European red wood ant nests in Hessen, Germany. In comparison to their body size of just one centimetre, red wood ants build skyscrapers. Their anthills can reach more than 2m high and 5m wide. Inside the tower, there is a mega system of paths so that no water can penetrate. They often transport building materials that weigh 40 times their body weight.

European red wood ant nests in Hessen, Germany. In comparison to their body size of just one centimetre, red wood ants build skyscrapers. Their anthills can reach more than 2m high and 5m wide. Inside the tower, there is a mega system of paths so that no water can penetrate. They often transport building materials that weigh 40 times their body weight.

A cathedral termite mound in Northern Territory, Australia. These towers often reach more than 6m high, and are some of the most spectacular animal constructions in the world. A single structure can accommodate 2-3million termites. Small balls (a mix of earth and saliva) are brought by the workers to build up the mound. Soldier ants with gigantic heads and well-fortified pincers watch over the workers.

The world's best animal architecture - in pictures

A cathedral termite mound in Northern Territory, Australia. These towers often reach more than 6m high, and are some of the most spectacular animal constructions in the world. A single structure can accommodate 2-3million termites. Small balls (a mix of earth and saliva) are brought by the workers to build up the mound. Soldier ants with gigantic heads and well-fortified pincers watch over the workers.

Australian weaver ants building their nest by pulling on leaves and working in chains, in Northern Territory, Australia. The adult builders pull leaves together with their pincers then interweave them with silk threads produced by their larvae. They can build an entire nest in 24 hours.

The world's best animal architecture - in pictures

Australian weaver ants building their nest by pulling on leaves and working in chains, in Northern Territory, Australia. The adult builders pull leaves together with their pincers then interweave them with silk threads produced by their larvae. They can build an entire nest in 24 hours.

Grey bowerbird bower in Northern Territory, Australia. The grey bowerbird goes to extreme lengths to build a love nest from interwoven sticks and then covers the floor with decorative objects. The more artful the arbor, the greater the chance a male has of attracting a mate.

The world's best animal architecture - in pictures

Grey bowerbird bower in Northern Territory, Australia. The grey bowerbird goes to extreme lengths to build a love nest from interwoven sticks and then covers the floor with decorative objects. The more artful the arbor, the greater the chance a male has of attracting a mate.

There are huge fields littered with compass termite towers, which average 3m tall, throughout northern Australia. The flat-sided constructions have a north-south orientation, and an ingenious ventilation system, so they keep a constant temperature inside. Morning and evening light hits the flat sides and warms them up, then at midday, the sun only hits the narrow, upper edges so the temperature doesn't rise.

The world's best animal architecture - in pictures

There are huge fields littered with compass termite towers, which average 3m tall, throughout northern Australia. The flat-sided constructions have a north-south orientation, and an ingenious ventilation system, so they keep a constant temperature inside. Morning and evening light hits the flat sides and warms them up, then at midday, the sun only hits the narrow, upper edges so the temperature doesn't rise.

Beaver lodges are only accessible through an underwater entrance, which offers them protection against enemies, cold and heat. Beavers regulate the water level and the number of water surfaces using dams. In doing so, they protect the entrance of the lodge, create new food sources, and make the transportation of food and building materials easier on themselves.

The world's best animal architecture - in pictures

Beaver lodges are only accessible through an underwater entrance, which offers them protection against enemies, cold and heat. Beavers regulate the water level and the number of water surfaces using dams. In doing so, they protect the entrance of the lodge, create new food sources, and make the transportation of food and building materials easier on themselves.

A wasp nest made of masticated wood. Wasps often use a type of paper created from wooden particles and their secretions. Thousands of years ago, Chinese paper inventors carefully observed wasps and drew inspiration. Typically, large wasps’ nests consist of several horizontal combs, aligned in parallel lines. Several layers of the wasp paper close off the entire ensemble from the outside, and there is only one small entrance. The layers offer physical protection, and the air between the combs…

The world's best animal architecture - in pictures

A wasp nest made of masticated wood. Wasps often use a type of paper created from wooden particles and their secretions. Thousands of years ago, Chinese paper inventors carefully observed wasps and drew inspiration. Typically, large wasps’ nests consist of several horizontal combs, aligned in parallel lines. Several layers of the wasp paper close off the entire ensemble from the outside, and there is only one small entrance. The layers offer physical protection, and the air between the combs…

Ant biologist Walter Tschinkel gazes at a suspended cast he made of a nest of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomymex badius ("the bearder ant"). The cast consumed five gallons of dental plaster in the making. Extracting it required digging a hole nearly nine feet deep and five feet wide in the floor of the Apalachicola National Forest where it was found. Tschinkel says roughly 5,000 ants live in a nest this size which the ants can build from scratch in about five days.

Ant biologist Walter Tschinkel gazes at a suspended cast he made of a nest of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomymex badius ("the bearder ant"). The cast consumed five gallons of dental plaster in the making. Extracting it required digging a hole nearly nine feet deep and five feet wide in the floor of the Apalachicola National Forest where it was found. Tschinkel says roughly 5,000 ants live in a nest this size which the ants can build from scratch in about five days.

Hummingbird and babies in nest - super cool considering how small the hummingbird is

Hummingbird and babies in nest - super cool considering how small the hummingbird is

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