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caption: A beaver in Yellowstone National Park, 2007
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A beaver in Yellowstone National Park, 2007

The goofy looking rodent we all rely on

Bonus episode! Hear an extended interview with Ben Goldfarb, author of "Eager."

In architecture, the keystone is the block at the top of a stone arch that holds it all together. Take it out, and the whole thing crumbles. A keystone species play a similar role in an ecosystem.

Beavers are one such group of creatures. They build wet habitats that support a whole host of other animals that support the survival of other animals.

"They're kind of goofy looking, but it turns out they're incredibly critical," Goldfarb said. "An unlikely hero."

In this extended interview with The Wild host Chris Morgan, Goldfarb describes the importance of these funny rodents, their history and their (hopeful) future.

Listen by clicking the play button above or wherever you get your podcasts.

Watch: We recently hosted an online book club with Goldfarb to discuss his book.

THE WILD is a production of KUOW in Seattle in partnership with Chris Morgan and The UPROAR Fund. It is produced by Matt Martin and edited by Jim Gates. It is hosted, produced and written by Chris Morgan. Fact checking by Apryle Craig. Our theme music is by Michael Parker. Produced for the web by Kara McDermott