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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous photos and great scientific tidbits to back them up.
I didn't quite know what this book would include when I reserved it at my library. I had just watched a PBS documentary showcasing the Bowerbird. I assumed it would be something along those lines. The photographer was spectacular, but I was hoping for a few more photos. There are tons more architectural amazement out there from all sorts of animals. (I remember seeing...
Published 7 months ago by Makaela

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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Enough Pictures for a Coffee Table Book
the quality of the book is nice.
the shipping time was effective.
the price was right.
the images and descriptions are fine.
but i find the book as a whole to be a bit lacking in the types of architecture that are explored. i think i was expecting more diversity
Published 6 months ago by Marie D Wise


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous photos and great scientific tidbits to back them up., May 14, 2014
This review is from: Animal Architecture (Hardcover)
I didn't quite know what this book would include when I reserved it at my library. I had just watched a PBS documentary showcasing the Bowerbird. I assumed it would be something along those lines. The photographer was spectacular, but I was hoping for a few more photos. There are tons more architectural amazement out there from all sorts of animals. (I remember seeing more from the documentary, for which this book has nothing to do with.) However, it was one photographer doing all of this work, so I completely understand that this project was a grand undertaking.

The research of each animal was informative. It didn't delve too much into each one in particular, rather, it highlighted the more ingenious designs from unexpected critters.

My favorite section was Corals, Bivalves, and Snails. I didn't realize that they were all made of limestone. I also had no idea that Darwin discovered why coral goes thousands of feet deep into the ocean yet is only living at the top. The photographs were intricate, and simple. It really showcased each nest, shell, and reef throughout each page. It would make a great coffee table book. One that I would pick up and look at from time to time, for sure. Nature is fascinating.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, May 5, 2014
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This review is from: Animal Architecture (Hardcover)
I love words.

However, there is nothing quite like a picture to really get across something unique. Hence my fascination with picture books that take me places and show me things that I would never be able to experience on my own.

"Animal Architecture" is one such book and it is, to put it bluntly, amazingstunningawesomegood. That word really does exist. Mostly so I could talk about this book.

Ingo Arndt has gathered together some amazing examples of structures built by non-human animals. There are termite mounds, bird nests, beaver dams and structures you've never even heard of but now must know more about.

Arndt does an outstanding job of finding just the right picture, from just the right viewpoint, with just the right lightning to sincerely showcase every single structure in the book. This immediately went to pride of place on my living-room table so I can show it off to anyone who comes into the house.

