25 Incredible Pieces Of Animal Architecture
Humans are not the only master architects on this planet. Check out these 25 incredible Pieces of Animal Architecture. (I wonder if I could contract one of these guys to build my next house…)
Puffer Fish Circlesspoon-tamago.com
The elaborate circle seen above was not created by humans…or aliens for that matter. No, this was created by a 5 inch long (12 centimeters) pufferfish. The 7 feet in diameter formation is designed by male pufferfish to attract a mate. When the circles are completed, the females inspect the circles and if chosen, lay eggs in the center which the male then fertilizes.
This orthogonal structure is created by the female Amicta quadrangularis for pupation. It’s formed out of bits of grass stems and measures about 1.1 inch long and 0.2 to 0.3 inches square.
Under natural circumstances, the Caddisfly larvae constructs their elaborate protective tubes from materials found in their environment such as pieces of wood, fragments of fish bone, grains of sand, etc. However, the larvae owned by the French artist Hubert Duprat are given gold flakes, opal, turquoise and other precious stones, resulting in elaborate wearable jewelry.
Spongilla Fly Cocoonen.wikipedia.org
The Spongefly creates this bizarre and oddly beautiful cocoon when pupating.
Arguably one of the most recognizable animal constructions on this list, beaver dams are loved by some and hated by others. Typically ranging in length to about 100 meters, beaver dams can be the source of extensive property damage by encouraging flooding and water way passage restriction. However, dams can also be very beneficial especially when restoring wetlands. To date, the largest recorded beaver dam is located in Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, Canada and measures 850 meters in length.
Not only can beavers build impressive dams, they also build impressive housing. Using severed branches and mud, the beaver creates a mud covered enclosure that protects them from predators such as wolves and wolverines.
Magnetic Termite Mounds in Litchfield National Parkflickr.com
What looks like something straight out of a horror movie is in fact…horrifying. In 2010, flooding in Pakistan caused millions of spiders (that’s right…millions) to seek refuge in trees, eventually covering them in dread-evoking webs.
Leaf Curling Spidercommons.wikimedia.org
Using a dead leaf, the Australian leaf-cutter spider (Phonognatha graeffei) creates an enclosure by curling the leaf and lining it with silk. Here, they hide until their next victim is unfortunate enough to pass by.
The Trapdoor Spiders’ Hinged Door Homewiki.hicksvilleschools.org
Some spiders build webs, others fold leafs, but this spider does something completely different. The Trapdoor spider creates an elaborate home complete with a fitting, hinged door; and a booby trapped entrance which it uses to catch prey.
Mysterious Web TowerImage by: Troy S. Alexander
First spotted by Georgia Tech graduate student Troy Alexander, the origin of this bizarre looking web tower was unknown. However, thanks to a research expedition team it was revealed that this weird web tower is in fact a spider egg sac. Scientists however are still baffled as to what kind of Spider would produce this.
Mud Dauber Prisonsmaryvillemutterings.blogspot.com
Mud dauber wasps are considered the Batmen of the bug world. They create prisons where they capture spiders for consumption and imprison some of them in little asylums built out of wasp barf and mud.
Called a “flower sandwich” this floral phenomenon is actually a bee nest created by the rare Osmia avosetta bees. The chamber is composed of a three-tier arrangement and consists of a thin layer of petals on the outside; a layer of mud; and finally another layer of petals lining the inside.
Paper Wasps Nestevenbijkletse.blogspot.com
The paper wasp is known for using fibers from dead wood and plant stems to construct their nests. In one particular instance, researchers from the University of Illinois gave the wasps colored papers resulting in a colorfully constructed nest.
Gopher burrows can span hundreds of acres and contain hundreds or thousands of rodents; each striving to keep themselves sufficient by continuously smuggling and hoarding food from the area above them.
Montezuma Oropendola Nestsen.wikipedia.org
The bird known as Montezuma oropendola has one of the most unique nests of any bird. Using vines, they create hanging baskets which are then grouped together into colonies. These serve to ward off raiding monkeys from getting to the birds’ eggs.
Social Weaver Birds and their Sky Condominiumsen.wikipedia.org
Social weaver birds are known to construct the largest nest in the bird kingdom. Capable of housing hundreds of birds over several generations, these nests can be as large as 25 feet wide, 5 feet high, and weigh over one ton. Elaborate and extremely sturdy; some nests are even known to have lasted over a hundred years.
Vogelko Gardener Bowerbird Bower in Indonesialananhbirds.com
The Vogelko Gardener Bowerbird is responsible for creating one of the most unique bowers in the bowerbids family. The cone-shaped hut-like structures are about 100 cm high and 160 cm in diameter with an entrance propped up by two column-like sticks. A front “lawn” is cleared of debris and laid out with moss. On this, decorations such as colorful flowers or fruit, shining beetle elytra, dead leaves and other conspicuous objects are collected and artistically arranged.
Rufous Hornero Nestcommons.wikimedia.org
Unlike most birds who create their nests out of twigs, plants, etc., the Rufous Hornero create their nests using mud and dung (seriously). The birds carry these materials high atop tree limps where they create a bowl-like nest. The sun then bakes the nest creating a hard shelter where the birds can lay their eggs.
The nest of the edible-nest swiftlet is small and unassuming yet it holds a remarkable little secret; the nest is entirely made out of solidified bird saliva. Moreover, the nests are considered edible delicacies by humans.
Apparently, chimpanzees know the value of a goodnight sleep. Using branches from specific trees, chimps create beds high within the canopies of trees which provide an ideal safe-haven from nighttime predators.
Largest Anthills in Holystone, Northumberland, United Kingdomoddculture.com
Found in Holystone, Nothumberland, these northern wood ant hills are considered to be the biggest ant hills ever recorded. They can measures an impressive 5 to 7 feet tall and house an estimated 500,000 insects.
Mega-Colony in Southern Europeoddculture.com
The largest ant colony in the world today is located in Southern Europe and is home to 33 ant populations nested along a 3,731 miles (6,004 kilometers) stretch along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts.
Ant Nests in Northern Territory, Australiapanoramio.com
The weaver or green ants have become famous for their nest building behavior. In what is probably one of the most impressive displays of animal kingdom cooperation; these ants create nests by weaving together leaves using larval silk.
The Great Barrier Reefsbritannica.com
Known as the single greatest structure built by living organisms, the great reef is composed of 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands spanning over 1600 miles.