We are often very proud of our comfy seats at the top of the food chain, where we can sit, squiggle our butts, and stare down our noses at all those dumb animals that haven’t even come up with a proper flushing system. Clearly what sets us apart from these bumbling yet adorable idiots is our incredible power of infrastructure and bending the earth to our will. Well science would like to say otherwise. Because apparently these animal architects have been at it much longer than us;
Termites and the New Yorks of the insect world
It’s not too outlandish to consider Australia as some sort of Venezuela of the animal kingdom, where snakes rule the streets and spiders own your soul. So it’s no surprise something like termites would end up ahead of the learning curve. So far ahead actually, that they said screw it to the predator run cities and decided to build their own. Hopefully with blackjack and hookers, but we’ll never know. Their cities have been generously named ‘mounds’, which absolutely does not cover the fact that these ‘mounds’ can be 17 foot high with diameters as wide as 30 meters and that’s without accounting the acres that spread underground. The mounds are completely self-sustaining with water collected from condensation, fungi gardens and central air conditioning. The top floors would have 5 star spas and recreational centres for the retired elderlies if they weren’t afraid of human infestation.
The Condos of the Sociable weaver
For all idiots who think South Africa is just a desert with no proper infrastructure, take it up with the animal architects busy building suites in the air. The sociable weavers, who also provide services in Namibia and Botswana, construct the largest nests of all the birds. But that’s not their only specialty. These giant high end residences are compound community nests, where one pair occupies one compartment which has several rooms and a private entrance. These twig condominiums are so well constructed that one can house several generations of birds. And when the business is booming, rooms can be rented out to other birds.
The Honey bees and their modern architecture
As a general rule, honeybees are pretty amazing. The produce honey, which has plenty of redeeming qualities of its own, they’re pretty chill, are known to have a tight knit community system and are fuzzy and yellow. They’re also known to be pretty great and systemised animal architects as well. First, there are site visits, where scouts will scour locations for a hive and select the optimum one. The surrounding of the hive entrance is smoothed and the cavity wall where the hive is to be constructed is coated with propolis. The hive is then constructed like commercial apartments, with honey storage on the top floors, below which are pollen storage cells, followed by worker-brood cells and drone brood-cells and finally the luxurious queen suite.
Beavers and their Dam houses
Beavers are probably the most acknowledges and recognised of the animal architects and they’ve put in quite a bit of effort to keep the claim. These adorable overgrown rats with hammer tails lumber wood, construct dams resulting in ponds, creating a guard against predators and easy access for food, then build lodges in the ponds, all in a day’s work for the fuzzy critters. The only thing missing would be a white picket fence and maybe a dog. Most beaver dams are an average of 6 feet high and 5 feet wide, which is quite impressive on its own, but recently the world’s largest dam visible from space had been spotted in Alberta, Canada in 2007, spanning an amazing 2788 feet.