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Old 02-19-2014, 07:43 AM
Location: God's Country
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Beavers are excellent architects and engineers. Many burrowing animals build excellent shelters with kitchens (food storage areas), bathrooms (waste collection area), bedrooms (sleeping quarters), and escape routes. Even insects deserve admiration. Termite mounds provide ventilation for the underground inhabitants, It has been said that the variety that erects spade-shaped mounds positions those structures in such a way so that the winter sun rays strike the broad side of the mound for maximum possible heat absorption, while the summer sun during the hottest part of the day strikes the narrow side of the mound.

With these "lower" animals so adept at building shelters for themselves, just imagine the efficiency of those species higher up the ladder. Let's see .... when it starts to rain, our intelligent cousins, the simians, tear off a large leaf and then hold it over their heads to avoid getting too wet. And then they ... oh oh, that's all they do.

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Old 02-19-2014, 12:47 PM
Location: RI, MA, VT, WI, IL, CA, IN (that one sucked), KY
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How much of the shelter building by mammals is done for rain? Not much that I know of. Northern species, that I'm aware of (say beaver or gray squirrel) generally build to protect from the cold temperatures, which will kill.

It also has to do with overall life history. Primates keep moving (within reason) for food, often to the next patch of fresh fruit, while many of the shelter building mammals stay within a pretty defined area so the return on investment would be considerably higher. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I can't think of many wide ranging mammals that invest much in shelter building.

I would appreciate hearing about any.
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