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Animal Architecture$
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Mike Hansell

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198507529

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198507529.001.0001

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Mechanics, growth, and design Mechanics, growth, and design

Mechanics, growth, and design Mechanics, growth, and design

(p.131) 5 Mechanics, growth, and design
Animal Architecture

Mike Hansell

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 recognised two broad functional categories of animal architecture: houses and traps. The traps are generally nets; these have a short operational life compared to the life of the builder, are constructed quickly, and are only operational when completed. A house on the other hand may endure the lifetime of the individual or colony that builds it, starting small and growing as the occupant(s) also grow. This chapter considers two problems relating to all these structures, whether trap or house: why don't they fall to pieces, and how do they solve the problem of growth, while still remaining operational?

Keywords:   animal construction, traps, nets, houses, mechanical design, spider web, orb webs

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