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By: James L Gould and Carol Grant Gould
324 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
Examines animal architecture across a range of species, from those whose blueprints are largely innate (such as spiders and their webs) to those whose challenging structures seem to require intellectual insight, planning, and even aesthetics (such as birds' nests, or beavers' dams). Beginning with instinct and the simple homes of solitary insects, James and Carol Gould move on to conditioning; the "cognitive map" and how it evolved; and the role of planning and insight. Finally, they reflect on what animal building tells us about the nature of human intelligence--showing why humans, unlike many animals, need to build their castles in the air.
A notable achievement... highly readable... Animal constructions are fascinating, and the authors provide some useful insights into them.
"One of the best popular science books of recent years."
- The Spectator
"In 'Animal Architects', James R Gould and Carol Grant Gould beautifully describe some of the architectural wonders of the animal kingdom...there is no doubt that the Goulds succeed in... captivating the reader with their enthusiasm and encyclopaedic knowledge of the biology of building."
- Times Literary Supplement
"The story of this amazing and beautifully written little book is one of humans very gradually, and only through gritted teeth, admitting that other animals, down to the apparently humblest insects, are more intelligent than was ever suspected."
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