Science database

KNOWLEDGE BASE

We have gathered decades of scientific research from Great Britain, continental Europe and North America to share with people interested in diving deeper into the world of beavers.

This list of resources is being constantly amended and updated.

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Castor canadensis (Beaver) Impoundment Associated with Geomorphology of Southeastern Streams

Published by: Southeastern Naturalist

1st June 2007

Researchers used computational analysis to see what geographic features influence North American beavers' damming in small streams in the USA. They divided streams into segments and analysed different geographic features including: slope of the stream, proximity to roads, and the size of the watershed feeding into each segment. Beavers preferred building dams near roads, with slopes of around 1%, and watersheds that were neither too big nor too small. Roads may slow down the flow of streams slightly, meaning that the beaver needs to spend less additional energy to build a functional dam.

Sperm morphology of the eurasian beaver, Castor fiber: An example of a species of rodent with highly derived and pleiomorphic sperm populations

Published by: Journal of Morphology

10th May 2007

This paper examined the structure of Eurasian beaver sperm and compared it to closely-related rodent species. The researchers used electron microscopy to do so. Beaver sperm typically has a paddle-shaped head and a shorter tail than other rodents. This structure differs significantly from other rodent groups, even those closely related. Beavers' sperm and testis structure is related to their monogamous nature. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Perfluorinated compounds in some terrestrial and aquatic wildlife species from Poland

Published by: Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A

1st May 2007

In this article, scientists studied whether man-made industrial chemicals could be found in animals such as fish, birds, and beavers. These chemicals are collectively called polyfluoroalkyl compounds and are found in many day-to-day materials and industrial products. They took liver samples from beavers in Poland and blood samples from several fish and bird species. All of the chemicals were found in the animals, but some animals had higher levels of specific chemicals than others. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Carnivore-specific stable isotope variables and variation in the foraging ecology of modern and ancient wolf populations: Case studies from Isle Royale, Minnesota, and La Brea

Published by: Canadian Journal of Zoology

10th April 2007

Wolf diets can be hard to study by traditional methods - their large range makes fecal samples hard to gather! In this study, researchers studied wolf diets by analysing the balance of carbon and nitrogen isotopes from two North American grey wolf populations. This is possible because these wolves' prey - moose and beaver - have different isotopic balances themselves. This analysis can help scientists understand wolves' eating habits today, but also to study ancient wolf diets from fossil records.

Cryptosporidium and Giardia in wild otters (Lutra lutra)

Published by: Veterinary Parasitology

1st April 2007

In this article, researchers report on an analysis of over 430 otter faecal samples. They detected two types of parasite linked to water contamination and public health risks. Discussing these results, the authors note that beavers have been the likely source of several disease outbreaks linked to the Giardia parasite in North America. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

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