Animals do not need to study thick books and weep over drawing plates and T-squares to become engineers and architects of their own right, as what they do just go naturally. They produce marvels which they do not know upon themselves are genius structures, and humans keep on wondering how they do it.
Here are a few species of the animal kingdom which create great architecture and engineering that their humans counterparts can really be envious about:
The Ant Colony
Photo by Trip Advisor
You’ve probably seen anthills and ant ‘structures’ that got you in awe. The collective efforts of ants create underground structures, grain by grain, that even ant experts still could not decipher how they do it. According to ant expert Walter Tshinkel of Florida State University, ants construct without a blueprint, without a leader and in total darkness.
Photo by Adlayas Animals
Apart from the odd name of these African birds are the odd nests that look like giant haystacks that fell from a tree. They make their nests using larger sticks as its basic structure with dry grasses and soft grasses as cushions, with a ‘security feature’ of sharp straw spikes that line in each entrance. These nests can accommodate of up to 400 Social weavers which is pretty much the entire flock.
Photo via Flickr
A certain species of birds in Central America named Montezuma Oropendola create hanging nests which is a wonder at first sight. These birds weave baskets that look like a teardrop, using the strongest vines as the nests’ anchor and the smaller ones to complete the nest. Montezuma Oropendola makes these nests where hornets live for defense, in addition to them placing their nests at the far end of the branches to discourage monkeys which are interested with their eggs.
Photo by Long Now Blog
Called master builders of their own right, termites can construct animal skyscrapers that can reach of up to 16 feet out of woody tress, mud, and feces. Other than being able to make these structures so high, they also have the ability to provide air circulation in those structures, store water for condensation, and maintain gardens of fungi within their mound: all for the mutual living within the colony.
Source: Pantanal Nature
Another bird that makes an amazing feat is Rufous Hornero which is capable of building unusual earthen nests in trees. This South American bird collects mud and dung to create a bowl-like nest that the sun will dry. The hardened shelter soon becomes their nests where they can freely lay eggs. There’s more to this interesting nest: Rufous Nornero orients the hole of their nests away from prevailing winds which makes them safe during bad weather.
Below the ground of the Great Plains in North America are homes of prairie dogs which have different chambers at certain depths. The bottommost are usually reserved for the young prairie dogs for better protection, while the topmost are for the adult prairie dogs to act as guards. There is also a chamber for storing food and listening for predators. These chambers are all made to withstand extreme temperatures, floods, and fires.
Leaf Curling Spider
Photo via Blogspot
While most spiders settle with their own webs, Australian leaf-curling spiders add something to their webs: a dead leaf. They line the leaf with silk and curl it like an inverted cone – close at top, open at the bottom. These spiders use this as a hideout for passing preys or when the female lays after reproduction. The material is not limited to dead leaves though, as in some cases these spiders use scraps of paper of other lightweight materials.
Photo by Wilder Good
The beaver dam is probably the most ingenious creation of animal engineering. Beavers use huge trees to create dams in order to have still ponds for their homes and lodges. They also have excellent weatherproofing skills: they coat their lodges with fresh mud that will soon harden to create a barrier against the cold as well as predators.
Source: Popular Mechanics