Beaver Fact of the Week: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it…

does it make a sound? Yes. In fact, one of a beaver’s key talents is listening to the creaks and groans of a tree that’s about to fall.

When a beaver chews down a large tree to use in its dam, lodge, or food stores it needs to have some way of knowing when and in which direction it will topple. If it isn’t paying attention, the tree could fall on top the beaver and crush it.

chewing tree
When the beaver is in the middle of chewing a tree it has to be very careful! One wrong chomp could put these little engineers in a very dangerous situation.

To make sure they stay out of harm’s way, a beaver will stop every few bites and listen to the creaks and groans of the tree trunk. Beavers can tell when a tree is about to fall based only on these auditory cues. When the creaking starts to sound like the tree is coming down, the beaver will quickly waddle away (they’re not exactly graceful runners on land) and wait for the crashing sounds of the tree hitting the ground. So yes. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, it does make a sound and you can bet any nearby beavers will be listening carefully for it.

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