Architecture by birds and insects.

Architecture by birds and insects. John Bates, James H. Boone.

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008. Small octavo, dustwrapper, colour illustrations.

Birds and insects are nature's premier architects, using a dizzying array of talents to build functional homes in which to live, reproduce, and care for their young. Recycling sticks, branches, grass, and mud to construct their shelters, they are undoubtedly the originators of "green architecture." A visual celebration of these natural feats of engineering and ingenuity, this book allows readers a peek inside a wide range of nests, offering a rare opportunity to get a sense of the materials and methods used to build them. Inspired by the vast nest collection at the Field Museum, Chicago, which features specimens gathered throughout North and South America, Peggy Macnamara's paintings are enhanced by text written by museum curators. This narrative provides a foundation in natural history for each painting, as well as fascinating anecdotes about the nests and their builders.

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