• The architecture of survival

    The architecture of survival

    A western rock nuthatch (Sitta neumayer) stands next to his masterfully built nest on the vertical rocks over Paralimni lake on the border of the prefectures of Boeotia and Euboea. This little bird builds its flask-shaped nest on inaccessible by predators places using materials such as gravel, mud, manure, hair and feathers. The hard materials give the primary shape and the softer materials are used for the details, such as the size of the opening and the decoration of the outer walls. Around the nest the male places various decorative elements, such as colored pebbles, dead beetles and tufts of wool to attract the female. In fact, the characteristic red spots on the walls of the nest are embedded feathers of insects that belong to the Chrysomelidae family and contribute to the seduction of the female. It is no coincidence that the Roman natural philosopher Pliny The Elder in his book "Naturalis Historia" claims that man was inspired to build his houses by the way the nest was built by the first great architect and decorator, the western rock nuthatch.

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