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        Studying the Structure and Function of Beavers | Wild Alaska

        Beavers are known for building dams and taking down trees. Their bodies have many structural traits that enable these behaviors. Comparative anatomist Dr. Joy Reidenberg and Alaska teacher Larissa Wright-Elson team up in the first video to observe and describe the physical structure of a beaver’s skull. In the second video, Dr. Reidenberg draws connections between the skull’s physical structures and the beaver’s specialized diet and behaviors.

        Observing Beaver Structures

        Dr. Joy Reidenberg and Alaska teacher Larissa Wright-Elson observe and describe some of the structures that make a beaver so unique. Beavers have long, angled front teeth and ridged molars. A beaver’s skull is relatively flat, supporting upward-facing eyeballs and impressive jaw muscles.

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        Dr. Joy Reidenberg Explains Beaver Functions

        Dr. Joy Reidenberg explains how a beaver’s physical structures support its unique behaviors. Beavers, natural woodcutters, use their front teeth to fell trees and their ridged molars to grind wood. A beaver’s skull supports its powerful jaw muscles, and its eye sockets face upwards for self-defense.

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