National Geographic photographer Ingo Arndt's new book Animal Architecture shows how animals and insects from around the world build intricate structures from nature's raw materials. Using their beaks, claws, paws, and teeth, they create biodegradable shelters that not only benefit them, but also other creatures in their ecosystem. We spotted a few examples at Fast Co. Design, including this cute baya weaver in Namibia knitting a nest from fresh thin blades of grass that harden and change color thanks to the sun.
The Indonesian vogelkop bowerbird build intricate stick tower nests to attract mates. They decorate them with flowers, fruits, mushrooms, and even trash left in the forest by tourists. Australian weaver ants can build their nest in just 24 hours. They work in chains pulling on leaves together with their pincers and then interweaving them with silk threads produced by their larvae.
The European red wood ant is a natural skyscraper-builder. They can transport materials that are 40 times their body weight to build enormous plant and earth towers with complex path systems protecting the interiors from water. The compass termites are masters in passive architecture. They can build ten feet high, flat-sided towers arranged in a precise north-south orientation that feature an ingenious ventilation system providing a consistent internal temperature.
The Australian spinifex termites‘ towers are a spectacular example of animal architecture. Each can accommodate 2-3 million termites and are made by small earth and saliva balls carried by gigantic head-soldier ants being monitored by strong pincers.
This magnifiscent photo series reminds us humans that we still have a lot to learn from smaller creatures in the world, especially when it comes to building techniques, sustainability and co-existing with others.
Via Fast Co.Design