Which of these animal homes can you see yourself in? What’s your style? Are you more highrise condo? Or country cottage?
It turns out animals are quite the home builders. In fact, they also build towns, and cities, and underwater sculptures! Sounds fishy? It’s fact! So get out your drafting set, and prepare to be inspired by these 7 incredible animal architects.
1. Vogelkop Bowerbird
We’d feel bad if we didn’t give first consideration to the most considerate nest builder out there! The vogelkop bowerbird gathers bunches of grass and sticks to build an inviting hut on the forest floor. The purpose of building these huts, or bowers, is to attract a mate, and the bowerbird doesn’t hold back! After building his bower, this bird then arranges fruits, beetles, sticks, and other supplies in front of his home, to prove that he’s a good host.
2. Trapdoor Spider
Maybe the name gives it away, but do you see a trapdoor anywhere? Trapdoor spiders are underground, nocturnal creatures, and unlike most spiders, they don’t shoot web. Instead, they build a trapdoor that’s well camouflaged by plant and soil materials. Trapdoor spiders produce silk and use it to create a hinge for their hidden entrance. They wait patiently by the door, detecting the vibrations of any prey that nears their home, and surprise them with an invitation to dinner!
3. The Gopher
You know they can dig, you know they live underground, but did you know that gophers can build whole towns? How else would you describe their vast networks of roads, neighborhoods, and subterannean chambers? While gopher town may contain thousands of residents, gophers are solitary creatures, and often do their own hoarding and burrowing alone.
4. Mound Building Termite
If you were impressed by gopher town, welcome to termite city! Their mounds can reach up to 9 m tall (30 ft), which is odd for a species that lives underground! Because these are not actually some kind of sophisticated insect condos, these mounds are for protection and ventilation. Termites create deep shafts from the top of these towers down to their subterranean nests to maintain a comfortable temperature. But these mounds are also robust, shielding the colony from wind and precipitation.
Here’s another familiar face, known particulalry for its unique smile! Beavers build dams averaging about 100 m (330 ft) long with just their paws and teeth. These waterfront cottages protect them from predators, and offer easy access to food during the winter.
Did you know a beaver can chomp through a 1.5 cm sapling in one bite? If that doesn’t impress you, how about the world’s largest beaver dam in Alberta, Canada? At 850 m (2,790 ft) in length, it can be seen from space! Take that, Great Wall of China!
6. Social Weaver Bird
Fancy a big room with a view? The social weaver might be your spirit animal. They build the biggest nests of any bird species in the world, and they’re built to last. These permanent structures are known to house several generations of social weavers at a time. But that’s not the only reason why you might call them social. Social weavers share their nests with other bird species, like finches, lovebirds, even owls!
Not only can their flesh kill you, their craft will take your breath away. Can you believe pufferfish are behind these underwater designs? If you’re impressed, you’ve got some competition. Pufferfish create these patterns with their fins to attract mates. The more complex, the better their chances, since fertilized eggs are often deposited in the centre of the circle.
So there you have it, the seven animal wonders of the world. Got something you want to build? Not sure how to do it? Before you start doubting your abilities, think of what some of these guys can do without hands, hammers, or cranes!