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  #1  
Old 15 Mar 17, 12:54
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Giant Beavers

The Giant Beaver or Castoroides: "My question is it a real beaver or a Giant Muskrat"?
Castoroides or Giant Beaver: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castoroides
Prehistoric Toronto: The Ice Age... http://torontoist.com/2012/03/prehis...o-the-ice-age/
Giant Beavers in Chicago Portage: https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2013...-gets-new-look
Prehistoric Mammals: Giant Beaver... https://www.nature.ca/notebooks/english/giantbev.htm
I was looking to see what possible connection they might have to Native American's as the Beaver is an important animal in many tribes folklore today.
According to what I've read the Giant Beaver didn't fell trees or build dams so it must not have had a considerable impact on early man in N.A.
It appears that they lacked the brain power to play lumber jack as modern Beavers do today.
They did however build lodges like Muskrats and the existence of webbed feet seems possible. It is inconclusive that they had a large flat tail like a beaver though probably a round one like a Muskrat?
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  #2  
Old 15 Mar 17, 16:44
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du Lhut ...

... and the Giant Beaver.

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Old 15 Mar 17, 16:59
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... and the Giant Beaver.

What an entirely daft advert.
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Old 15 Mar 17, 22:20
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It could be a cousin of the Nutria. Ugly critters! They are overrunning Louisiana marshes. The only plus is the alligators love them! They are really just giant rats...

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Old 16 Mar 17, 10:42
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
It could be a cousin of the Nutria. Ugly critters! They are overrunning Louisiana marshes. The only plus is the alligators love them! They are really just giant rats...

Pruitt
Thanks for the replies... Your probably right they wouldn't actually be a close relative of the Beaver (Castor Canadensis) at all the name is misleading more like a Rat.
They where likely just overgrown,nasty Nutria or Muskrats though it's probably safe enough to rat them out they've been dead since 11,000-10,000 BC.
Lots of Mega Fauna died out in the world around this time period probably the result of climate change & maybe a human factor too.
The Beaver (Castor Canadensis)... http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/beaver.htm
Smithsonian Institute North American Mammals: http://naturalhistory.si.edu/mna/ima...?species_id=32
I think the Beaver is a lot smarter few animals can alter their environment other than man.
Most of the continent of North America marked unknown was explored and mapped during the French, British & American Fur Trading Regimes.
The Native Americans use to watch the animals in order to learn how to survive learning from Beavers probably came natural...
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Old 16 Mar 17, 12:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmackUm View Post
T
According to what I've read the Giant Beaver didn't fell trees or build dams so it must not have had a considerable impact on early man in N.A.
Unless of course they made good eating and/or their fur was a valuable resource

Or they were a competitor for important food sources

Or they were a disease vector

Lots of different ways they could have had a positive or negative impact and not left any lasting evidence of what.
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Old 17 Mar 17, 11:04
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Unless of course they made good eating and/or their fur was a valuable resource

Or they were a competitor for important food sources

Or they were a disease vector

Lots of different ways they could have had a positive or negative impact and not left any lasting evidence of what.
Thanks for the reply MarkV... I was thinking something along the lines of it's relationship to stone age man.
When I tried to find evidence of them being hunted there appears to be none unlike Mega Fauna like: Bison, Mammoth or Mastodon which appear on the Paleo Indian menu.
If they were a predator or prey there would be human contact at some point and evidence.
A scene like the Boaz Mastodon find with the Clovis Points from the Lakehead Complex tells us a story of time and place w/carbon dating while the assay lab and method of flint knapping help to identify the source of the flint.
These Early Native American's were willing to travel a considerable distance to mine flint coming to the Thunder Bay, Ontario Area and returning to the Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin Area.
When I went to an open house at the Thunder Bay Museum put on by the Lakehead University Archaeology Department the topics covered were flint mining sites and the distribution of the flint there after.
The head speaker had commented on the difficulty of flint knapping having tried it himself. On one particular site by the Terry Fox Look Out he commented about how much debris is created by the process and the number of broken Clovis Points.
There must have been some cave man swear words uttered on that day!
With the amount of good groceries running around I can't see the Flintstones wasting precious spear heads & arrow heads. After all they had to travel so far & work so long & hard who would trade a Mammoth Burger for Rat Meat.
According to the Lakehead University Archaeology Department the work involved in the Flint Knapping process produces results that are hard to duplicated a skill probably handed down from father to son.
Flint Mining sites were probably visited for hundreds if not thousands of years prior to the Copper Complex.
Many of the same routes were used to travel to Lake Minong Flint Mining Sites as Lake Superior Copper Mining Sites making the trek a common theme in Nomadic Life in N.A.
See example w/link here... (Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center @ The University of Wisconsin La Crosse) http://mvac.uwlax.edu/glossary/clovis/

