In my last Secret Science Club lecture recap, I mentioned that I showed some beaver pics to lecturer Dr Sanderson. Well, they weren't pictures of beavers per se, but they were pictures of evidence of beavers. Of course, as well all know, the beaver is a large, semi-aquatic rodent that subsists on wood and often builds extensive dams to produce ponds in which to build dwellings. Insert your own "beaver consuming wood" joke, my dirty dears. Contrary to the Medieval authorities' writings (linked site is a personal favorite), the beaver does not bite off its testicles to elude its pursuers. Oddly enough, for purposes of Lenten abstinence from meat, the beaver was declared a fish by French bishops.
Trade in beaver pelts was important enough to warrant a depiction of beaver on the seal of the City of New York. Greed for beaver pelts insured the eradication of the beaver from the city, but in 2007, a beaver established an abode in the Bronx River in the extensive Bronx Park. I work a few miles north of the city, but around this time, we had a beaver population on the grounds.
I don't have any pictures of the beavers that inhabited our site- they were shy and tended to be nocturnal (I was pretty freaked out when I heard this at two in the morning for the first time). The beavers were taking down trees at an alarming rate, so the head of grounds hired a trapper to remove the beavers- ten were caught on site (I'm told that they were humanely relocated, but I've been told a lot of things). Here is the "beaver series" of photos taken on the job:
Every once in a while, I'll spot a sizable rodent in the water on site, and I try to observe closely whether it's a beaver or a muskrat- so far, it's been nothing but muskrats for a couple of years.
That's the beaver post, folks, let the hits begin! Sorry, horndogs!