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caption: The friendly North American beaver has shaped this country - including Seattle - far more than you might think.
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The friendly North American beaver has shaped this country - including Seattle - far more than you might think.

What gnaws, creeps, and flies?

(Not simultaneously.) A look at the animal kingdom in our midst, via beavers, spiders, raptors, and corvids.

Individual segments are available in our podcast stream or at www.kuow.org/record.

Ben Goldfarb, Eager beavers

What animal do you think of as the iconic emblem of Seattle? A husky, or an orca? Maybe even a sockeye salmon? The correct answer is a beaver, says science journalist Ben Goldfarb – we might be the most beaver-y city in the nation. His book is a love letter to the humble architect of North America; it’s called Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter.

Forever spider season

It’s December: spider season is behind us now. Except that spider season might be a myth, according to Portland State University biology professor Susan Masta. No need to wait for fall when arachnids are always around us (an obviously comforting thought).

Marzluffs on corvids

Ravens and crows have been living alongside humans for thousands of years. They appear in everything from cave drawing to corvid tattoos, and our fascination shows no sign of ending anytime soon. Wildlife biologists Colleen and John Marzluff spoke with Marcie Sillman about their decades of research on birds that can seem so similar to us.

Joshua Hammer, Falcon Thief

From corvids to raptors: author Joshua Hammer’s latest book documents a truly wild underworld of bird trafficking, nest theft, and the airport arrest of a man with nineteen rare bird eggs strapped to his body under a heavy coat. Had he been able to sell them, the eggs would have netted more than a hundred thousand dollars. The book is The Falcon Thief: A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird.