Dam engineers: Beavers

River management has always been one of the significant topics men have examined down the ages. There has been a great effort for this and particular construction techniques have been developed. That unconscious beavers calculate like an architect and build perfect lodges is one of the most thought-provoking examples in the world of animals.

Building a dam is a very difficult job, indeed. For instance, the construction of Ataturk Dam on the River Euphrates took nine years and in the meantime, there were days when exactly 9 thousand workers worked together simultaneously. Have you known that kind of dam construction that requires such a challenging organization is seen in the world of animals?

Beavers build their lodges inside a still pond. Yet, the specialty of this pond is that it is formed by an artificial dam constructed by beavers. In order to block water and to make a still pond, beavers first push the thick branches into the stream bed. Later on, they pile up thinner branches onto the ones that are heavier. However, there is a problem; the running water may wash this mass away. That is to say, if the dam does not have a strong connection to the stream bed, the water will destroy it shortly. In order to prevent the dam being destroyed by the water, the wisest thing to do is to penetrate posts onto the stream bed and building the dam on top of them. Therefore, beavers use long posts as the main girder while building dams. But instead of penetrating these posts onto the stream bed, they prefer making the parts heavier by using stones and they anchor them in the water.

Finally, beavers glue their pile of braches with a particular grout made of dead leaves and clay. This grout is water-proof and it is very resistant against the abrasive force of water. After works of a couple of months, a pond of dam is formed behind the barricade. And as the pond grows bigger, they have to strengthen the dam and fix the leaks. To do this, they fill the gaps between the trees by using mud and support the barricade with bushes.


Beavers’ Dams Are Concave
Engineers working in a dam construction do plans and run projects and construction workers physically work to bring the project run by engineers into action. Nevertheless, beavers are both the workers and the engineers of their dams. And to do so, they work within a very convenient working plan.

The shape of the dams built by beavers is concave. That is to say, it looks like a bow hollowed inward. All beavers built their dams in the concave shape. And the reason why they do so is that they try to block water with a 45o degree angle. In other words, they do not accidentally throw branches against the water while building dams. They construct their dams according to an exact plan. What is interesting here is that the hydroelectric centrals are built according to this angle in our day. Besides, beavers do not make a mistake such as completely blocking water. They build dams in a way to allow them to keep water at the correct height they requested for the dam; and they leave particular channels open allowing the extra water to flow. This outstanding intelligence does not of course belong to the beavers. These beings act by our Lord’s will. It is remarkable that men learnt that dams should be built in this way after a time spent on long calculations and complex equations. Yet, beavers succeed in this hard work without any need for an education in engineering. This is because, the All-Knowing Allah created them with this particular information.

Their Anatomy Is Suitable

A beaver can cut down about 200 trees in a year.  And it does all these, only by using its teeth. In time, its teeth are consumed away and sometimes they broke down. However, this does not become an obstacle for the beavers as their fore teeth grow again shortly. Only the fore teeth grow; therefore if they had used their back teeth, their jaw structure would be distorted and their teeth would be unable to be used.


Beavers also have to be good swimmers in order to build dams. Thus their anatomy is very suitable for swimming. Their webbed feet and flipper-like tails enable them to have a hydrophobic feature. Another feature enabling them to move easily in water is the special creation in their eyes. They have a secondary eye lid  that is half-transparent. This protects them from the effects of water. Besides, their ears and nasals are protected by being closed down to prevent water going inside.

The Source of Intelligent Behavior in Beavers

Beavers know about building dams and lodges from the moment they are born. It is for sure that this feature of theirs was not formed on its own. This information was taught to them even before they were born. And that’s why they are so good at doing it. (Harun Yahya, Engineering In Nature)

The One Who ordered all beavers and animals that have lived until now is our Lord, The Most Merciful, and The Owner of Supreme Intelligence. Allah is The Almighty and The Originator of all living beings.

“And Allah has created every animal from water: of them there are some that creep on their bellies; some that walk on two legs; and some that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills for verily Allah has power over all things.” (Surah An-Nur, 45)

2011-03-30 22:45:22

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