Let's mimic termite nests to keep human buildings cool

When it comes to building sustainable buildings, humans have a lot to learn from termites. A recent study that colleagues and I published in Science Advances explains how some African termites maintain cool and stable temperatures ...

Study explores the possible benefits of cooperative polyandry

Acorn Woodpeckers live in close-knit family groups and have one of the most complex breeding systems of any bird in the world. In about 20 percent of family groups, up to 3 related females may lay eggs in the same nest. They ...

Ant larvae fight the offspring of parasitic queens

In certain ant species, queens invade the colonies of other species, kill the host queen or queens and lay their eggs in the host nest. After this, the host workers tend to the offspring of the parasitic queen as if their ...

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Nest

A nest is a place of refuge to hold an animal's eggs or provide a place to live or raise offspring. They are usually made of some organic material such as twigs, grass, and leaves; or may simply be a depression in the ground, or a hole in a tree, rock or building. Human-made materials, such as string, plastic, cloth, hair or paper, may be used.

Generally each species has a distinctive style of nest. Nests can be found in many different habitats. They are built primarily by birds, but also by mammals (e.g. squirrels), fish, insects (e.g. wasps, termites and honey bees) and reptiles (e.g. snakes and turtles).

The urge to prepare an area for the building of a nest is referred to as the nesting instinct and may occur in both mammals and birds.

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