Bird Nests and Construction Behaviour provides a broad view of our understanding of the biology of the nests, bowers and tools made by birds. It illustrates how, among vertebrates, the building abilities of birds are more impressive and consistent than for any other builders other than ourselves, yet birds seem to require no special equipment, and use quite uncomplicated behaviour. In doing so, the book raises general issues in the field of behavioural ecology including the costs of reproduction, sexual selection and the organisation and complexity of behaviour. Written for students and researchers of animal behaviour, behavioural ecology and ornithology, it will nevertheless make fascinating reading for architects and engineers interested in understanding how structures are created by animals.
From termite mounds that in relative terms are three times as tall as a skyscraper, to the elaborate nests of social birds and the deadly traps of spiders, the constructions of the animal world can amaze and at times humble our own engineering and technology. But how do creatures with such small brains build these complex structures? What drives them to do it? Which skills are innate and which learned? Here, Mike Hansell looks at the extraordinary structures that animals build - whether homes, traps, or courtship displays - and reveals the biology behind their behaviour. He shows how small-brained animals achieve complex feats in a small-brained way, by repeating many simple actions and using highly evolved self-secreted materials. On the other hand, the building feats or tool use of large-brained animals, such as humans or chimps, require significantly more complex and costly behaviour. We look at wasp's nests, leaf-cutting ants, caddisflies and amoebae, and even the extraordinary bower bird, who seduces his mate with a decorated pile of twigs, baubles, feathers and berries. Hansell explores how animal structures evolved over time, how insect societies emerge, how animals can alter their wider habitat, and even whether some animals have an aesthetic sense.
A comprehensive field guide to the nests and nesting behavior of North American birds Beyond being a simple reference book, the Peterson Field Guide to North American Bird Nests is a practical, educational, and intimate doorway to our continent's bird life. The diversity of nests and nesting strategies of birds reflect the unique biology and evolution of these charismatic animals. Unlike any other book currently on the market, this guide comprehensively incorporates nest design, breeding behavior, and habitat preferences of North American birds to provide the reader with a highly functional field resource and an engaging perspective of this sensitive part of a bird's life cycle.
Nests, Eggs, and Incubation brings together a global team of leading authorities to provide a comprehensive overview of the fascinating and diverse field of avian reproduction. Starting with a new assessment of the evolution of avian reproductive biology in light of recent research, the book goes on to cover four broad areas: the nest, the egg, incubation, and the study of avian reproduction. New research on nest structures, egg traits, and life history is incorporated, whilst contemporary methodologies such as self-contained temperature probes and citizen science are also discussed. Applied chapters describe how biological knowledge can be applied to challenges such as urbanisation and climate change. The book concludes by suggesting priorities for future research. This book builds upon the foundations laid down by Charles Deeming's 2002 work Avian Incubation (available for readers of this book to access online for free), much of which remains relevant today. Read in conjunction with this previous volume, it provides an up-to-date and thorough review of egg biology, nest function, and incubation behaviour, which will be an essential resource for students of avian biology, as well as both professional and amateur ornithologists working in the field of avian reproduction.
Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, Second Edition, the latest update since the 2010 release, builds upon the solid foundation established in the first edition. Updated sections include Host-parasite interactions, Vertebrate social behavior, and the introduction of ‘overview essays’ that boost the book's comprehensive detail. The structure for the work is modified to accommodate a better grouping of subjects. Some chapters have been reshuffled, with section headings combined or modified. Represents a one-stop resource for scientifically reliable information on animal behavior Provides comparative approaches, including the perspective of evolutionary biologists, physiologists, endocrinologists, neuroscientists and psychologists Includes multimedia features in the online version that offer accessible tools to readers looking to deepen their understanding
Construction behaviour occurs across the entire spectrum of the animal kingdom and affects the survival of both builders and other organisms associated with them. Animal Architecture provides a comprehensive overview of the biology of animal building. The book recognizes three broad categories of built structure: homes, traps, and courtship displays. Even though some of these structures are complex and very large, the behaviour required to build them is generally simple andthe anatomy for building unspecialized. Standardization of building materials helps to keep building repertoires simple, while self-organizing effects help create complexity. In a case-study approach to function, insects demonstrate how homes can remain operational while they grow, spiderwebs illustratemechanical design, and the displays of bowerbirds raise the possibility of persuasion through design rather than just decoration. Studies of the costs to builders provide evidence of optimal designs and of trade-offs with other life history traits. As ecosystem engineers, the influence of builders is extensive and their effect is generally to enhance biodiversity through niche construction. Animal builders can therefore represent model species for the study of the emerging subject ofenvironmental inheritance. Building, and in particular building with silk, has been demonstrated to have important evolutionary consequences.This book is intended for students and researchers in comparative animal biology, but will also be of relevance and use to the increasing numbers of architects and civil engineers interested in developing ideas from the animal kingdom.
After decades of research on minds and brains and a decade of conversations with architects, Michael Arbib presents When Brains Meet Buildings as an invitation to the science behind architecture, richly illustrated with buildings both famous and domestic. As he converses with the reader, he presents action-oriented perception, memory, and imagination as well as atmosphere, aesthetics, and emotion as keys to analyzing the experience and design of architecture. He also explores what it might mean for buildings to have "brains" and illuminates all this with an appreciation of the biological and cultural evolution that supports the diverse modes of human living that we know today. These conversations will not only raise the level of interaction between architecture and neuroscience but, by explaining the world of each group to the other, will also engage all readers who share a fascination with both the brains within them and the buildings around them. Michael Arbib is a pioneer in the interdisciplinary study of computers and brains and has long studied brain mechanisms underlying the visual control of action. His expertise makes him a unique authority on the intersection of architecture and neuroscience.
From two experts on wild parrot cognition, a close look at the intelligence, social behavior, and conservation of these widely threatened birds. People form enduring emotional bonds with other animal species, such as dogs, cats, and horses. For the most part, these are domesticated animals, with one notable exception: many people form close and supportive relationships with parrots, even though these amusing and curious birds remain thoroughly wild creatures. What enables this unique group of animals to form social bonds with people, and what does this mean for their survival? In Thinking like a Parrot, Alan B. Bond and Judy Diamond look beyond much of the standard work on captive parrots to the mischievous, inquisitive, and astonishingly vocal parrots of the wild. Focusing on the psychology and ecology of wild parrots, Bond and Diamond document their distinctive social behavior, sophisticated cognition, and extraordinary vocal abilities. Also included are short vignettes—field notes on the natural history and behavior of both rare and widely distributed species, from the neotropical crimson-fronted parakeet to New Zealand’s flightless, ground-dwelling kākāpō. This composite approach makes clear that the behavior of captive parrots is grounded in the birds’ wild ecology and evolution, revealing that parrots’ ability to bond with people is an evolutionary accident, a by-product of the intense sociality and flexible behavior that characterize their lives. Despite their adaptability and intelligence, however, nearly all large parrot species are rare, threatened, or endangered. To successfully manage and restore these wild populations, Bond and Diamond argue, we must develop a fuller understanding of their biology and the complex set of ecological and behavioral traits that has led to their vulnerability. Spanning the global distribution of parrot species, Thinking like a Parrot is rich with surprising insights into parrot intelligence, flexibility, and—even in the face of threats—resilience.
Parental care includes a wide variety of traits that enhance offspring development and survival. This novel book provides a fresh perspective on the current state of the study of the evolution of parental care, written by some of the top researchers in the field, and taking a broad taxonomic approach.