Animal Art: Nature's Most Creative
By Madhavi Pothukuchi
17 September, 2022
Puffer fish mandalas
The white-spotted pufferfish is a tiny fish found deep within the sea coast of Japan. It creates elaborate and large symmetrical circular designs in the sand on the sea floor. The males make these ornate designs to attract mates.
Bees' flower sandwich
No, this is not your regular sandwich, but a beautiful nest by a rare species of bee – Osmia avosetta! The nest consists of one layer of flower petals and a layer of mud, followed by another layer of petals.
The Australian bowerbird is the most innovative when it comes to attracting females. It builds elaborate, hut-like nests with a full front garden decorated with shiny, bright trinkets like stones, pieces of plastic, glass, and shells. The more decorated the nest, the more likely the bowerbird will find a partner.
Camouflaging is a technique used by many animals. But have you ever heard of dressing up to blend in? Decorator crabs are nature’s fashionistas who use sea sponges, shells and even small plants to decorate themselves to blend into their surroundings. This often leads to very trendy and pretty looks!
Bagworms belong to the moth family and are a common insect that builds cocoons out of twigs, leaves, and sewn silk. But one specific genus, Amicta, builds very clean-designed cocoons that are symmetrical and rational. It’s almost like an architect built the house!
Paper wasp nests
Paper wasps chew on wood and plants to create a paper-like pulp and use that to build their nests, which are often umbrella-shaped. But sometimes, these nests can get quite colourful depending on the kind of plants chewed. In fact, a study was conducted where paper wasps were given coloured paper to make nests, and the results were beautiful.
Termites may be creatures that we avoid, but the beauty of their nests is praiseworthy. Usually found in the wild in Africa and Australia, these nests or termite mounds are made of mud and can be as high as 30 metres or 100 feet. Inside the mound lies an intricately built underground city with ventilation shafts and chambers.
The amazing animals making these artistic creations don’t understand the concept of art like we humans do. But we can still appreciate the natural artists and their masterpieces by not intruding on their habitats.