Today on Light Future Art, we’re going to share some fun facts about the impressive homes and structures which animals build, whether it’s to live in, raise their young in, to protect from predators, or to trap prey.
1. Chimpanzees build nests in treetops by bending branches to form a supportive structure. They then leave these nests when they move on the next day. The majority of nests are re-used again some time in the future, though they have to be lined with fresh leaves for comfort. However, the supports of the nests are sturdy and even bend the way in which tree branches grow permanently.
2. Trapdoor spiders don’t go the usual spider route of building a web to ensnare prey. They dig burrows in the dirt and cover the burrow with a door so that the entrance is virtually invisible. The door even has hinges made of silk. Then they create a delicate series of tripwires in order to expertly snatch unsuspecting prey walking or flying overhead.
3. Prairie dogs build channels around the entrances to their towns, which can cover hundreds of acres of land, in order to redirect rainwater and keep them safe and dry during storms.
4. Red Ovenbirds build nests out of mud and clay. These birds get their name because the shape of their nests is similar to a small oven. After the ovenbird has abandoned their nest, it is often used by other species of birds.
5. Mud dauber wasps build prisons. Yep, you read that right. Mud dauber wasps build large nest-like structures in which to keep spiders, who they paralyze. Up to three spiders can be in each cell, and there are dozens of cells per prison. After the wasp larvae hatch, they then eat the spiders.
6. The largest known beaver dam in the world is in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. This dam is about 3,000 feet long. It is even visible in satellite images.
7. Compass termites build tall wedge-shaped mounds that are almost always aligned along the North-South axis. Scientists believe they do this in order to regulate the temperature inside.
8. Spiders aren’t the only ones who can weave silk. Australian weaver ants make nests out of one or more leaves which they bind shut with silk that they produce. Some of their nests can be over a foot long.
9. Sociable Weavers make large communal nests out of sticks and grass. Throughout Southern Africa, you can find their gigantic creations in trees or even on electrical poles. Hundreds of birds live in one nest, many of them part of the same family.
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