Dam Builders: The Natural History of Beavers and Their Ponds (Paperback)
Few animals in the world are as famous or as infamous as the beaver, and none save our species has the ability to so dramatically transform its environment.
Beavers are remarkable animals. They have teeth that self-sharpen and never stop growing, and a heart that slows down and valves that close in their ears and noses when they dive. Their tail is the most multi-purpose of any animal on this planet; in addition to communication its many functions include serving as an air conditioner in summer and a food pantry in winter.
From mighty moose that glean sodium from aquatic plants to swallows that live in drowned trees and tiny butterflies that nectar in meadows where a pond once stood, myriad organisms benefit from the actions of beavers.
This book is a comprehensive overview of the lives of beavers and the habitats that arise from their actions. It is a visual extravaganza: approximately 400 photographs provide intimate insights into the lives of beavers and the inhabitants of their ponds and related habitats. Many new observations and rarely seen moments - such as beavers fighting - are documented in it.
About the Author
Michael Runtz has been an avid birdwatcher since the age of five and has worked as an interpretive naturalist in Algonquin Provincial and Point Pelee National parks, hosted an international television series Wild by Nature, authored 10 natural history books, and written more than 1,000 newspaper and magazine natural history articles. Michael teaches Natural History and Ornithology courses at Carleton University where his highly visual teaching style continues to attract record enrolments (to date more than 41,000 students have taken Natural History). Michael has received numerous awards including the Council of Canadian University Biology Chairs Distinguished Public Science Education Award and the Carleton University Lifetime Achievement Award. A popular keynote speaker and a regular guest on radio and television, Michael was the only Canadian featured in the TVO/NHK Japan 2001 Superteachers series that profiled such notables as Jane Goodall and Nelson Mandela.