Definitely worth the money and worth the time you'll spend lingering over every gorgeous photograph.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, June 27, 2014
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This review is from: Animal Architecture (Hardcover)
I ordered this book and was very excited. My expectations were met. I love this book. I just got it today and love it already. The photographs are beautiful, and the infromation is interesting, and informative. I know I will enjoy this book for many years to come. I'm 33, I'm kind of a book junky, also a photographer and animal/ living creature fanatic. This book is for you if you are anything like me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Most Appealing and Fascinating Dwellings", August 23, 2014
This review is from: Animal Architecture (Hardcover)
This book lavishly showcases the fact that just as human beings seek and build pleasant, comfortable, visually appealing, and protective habitats so do animals of various species in many surprising ways.
The extremely well illustrated and succinctly organized, rewardingly readable, and summarized text by renowned scientist and University of Würzburg Professor Jürgen Tautz outlines the trained engineering skills of each species' astonishing "master architects", "construction workers", camouflage "professionals", and environmentally conscious and "sustainable" animal "engineers".
Great care is taken to discuss in detail, perfected building strategies, careful generational rearing and caring for family members and the young, protection of current inhabitants and invitations for future "roommates" and "tenants", and competitive survival instincts characteristic of each classified animal group. It is noted that the "active and specific design" of such dwellings is "not a random act" (10) but rather one of "individual and coordinated interaction" (11).
To emphasize and illustrate these important points, the book specifically elaborates on the individual, social, and communal organizations of birds (like bowerbirds and weavers), insects (like ants, termites, and bee colonies), resourceful "landscape architects" and mammals (like mice and beavers), and marine "armor-builders" (like corals and snails).
Professor Tautz structures and discusses technically complex topics such as scientific definitions and species' adaptation and proliferation in each of the four chapters of this increasingly popular field of study. He does so with noticeable care, attentiveness, and explanation. His text conveys information in a straightforward manner and he shows a distinct willingness to share his immensely dedicated, revealing, and cumulative personal studies, observations, and life-long insights with readers of almost any age.
Additionally, Professor Tautz's highly informative text defines each scientific term and scientific classification with specific clarity and approachability. This manner of presentation is clearly intended to spark the reader's desire and appreciation for the value of exploring further fascinating issues of interest.
The compactness and powerful accessibility of this small-formatted book's educational text perfectly complements the extraordinarily embellished, dramatically theatrical, behind-the-scenes expert photography of the award-winning photographer, master of the camera in nature, Ingo Arndt. His goal in the book is to make the subject matter, variety, material, and skill of animal habitats, animal builders, and their inhabitants supremely appealing in function and form. This outstanding photographer elevates his expertise and creative manipulation of the camera to an art form. His superior and captivating close-ups of various almost weightless and almost sculptural species' homes are masterpieces of presentation. He captures, carefully distributes, and enhances the phenomenal structural components of these astonishing habitats. Arndt dedicates his time to capture the essence and presence of actual environments and domesticated surroundings. He braves all on-site terrain expeditions and explorations which take him all around the globe, ranging from remote to familiar locales, from northern Australia to West Papua.
Another key aspect of Arndt's aesthetic techniques is his super virtuosity in stabilizing and magnifying the image of each habitat in a few selected studio displays. The black background provides us with many gems of information interspersed throughout this amazing book. These include enhanced details, stylistic complexities, quiet intimacy, elaborate and unique design, technical prowess, individual and communal dedication and labor, and the surprising durability of these often transportable and urgently constructed dwellings. Arndt's magnificent photographs ultimately reinforce the importance of these existing and marvelously constructed fragile habitats.
The authors and collaborators of this book successfully and impressively document the constructive engineering genius, behavioral patterns, inventiveness, physical agility, intuitiveness, and adaptability of master animal architects and their inhabitants. They also understand that current and future readers will continue to be fascinated by this topic.
In the process, the authors of this wonderful book also display their own ambitions, adventuresome spirits, creative and intellectual aspirations, extraordinary patience, enthusiasm, and endurance in completing a challenging and difficult task to perfection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book, June 18, 2014
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This review is from: Animal Architecture (Hardcover)
Saw this in the Wall Street Journal and loved what I read. Purchased for us but will likely end up with my grandson. Very informative and beautifully written and photographed. Can be enjoyed at any age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have it., August 25, 2014
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This review is from: Animal Architecture (Hardcover)
This is a book for anyone interested in the homes animals make for themselves. There are plenty of bird's nests, but also a number of other animals that we don't normally think of as builders. The photographs of animal creations are stunning, and I was awed by the skill of some of these little creators working without hands. You will find yourself going back again to this book to have another look. Imagine fields full of flat, eight or more feet tall termite towers, all oriented the same way, so that their narrow edges face the sun at midday. Or little Caddis fly larvae making small tubes for themselves to live in safely, and almost invisibly, out of whatever they can find in their underwater environment.

Incidentally, children love this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nature buff alert!, June 26, 2014
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This review is from: Animal Architecture (Hardcover)
Wonderfully illustrated book! Much information about the natural would you that is hidden from you. The pictures are beautiful. A must have for your natural history library.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY BEAUTIFUL BOOK-GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY, June 4, 2014
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This review is from: Animal Architecture (Hardcover)
This is reaching into a wonderful zone not reached by many Photographers. My wife and I looked a one page at a time something we rarely find time to do when it arrived. I instantly ordered a copy for my daughter who is NY Designer and tough to please and sent it to her and she responded the same way we did. The choice of subjects is so special and unique I am sure the aesthetic of the author is the blessed reason. The Foreword is by Jim Brandenburg who writes a very thoughtful essay. Good Luck
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular photography that does an excellent job of telling the story of animal architecture through ..., July 2, 2014
This review is from: Animal Architecture (Hardcover)
Spectacular photography that does an excellent job of telling the story of animal architecture through a wide variety of animals. The text is concise and well written (and translated from German) but fairly minimal. Definitely a picture coffee table book. I was very pleased the quality of printing and binding as well. A beautiful book on a fascinating subject. Scientists, architects and photographers alike should all drool over this book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awsome photo's., June 12, 2014
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This review is from: Animal Architecture (Hardcover)
This was a gift to a female Freshman Ingineer. Unfortunately she had no idea who it was from. I thought the book amazing after reading about it in the WSJ & checking it out of the library. Carmen Bontz
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Animal Architecture
Animal Architecture by Jürgen Tautz (Hardcover - April 22, 2014)
$29.95 $18.94
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