Last edited by SmackUm; 17 Mar 17 at 13:23.. Reason: add link
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  #8  
Old 17 Mar 17, 13:25
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When I saw the title of this thread, I must admit that I imagined something else entirely.

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Old 17 Mar 17, 14:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmackUm View Post
Thanks for the reply MarkV... I was thinking something along the lines of it's relationship to stone age man.
When I tried to find evidence of them being hunted there appears to be none unlike Mega Fauna like: Bison, Mammoth or Mastodon which appear on the Paleo Indian menu.
If they were a predator or prey there would be human contact at some point and evidence.
A scene like the Boaz Mastodon find with the Clovis Points from the Lakehead Complex tells us a story of time and place w/carbon dating while the assay lab and method of flint knapping help to identify the source of the flint.
These Early Native American's were willing to travel a considerable distance to mine flint coming to the Thunder Bay, Ontario Area and returning to the Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin Area.
When I went to an open house at the Thunder Bay Museum put on by the Lakehead University Archaeology Department the topics covered were flint mining sites and the distribution of the flint there after.
The head speaker had commented on the difficulty of flint knapping having tried it himself. On one particular site by the Terry Fox Look Out he commented about how much debris is created by the process and the number of broken Clovis Points.
There must have been some cave man swear words uttered on that day!
With the amount of good groceries running around I can't see the Flintstones wasting precious spear heads & arrow heads. After all they had to travel so far & work so long & hard who would trade a Mammoth Burger for Rat Meat.
According to the Lakehead University Archaeology Department the work involved in the Flint Knapping process produces results that are hard to duplicated a skill probably handed down from father to son.
Flint Mining sites were probably visited for hundreds if not thousands of years prior to the Copper Complex.
Many of the same routes were used to travel to Lake Minong Flint Mining Sites as Lake Superior Copper Mining Sites making the trek a common theme in Nomadic Life in N.A.
I used to live within a mile of one of the largest complexes of flint mining and tool making sites in ancient Britain. I needed to take a pick axe with me to plant a tree in the garden! Discoveries of what were probably trade goods (beads etc) suggested that people had come from main land Europe to get their tools and there appear to have been tool makers scattered around a considerable area - it was in effect an industrial location. Today it is a small semi rural dormitory village. In contrast I now live in a sparely populated area where there was a shortage of most forms of stone but am surrounded by the remains of iron age forts and there is still some evidence of old drift coal mines and pits where iron ore was dug out. The local population may have been higher BC than it is today and I take pleasure in saying to people who take the holiday lets in the area "welcome to the original rust belt".

To return to the giant beaver - human animal interactions could be much more complex than simple predation. In his introduction to "The Role of Animals in Emerging Viral Diseases" Nicholas Johnson points out that historically rodents have been the main reservoir for human diseases. Other studies have indicated that the marmot and not the rat (but still a rodent) in central Asia was the original incubator for bubonic plague which was passed on in the form of pneumonic plague through the breath and saliva when they were trapped as a secondary food and source of pelts. Many other respiratory related diseases, including influenza, may have emerged from man's deliberate or accidental association with rodents.

To add to this T Rinanda Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Syiah Kuala University, Aceh, Indonesia in 2015 points out that aquatic and semi aquatic animals are particularly efficient at spreading pathogens to humans if only because they share the same water for swimming, defecating and drinking.

