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Animal Architects

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We humans do not have a monopoly on design and structure. From the smallest anthill to the largest eagles nest, the animal kingdom is populated by a variety of species who build. Georgia is home to an abundance of animal architects.

Our state reptile, the gopher tortoise digs deep burrows in the ground along the sandy soils of South Georgia. Along our lakes and bodies of water you’ll often spot huge osprey nests used by their residents from year to year. Even in your own back yard you’ll find a startling array of animal homes, nests and burrows.

Some of the most commonly seen are built by invertebrate species such as arachnids, insects, and crustaceans.
For example, our only land dwelling crustacean, the crayfish, digs a deep burrow and you can often see the chimneys of these cousins of the lobsters along the muddy banks of our streams and rivers. Spiders build elaborate webs in trees, along soffits, and just about anywhere you look. But perhaps, our most commonly seen animal structures are built by social insects like bees, wasps, and ants!

Learn more about these industrious animals and more on Georgia Outdoors: Animal Architects.

Web Resources

The Department of Entomology, University of Georgia

Insects, as a group, currently include over one million known species in the world, with probably millions more yet to be described. These species are divided up into 33 orders, and of these the largest order is the Beetles, or Coleoptera, with 125 different families and over 500,000 species. Thus, insect identification (taxonomy) is no small matter. Use this website to help you identify insects.

Georgia Beekeeping Association

Serving Georgia's Bee Industry for over 85 years.

Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association

The mission of the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association is to assist its members and others with beekeeping; to provide opportunities through meetings, classes, and the internet to learn about and discuss beekeeping; to promote public awareness of the value of honey bees and hive products; and to cooperate with other beekeeping organizations.

University of Georgia Honey Bee Program

The objectives of the honey bee program at the University of Georgia are to increase humanity's knowledge of bee biology, bee management, and crop pollination and to deliver that knowledge in the most effective manner to interested users.

New Georgia Encyclopedia

Read more about birds on the website New Georgia Encyclopedia is an authoritative source on the people, places, events, and institutions of Georgia. The site contains nearly 2,000 articles and more than 5,000 images and audio and video clips on the history, culture, and life of the state.

Harris Neck NWR

Harris Neck NWR was established in 1962. The refuge's 2,824 acres consist of saltwater marsh, grassland, mixed deciduous woods and cropland. Because of this great variety in habitat, many different species of birds are attracted to the refuge throughout the year.

Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge

Wolf Island NWR consists of Wolf Island and two smaller islands, Egg and Little Egg, and is maintained as a National Wilderness Area. Its primary purpose is providing protection for migratory birds and other endangered and threatened species, such as the loggerhead sea turtle and piping plover.