cover image Animal Architecture

Animal Architecture

Ingo Arnd, text by Jurgen Tautz. Abrams, $29.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1165-7

Though billed as an artful demonstration of the diversity of animal habitats, Animal Architecture delivers a collection that will foster a deeper appreciation for animal behavior and ingenuity, incorporating studio and in-situ photographs with insightful text. Among the many fascinating inclusions are the constructions of male Australian and New Guinean bowerbirds, who attract mates not by brilliant plumage but with cunning interior design; the massive, water-proofed mounds created by red wood ants; the tower-like structures raised by Australian spinifex termites that rise to over 20 feet; and the curious casings caddis fly larvae cobble together from various found items that wouldn’t look out of place in a modern art museum. Even the humble beehive receives an elegant treatment here. While many of the book’s subjects add beauty to their environment, others, such as the aforementioned termites, are bent on destruction. Similarly, bark beetles can decimate an entire forest, while European buff-tip moth larvae build a web around a leaf or branch, stripping the plant bare before moving on to the next. Arndt and Tautz bring the tour to a calming close with stunning images of corals to completing a coffee-table book as breathtaking as it is informative if this is . Color photos. (May)