Nature – The Beaver

The beaver is an engineer with amazing features and knowledge. It builds its dam, up to hundreds of feet long, with such engineering skill that men study the beaver’s dam to know how to build strength into a dam and how to channel water.

Building a dam means spending a lot of time in the water and the beaver has special physical equipment that enables him to do that. A protective nose and ear flaps that close when it goes under the water are part of this equipment. The flaps close so that he can freely swim in the water and open when he surfaces so he can breathe again. His eyelids are transparent and close when he is under the water. This allows for protection from debris and irritants in the water and yet allows him to see very well.

Beavers have uniquely designed, self-sharpening front incisors which continue to grow as they are worn down allowing for a continuous and sharp supply of front teeth. They use these sharp front teeth to cut young tender branches to a specific size to be stored in the mud at the bottom of the pond for their food supplies in the winter. In order to retrieve the branches, the beaver needs to chew them underwater. They are able to do this without water entering their mouth with the aid of fur mouth flaps between their front incisors and their rear molar teeth. These flaps of fur seal off the mouth behind the front incisors.

To build a dam, the beaver chooses the location and gnaws away at trees and branches along the bank, which when properly placed cuts off the flow of water. Nearby, a lodge is built into the bank of the stream or river. These dome-shaped structures are made of sticks, grass, and moss. The lodge provides a home for a single family of beavers consisting of as many as 12. The purpose of the dam is to create a “moat” around the lodge, providing protection from predators.

Beavers love their homes and will typically remain in the same location for years, until the food supply runs out. Since the animal lives just ten years in the wild, it could spend its entire life in the same place.

The beaver’s ability to swim long distances without harm is unlike other air-breathing water creatures. He can swim submerged for up to a half-mile or more. In order to do this without lack of oxygen to the brain, the beaver has large lungs and liver to store more air and oxygenated blood. His heart also compensates by beating more slowly when he dives. Blood is also restricted to the extremities during swimming allowing the brain to receive more oxygen.

The beaver is often in cold water that has ice formed on the top. In order for the skin to keep from freezing in this frigid water, the fur of the beaver is oiled by two large oil glands that produce a rich, thick, deep yellow oily liquid, which the beaver spreads on its fur to waterproof it. He also has two layers of fur and then a layer of fat just beneath the skin which helps further protect it from its cold winter environment.

The beaver is truly another example of a wise plan developed by a caring, Creator God. Such variety of special features could not have evolved over time and by chance. All of the physical features inherent to the beaver must be present and fully functional from the beginning for it to survive.

Adapted from Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution, Volume 1 and The Evolution of a Creationist by Jobe Martin, D.M.D. Th. M., Biblical Discipleship Publishers, Rockwall, Texas 75032;