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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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Functions Functions

Functions Functions

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Functions
Source:
Animal Architecture
Author(s):

Mike Hansell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198507529.003.0001

There are essentially only three functions to animal built structures: to create a protected home, to trap prey, and for intraspecific communication. The most common functions of these homes are protection against extremes of temperature and the threat of predation. However, their protective walls generate secondary problems, gas exchange, for example, which must be solved by further adaptations, some architectural, so adding to the complexity of the structure. In addition, these living spaces may, through evolution, incorporate new functions, such as food storage or fungus cultivation. The common attribute of all these structures is that they extend the control of the builder over some aspect of the environment. This chapter considers first the ability of these homes to regulate the interior physical and also the biological environment, before looking at the nature and mode of operation of prey capture and finally communication devices.

Keywords:   homes, physical environment, biological environment, burrowers, net builders, intraspecific communication

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