So if the Giant Beaver was a rodent and semi aquatic it would seem to be premature to decide that it had no impact on early humans until more is known about its nature. It might (or again might not) have had a major impact without them realising.

A semi aquatic animal is likely to have had a well adapted pelt and a giant one might well have been a useful source of waterproof material, especially away from the coast where seal skin was not easily available. If so I would suggest it might not so much be hunted as trapped. I suspect a good deal more needs to be known about the animal and man's relationship with it before it's possible to be definitive on its impact upon the latter.
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Old 17 Mar 17, 15:14
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I'd like ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
I used to live within a mile of one of the largest complexes of flint mining and tool making sites in ancient Britain. I needed to take a pick axe with me to plant a tree in the garden! Discoveries of what were probably trade goods (beads etc) suggested that people had come from main land Europe to get their tools and there appear to have been tool makers scattered around a considerable area - it was in effect an industrial location. Today it is a small semi rural dormitory village. In contrast I now live in a sparely populated area where there was a shortage of most forms of stone but am surrounded by the remains of iron age forts and there is still some evidence of old drift coal mines and pits where iron ore was dug out. The local population may have been higher BC than it is today and I take pleasure in saying to people who take the holiday lets in the area "welcome to the original rust belt".

To return to the giant beaver - human animal interactions could be much more complex than simple predation. In his introduction to "The Role of Animals in Emerging Viral Diseases" Nicholas Johnson points out that historically rodents have been the main reservoir for human diseases. Other studies have indicated that the marmot and not the rat (but still a rodent) in central Asia was the original incubator for bubonic plague which was passed on in the form of pneumonic plague through the breath and saliva when they were trapped as a secondary food and source of pelts. Many other respiratory related diseases, including influenza, may have emerged from man's deliberate or accidental association with rodents.

To add to this T Rinanda Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Syiah Kuala University, Aceh, Indonesia in 2015 points out that aquatic and semi aquatic animals are particularly efficient at spreading pathogens to humans if only because they share the same water for swimming, defecating and drinking.

So if the Giant Beaver was a rodent and semi aquatic it would seem to be premature to decide that it had no impact on early humans until more is known about its nature. It might (or again might not) have had a major impact without them realising.

A semi aquatic animal is likely to have had a well adapted pelt and a giant one might well have been a useful source of waterproof material, especially away from the coast where seal skin was not easily available. If so I would suggest it might not so much be hunted as trapped. I suspect a good deal more needs to be known about the animal and man's relationship with it before it's possible to be definitive on its impact upon the latter.
... to point out that I've been relatively plague free for some time now. That, and trapping in this era was a difficult proposition, and a top end skill. Hunting a large non-dam building beaver type rodent, with limited mobility on land, was likely easier than trapping it. I'm sure it didn't lack for large forest predators with a decent success rate, the smaller beaver we know survived for a reason.
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Old 18 Mar 17, 12:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmat View Post
... to point out that I've been relatively plague free for some time now. That, and trapping in this era was a difficult proposition, and a top end skill. Hunting a large non-dam building beaver type rodent, with limited mobility on land, was likely easier than trapping it. I'm sure it didn't lack for large forest predators with a decent success rate, the smaller beaver we know survived for a reason.
I agree with that 100% the Smaller Beaver was so successful that it became a currency during the fur trade and there was/is even a Beaver Club in Montreal.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaver_Club
Some of the most famous people in North America belonged to it like America's first millionaire John Jacob Astor.
If John Jacob Astor had not sent that letter to William McGillivray spilling the beans about The War of 1812 Canada would be a very different place today probably not what we see now.
The Giant Beaver or Giant Muskrat didn't have much of an impact on our world from what I can see it's just ridding along on the Beaver's Fame.
As far as I can tell if the Giant Beaver wasn't miss named by Archaeologists we wouldn't even have heard about the animal at all.

Last edited by SmackUm; 18 Mar 17 at 12:55..
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