Did you recognize the tail in last week’s puzzler? It is from North America’s largest rodent–the Beaver! If you’ve ever spent any time around a lake or river “up north” you’ve probably seen the work of these amazing engineers. Or perhaps you’ve heard the slap of their tail just before they disappear under water. Do you know why they do that?
Or how they use their large, flat tails?
Actually, Beavers use their tails for a number of jobs, as they are much like a swiss army knife. When swimming, the tail is used as a rudder, to steer them through the water, or to propel them deeper. On land their tails act like a kick stand, giving them stability when chopping down a tree. Fat is stored in the tail to help them make it through the winter and of course they use them to slap the water to warn other beavers about potential predators. Contrary to popular belief, they do not use their tails to pack mud onto their lodge or dam!
Do you know how long beavers can stay underwater or how they survive winter? Do you know where they live or what they eat? Check out my past post about nature’s master engineer–10 Things you Might not know about Beavers. If you’ve never heard the slap of a beaver’s tail on water, here’s your chance!
Here’s the next puzzler–one last one on the subject of Animal Tails.