Massive Beaver Dam Visible From Space

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Also visible from space: The BP Oil Spill as Seen by Astronauts on the ISS

For a long time, it was thought that the only creation grand enough to be visible from space was the Great Wall of China--but it turns out that humans aren't the only ones capable of such large-scale constructions. A group of enterprising beavers have built an enormous dam, over a half mile long, in a remote region of a park in Alberta, Canada. Biologists believe it may have taken 20 years to complete, with several beaver families all helping to pile its wood, mud, and stone. Park officials say the dam is inaccessible by foot, so the best view of it may be from space.According to The Sun, the massive beaver dam spans 2,790 feet, which is 1,546 feet longer than the Hoover dam, which held the title as the largest dam from the years 1936 to 1945. Biologists stumbled on the structure, located in Alberta's Wood Buffalo National Park, while cataloging beaver activity in North America. One researcher described the dam as "particularly big."

But just as humans have built their own sprawling communities, many also visible from space, biologists say the beaver dam probably makes for a pretty cozy home. A biologist from Beavers: Wetland and Wildlife, Sharon Brown, tells The Sun:

Beavers build dams to create a good habitat. They create a habitat with lots of water like a moat around their lodges so they can swim and drive and keep one step ahead of predators such as coyotes and bears.

Biologists estimate the structure took at least 20 years to build, reports CBC, and that it dwarfs a 1,956 foot dam in Montana previously thought to be the largest. It is thought that the dam was able to reach such a massive size because multiple beaver families contributed to its construction--which required thousands of trees to produce.

With this this enormous dam, visible from space, beavers once again prove that humans aren't the only ones capable of building on a massive scale. In a way, beavers may be the better builders after all; sure we've made some pretty big things that can be seen from space too, but it's no skin off our teeth.

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Tags: Animals | Biology | Canada

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