Beavers and their dams play an important role in nature. Because of the dramatic effects their dams have on surrounding ecosystems, these mammals are considered a keystone species. By constructing dams they create wetlands -- lush environments which attract fish, ducks, frogs and other creatures. However, beavers can become a big headache for farmers and landowners -- a problem we'll examine later in this article.
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Meerkats aren't your typical cute, furry rodents. These desert dwellers are members of close-knit communities where everyone pitches in to look out for predators and teach the young. When they aren't looking for a bite to eat or grooming each other's fur, however, meerkats can be lethally competitive. What is it about these African critters that leaves us so enthralled?