Every Day is a good Day for Mesolithic Giant Beavers!
Why giant human-sized beavers died out 10,000 years ago
by Tessa Plint, The Conversation
May 29, 2019
Giant beavers the size of black bears once roamed the lakes and wetlands of North America. Fortunately for cottage-goers, these mega-rodents died out at the end of the last ice age.
A super-sized version of the modern beaver in appearance, the giant beaver tipped the scales at 100 kilograms.
The species suddenly became extinct 10,000 years ago. The disappearance of the giant beaver coincides with that of many other large-bodied ice age animals, including the iconic woolly mammoth. But until now scientists didn’t know for certain why the giant rodent had died out.
Towards the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago, the climate became increasingly warm and dry and wetland habitats began to dry up. Although the modern beavers and the giant beaver co-existed on the landscape for tens of thousands of years, only one species survived.
The ability to build dams and lodges may have given the modern beaver a competitive advantage over the giant beaver. With its sharp teeth, the modern beaver could alter the landscape to create suitable wetland habitat where it needed it. The giant beaver couldn’t.
As Charlie Piece at Esquire would say- “They lived then to make us happy now.”
Here’s a Beaver Lodge near Stars Hollow North Lake-
Kind of difficult to take out, the dam I mean. It’s the main access to that part of the Farm (unless you want to cross cow patty field) and it has a big old culvert draining it (I’m standing right on top of it for this shot) that the Beavers plug up every Winter and you have to uncork every Spring unless you simply replace the culvert and roadbed when the big melt does it for you.
Anyway I’m sure there will be plenty of news but I won’t know any of it because I’m going to be on the road all day and then I’m going to take a nap.