Busy Beavers Building, Part 1

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This post courtesy BBC Earth. For more wildlife news, find BBC Earth on Facebook and Posterous.

It’s at this time of year when many of us batten down the hatches and prepare for the chilly months ahead! Pulling shut the windows and doors, building a roaring fire and snuggling up under our coziest of blankets is at the top of our priority list. But how does that compare with the animal kingdom?

Beavers, unlike many of their closest kin which include marmots and squirrels, do not hibernate and live up to their name, keeping busy and working hard to make sure that their winter lodges, much like our homes, are solid, secure and most of all, full of seasonal essentials such as a fully stocked larder and a tailor-made chimney!

Yet to say that beavers are masters of their trade is a huge understatement! Alongside humans, beavers do more to mould and shape their landscape than any other animal. Not only do they fell trees in strategic locations for specific purposes of their own, but they are also responsible for engineering many woodland ponds which bring new life to other animals, and plants alike.

In this first video of our beaver series, we see our family working flat out to prepare their pond for the Wyoming winter!

Return here to see what happens next. Will the dam spring a leak? Will the pond be deep enough? And who invited the muskrats? All will be revealed here soon.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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