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Nature & You: Role-playing game is source of nature fun

It would be a safe bet a beaver could hold his breath longer than you. [Thinkstock]
It would be a safe bet a beaver could hold his breath longer than you. [Thinkstock]

In order to best illustrate today's nature education lesson, I'll have you do some role-playing.

The subject at hand is the beaver, that water-loving creature with the odd, flat paddle of a tail.

Let's get this game started.

For this, you'll pretend to be Old Mister Beaver. He's very adept at holding his breath as he swims underwater. I'll have you do the same.

... well ... sort of ...

There's no real need for you to fill the bathtub with water and immerse your head below the surface. For our little game, I'll just have you pinch your nose and clamp your mouth shut.

How many seconds can you hold your breath? ... one one-thousand one ... ... two one-thousand two ...

... three one-thousand three ...

The seconds slowly tick away.

Stop! Breathe!

How'd you do?

Now, compare your score to The Real McCoy. The beaver can hold his breath for a full 15 minutes. Did you get anywhere close to that?

Also, consider this: The underwater-swimming beaver can pop up an impressive half-mile farther on down the lake.

Imagine that!

It is truly amazing what Ma Nature's creatures are capable of doing.

Neil Garrison

Neil Garrison is an outdoor nature enthusiast. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University/Stillwater; he earned a B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology. Prior to his 2009 retirement, he was the Naturalist at a central Oklahoma nature center for 30... Read more ›