Animal Architecture

Paperback | May 18, 2005

byMike Hansell

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Construction behaviour occurs across the entire spectrum of the animal kingdom and affects the survival of both builders and other organisms associated with them. Animal Architecture provides a comprehensive overview of the biology of animal building. The book recognizes three broad categoriesof built structure: homes, traps, and courtship displays. Even though some of these structures are complex and very large, the behaviour required to build them is generally simple and the anatomy for building unspecialized. Standardization of building materials helps to keep building repertoiressimple, while self-organizing effects help create complexity. In a case-study approach to function, insects demonstrate how homes can remain operational while they grow, spiderwebs illustrate mechanical design, and the displays of bowerbirds raise the possibility of persuasion through design ratherthan just decoration. Studies of the costs to builders provide evidence of optimal designs and of trade-offs with other life history traits. As ecosystem engineers, the influence of builders is extensive and their effect is generally to enhance biodiversity through niche construction. Animalbuilders can therefore represent model species for the study of the emerging subject of environmental inheritance. Building, and in particular building with silk, has been demonstrated to have important evolutionary consequences. This book is intended for students and researchers in comparative animal biology, but will also be of relevance and use to the increasing numbers of architects and civil engineers interested in developing ideas from the animal kingdom.

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From the Publisher

Construction behaviour occurs across the entire spectrum of the animal kingdom and affects the survival of both builders and other organisms associated with them. Animal Architecture provides a comprehensive overview of the biology of animal building. The book recognizes three broad categoriesof built structure: homes, traps, and court...

Mike Hansell is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK.

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Paperback|Jul 21 2005

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:334 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.79 inPublished:May 18, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198507526

ISBN - 13:9780198507529

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Table of Contents

1. Functions2. Building materials: nature, origins, and processing3. Behaviour and anatomy4. Work organization and building complexity5. Mechanics, growth, and design6. Building costs, optimal solutions, and trade-offs7. Animal architects as ecosystem engineers8. Evolution

Editorial Reviews

"This fascinating assemblage of the world's animal architects will fill a niche in all collections."--Booklist will fill a niche in all collections."--Booklist