Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mountain Beavers


Have you ever seen a mountain beaver? This is no joke, there is such a thing out here. If you see a six inch burrow hole in the dirt with some cut vegetation stacked around it, you’ve come upon a mountain beaver home.

They are also known as boomers, which is an odd name since these creatures are rarely seen and don’t make any noise. These stub-tailed rodents are not beavers at all, but their soft fur is reminiscent of soft beaver pelt.

I’ve seen them late in the evening or early in the morning before or after the sun is present. They are slow movers and seem to have poor eye sight.

The thing I find most remarkable about the mountain beaver is that they live in a Y shaped burrow. They make a device that is known as a mountain beaver baseball. What it is; is a ball of clay. In one arm of the Y shaped burrow is the tunnel where they rear their young. The other arm of the tunnel is where they store their waste. The remarkable part is that when they are in the burrow they roll the mountain beaver baseball over the entrance of the waste tunnel, and when they go out to gather food, they roll the baseball in front of the tunnel where their young are. This way if an invader comes down the tunnel, they go directly to the waste.

20 Comments:

Blogger Hahn at Home said...

Looks a lot like the hedgehogs in Germany...cute little critter.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Trish said...

Not only are they cute...they're clever too!

7:03 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

I think that they look like rats. Are you sure these things are real and not just some overly large "rat" photo you found on flickr?

Has anyone else ever seen one of these critters?

7:47 AM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

Guy,
When you had me looking for them, how come I was supposed to yell, "Here Snipe, Here Snipe!" if they are really beavers?!!!
No wonder I've still never seen one.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

I've never heard of this animal, but that's amazing about the ball... I'd better google this, in case you are pulling our collective legs.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Oh, I even found a video of one!

http://www.werc.usgs.gov/pt-reyes/movies/

9:07 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I first read about the base balls in the Audibon Mamal book, but there is w web site that talks about it.
MBB

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cute, but destructive pests. Bane of the timber industry, too.

An employee of the City Of Astoria told me that Mountain Beavers displaced so much soil around and under the base of the Astoria Column that concern an money were expended to correct the damage.

9:23 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

They are cute. Auntie is from around here so of course she thinks they are nasty.

Why is it so many people think I make this stuff up. The world is a strange and wonderful place.

Nice find, Donna. You are the video queen.

Gearhead, you need to get out to clear cuts more often.

9:24 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Shoot, we could have had a leaning tower.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

OMG, thats exactly what I thought when I read that comment. Evil minds think alike !

10:06 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Ever mounted a beaver, you ask...?? [hehe]

Are you pulling our leg about this? I'm gonna have to look it up. Not that I don't trust you...

10:33 AM  
Blogger WenWhit said...

Cute, clever, and fastidious... I'm in love. ;)

8:15 PM  
Blogger Auntie said...

wenwhit - are you being nice to Guy now? LOL and Syd, thanks for sticking up for my friend over at your place. ;)

9:14 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

Oh fine. Next, send me on a snipe hunt.

10:49 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Mo3,Syd, I swear it's true.

Auntie, thanks for your support.

Wen, where would you like some delivered?

8:49 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

well, I love beavers regardless of the location...the fact they're into sports is just icing on the cake :)

8:40 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Lee, that is funny on so many levels.

11:24 AM  
Blogger WenWhit said...

I am *always* nice to Guy. Damn it.

6:42 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Thanks, Wen. *

8:07 AM  

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