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Animal Roundup

March 7, 2008

Beaver dams help conserve water and scientists discover a behemoth amongst frogs.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
A beaver corps of engineers. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Beavers can help protect areas from drought, according to research performed at the University of Alberta in Canada. The researchers looked at how beavers affected the water balance of areas in a national park over 54 years. By building dams and keeping rainwater from running off quickly, the beavers saved their areas from droughts, while beaver-free areas succumbed. The beaver activity also kept underground water tables more stable.

Kermit the Frog once sang "it’s not easy being green." But life was probably considerably easier for a newly discovered prehistoric frog named Beelzebufo, or Frog From Hell. Being the size of a bowling ball with an enormous mouth and sharp teeth, Beelzebufo probably had less to worry about than your average frog. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.