Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass the mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Leave it to Beavers for showing
us an animal with superb hydro-engineering skills
after some 40 million years of experience.

Leave it to Beavers

Leave it to Beavers (2014) - 60 minutes
Leave it to Beavers at Amazon.com

The fascinating story of beavers in North America - their history, their near extinction, and their current comeback, as a growing number of scientists, conservationists and grass-roots environmentalists have come to regard beavers as overlooked tools when it comes to reversing the disastrous effects of global warming and world-wide water shortages. Once valued for their fur or hunted as pests, these industrious rodents are seen in a new light through the eyes of this novel assembly of beaver enthusiasts and "employers" who reveal the ways in which the presence of beavers can transform and revive landscapes. Using their skills as natural builders and brilliant hydro-engineers, beavers are being recruited to accomplish everything from re-establishing water sources in bone-dry deserts to supporting whole communities of wildlife drawn to the revitalizing aquatic ecosystems their ponds provide.

6-3-17 Beaver return 'benefits environment'
Beaver return 'benefits environment'
Beavers should be re-introduced to England to improve water supplies, prevent floods and tackle soil loss, a researcher says. New results from a trial in Devon show muddy water entering a beaver wetland is three times cleaner when it leaves. The farmers' union, NFU, warns that beavers brought back to Scotland have damaged fields and forestry. But Prof Richard Brazier, who runs the Devon trial, says farmers should thank beavers for cleaning up farm pollution. Unpublished preliminary results from his tests for Exeter University showed that a pair of beavers introduced six years ago have created 13 ponds on 183m of a stream. The ponds trapped a total of 16 tonnes of carbon and one tonne of nitrogen - a fertiliser that in large quantities harms water supplies. During heavy rains, water monitored entering the site has been thick with run-off soil from farm fields - but the soil and fertilisers have been filtered out of the water by the network of dams. "We see quite a lot of soil erosion from agricultural land round here (near Okehampton)," he told BBC News. "Our trial has shown that the beavers are able to dam our streams in a way that keeps soil in the headwaters of our catchment so it doesn't clog up rivers downstream and pollute our drinking and bathing waters. "Farmers should be happy that beavers are solving some of the problems that intensive farming creates. "If we bring beavers back it's just one tool we need to solve Britain's crisis of soil loss and diffuse agricultural pollution of waterways, but it's a useful tool."

5-17-17 Beaver dams keeps streams cool and protect sensitive fish
Beaver dams keeps streams cool and protect sensitive fish
We used to think that beaver dams warmed up stream waters as felling trees to build them reduces shade. Now it seems the opposite might be true. Beaver dams keeps streams cool and protect sensitive fish Beaver dams could lower maximum water temperatures in streams – keeping temperature-sensitive fish safe from dangerous highs. Previous studies suggested that beaver dams warm up the water, for example by expanding the water’s surface area, cutting the speed of water flow and removing shade by felling trees. Now, a team led by Nicholas Weber from Eco-Logical Research Inc. in the US has shown that the opposite may be the case. They monitored stream temperatures at 23 sites along 34 kilometres of Bridge Creek in Oregon over an eight-year period. The number of beaver dams there increased over this period from 24 to 120. An additional 134 artificial dams were built on a 4 kilometre stretch as part of nature restoration efforts on this creek. “Our goal was to encourage beavers to build on stable structures that would increase dam life spans, capture sediment, raise the stream and reconnect the stream to its floodplain,” says Nicolaas Bouwes, owner of Utah-based Eco-Logical Research, and one of the paper authors. The team looked at the temperature differences between an upstream site with no beaver activity and downstream parts of the creek before and after the proliferation of dams.

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Leave it to Beavers

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Leave it to Beavers for showing
us an animal with superb hydro-engineering skills
after some 40 million years of experience.