Animal Architecture

Hansell, M. (2005) Animal Architecture. Series: Oxford animal biology series. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780198507529

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780198507529.do

Abstract

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 categories of 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 repertoires simple, 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 rather than 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. Animal builders 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.

Item Type:Books
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hansell, Professor Michael
Authors: Hansell, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISBN:9780198507529
Related URLs:

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record