Animal Architects: Building and the Evolution of by James L. Gould, Carol Grant Gould

By James L. Gould, Carol Grant Gould

Animal habit has lengthy been a battleground among the competing claims of nature and nurture, with the prospective function of cognition in habit as a up to date addition to this debate. there's an untapped trove of behavioral information which may let us know very much approximately how the animals draw from those neural concepts: The buildings animals construct offer a good window at the workings of the animal brain. Animal Architects examines animal structure throughout more than a few species, from these whose blueprints are principally innate (such as spiders and their webs) to these whose tough constructions appear to require highbrow perception, making plans, or even aesthetics (such as bowerbirds’ nests, or beavers’ dams). starting with intuition and the straightforward houses of solitary bugs, James and Carol Gould stream directly to conditioning; the “cognitive map” and the way it advanced; and the function of making plans and perception. eventually, they think of what animal development tells us concerning the nature of human intelligence-showing why people, in contrast to many animals, have to construct castles within the air.

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US △ LIVING ON LAND Unusually for an amphibian, the ensatina salamander’s entire life cycle is based on land. Found in and around mountain pools and streams, the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog lives at altitudes of up to 11,800 ft (3,600 m). It spends winters hibernating at the bottom of frozen lakes. In summer, it hunts by day, rarely straying more than a metre or two from water. Three species of yellow-legged frogs have now been identified, all with a pale yellow underside. The main difference between the three lies in their distinct mating calls.

Found mainly in the north, a small population of great gray owls remains in the Sierra Nevada of California. wide facial disk short, broad tail broad, fingered wings Mountain kingsnake Lampropeltis zonata The California Mountain kingsnake has an extensive distribution from Baja California, Mexico, north into Washington state. z. multicincta) is restricted to that area. Living in uplands and mountains up to altitudes of 10,000 ft (3,000 m), this habitat generalist basks by day in remote gullies or on old logs; rests at night among boulders or tree roots; and shelters in burrows through winter.

The dark staining is caused by algal growth. CANADIAN ARCTIC Beluga small, rounded flippers Delphinapterus leucas The beluga is the only whale that is white in color when adult, a feature that helps it to hide from predators among the sea ice. If chased, the absence of a dorsal fin allows the beluga to escape by swimming away beneath the ice. It is also able to move its head up and down and from side to side because its neck vertebrae are unfused. Thick blubber makes up 40 percent of its body mass.

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