 11:21 pm
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    Thank you Funeau Ranger District, Tongass National Forest for letting them come in and record this!

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 2:25 am
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    Nature's Engineers!

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 3:38 am
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    Passenger Pigeons

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 4:44 am
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    So many dam jokes… 😅

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 5:51 am
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    Man, colonialism really was the worst thing to happen to the planet.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 12:03 pm
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    We need beavers in Australia…. that said we also need rain in Australia 🤨

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 2:30 pm
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    Why BEAVERS Are The Smartest Thing In Your Pants

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 4:34 pm
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    “Gtg funny two leggers, I have some serious dam business to do”
    “Like what?”
    “Like changing the ecosystem as a keystone species, no biggie”

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 4:48 pm
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    Don't primates have "fur pants"? Then how can you call a beaver the "smartest" thing that wears them? I've never seen a beaver solve elementary equations to get a treat from a dispenser.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 7:53 pm
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    "Creation myth" would you have said the same if you were doing a video that deals with Christianity?

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 8:07 pm
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    down goes the lever when he sees the beaver

    Reply
  • September 10, 2019 at 9:56 am
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    Canada eh 🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦

    Reply
  • September 10, 2019 at 10:34 am
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    Typical American settlers just not giving a dam

    Reply
  • September 11, 2019 at 10:16 am
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    The first people in North America came from Europe during the ice age.

    Reply
  • September 11, 2019 at 12:12 pm
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    Wait, what?! They eat thier excrement??? Over and over until it looks like saw dust!!! Once is one to many in my opinion…

    Reply
  • September 11, 2019 at 12:34 pm
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    A beaver killed someone in a dog park

    Reply
  • September 11, 2019 at 1:23 pm
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    Ugh, humans……

    Reply
  • September 12, 2019 at 4:52 am
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    I love beaver

    Reply
  • September 12, 2019 at 5:13 am
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    LOVE EM!!! THESE THINGS ARE GENIUSES.

    Reply
  • September 13, 2019 at 2:45 am
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    I’m one of the people who disliked this video.. thats right, I’m a psychopath. Jk

    Reply
  • September 13, 2019 at 4:54 am
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    You left out how imported beavers are destroying the ecosystems in southern Argentina. They wanted to created a reliable population to harvest for fur. Now they’re out of control, drowning trees and whatnot.

    Reply
  • September 13, 2019 at 3:57 pm
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    Beavers are modern day problem since they like to dam up culverts under roads. There are some ways to work around this so that they can co-exist with our roadway infrastructure but not always. And it's because of this modern day problem that some states label them a nuisance animal so you can't trap them and relocate them. If you trap them you have to kill them.

    Reply
  • September 13, 2019 at 5:29 pm
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    Is it just me or is it always the British or the Chinese or the Japanese that kill random stuff for stupid reason.

    Reply
  • September 14, 2019 at 2:50 am
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    did this guy fk with the beavers dam just to get shots of the beaver fixing it???

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  • September 16, 2019 at 2:49 am
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    I used to dismantle beaver dams for an explosive company. They needed to have water streams between every storage "bunker" to stop the fire spreading if there ever was one. I can tell you it is very well made and solid! And after breaking a dam, if you do not come back for 2-3 days, it pops back up like it was always there.xD

    Reply
  • September 19, 2019 at 4:14 am
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    dam….

    Reply
  • September 20, 2019 at 12:31 am
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    Human engineering is flaw, beaver engineering is flawless… Ironic 🙁

    Reply
  • September 20, 2019 at 3:32 pm
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    I love beaver not Justin beaver

    Reply
  • September 20, 2019 at 10:41 pm
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    Lol the song sounds like the theme song of Halloween

    Reply
  • September 21, 2019 at 10:17 am
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    The beaver was at its prime in the 70s but almost went extinct in the mid 2000s. The ones that still existed were hiding though. It does seem like it is making a comeback though.

    Reply
  • September 21, 2019 at 12:57 pm
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    Why you claim they are second to human in ecosystem engineers? Humans ruins ecosystems, Most people does not care and don´t know what ecosystem engineering is, while all beavers do. We are second to them, and it is question if actually as high as second.

    Reply
  • September 21, 2019 at 6:32 pm
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    Rejoice, Canada.

    Reply
  • September 21, 2019 at 9:27 pm
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    Natives ; You killed all the beavers and buffalo !!! Whites ; we needed stuff

    Natives ; There was millions of them ! Whites ; We needed millions of stuff

    Reply
  • September 22, 2019 at 3:12 pm
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    Any one else read "the smartest thing in your pants" in the thumbnail?

    Reply
  • September 24, 2019 at 4:38 am
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    Beavers are really know how to make a DAM !

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 4:10 am
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    Wait a minute… If there's beavers in Europe then why the hell did they go all the way to Canada to get fur?

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 3:33 pm
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    Show me your beaver ☺

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 11:12 pm
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    Beavers are good gardeners and zoo keepers 🙂
    Maybe they like to see animals near their property.
    Very sad that humans wreaked the beaver population. Let's hope they will recover their numbers.

    Reply
  • September 28, 2019 at 8:58 am
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    Is it just me or does the one at the start look like he has bark for a back

    Reply

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