Anonymous asked: Can you list a lot of animals that collect things
Well notably alot of birds like to collect various materials to put into their nests. This is most apparent in the Bowerbirds (Family: Ptilonorhynchidae) which construct intricate bowers. These bowers typically have bright trinkets collected around the front to attract mates.
Believe it or not crabs are also famous collectors as well. A good bit of the species in the superfamily Majoidea are known as decorator crabs. Although while this is more of “self-decorating” than collecting, decorator crabs will conceal themselves by placing random debris and even live animals like anemones and sponges on themselves. Some crabs (Like in the family Dromiidae) will specialize in placing certain species (sponges) on themselves.
(x) Hyastenus elatus
Certain sea urchins will do this as well. Species like Tripneustes gratilla will place random debris on themselves as well, in attempt to better conceal themselves.
I’m not sure if this counts as “collecting” either but a species of assassin bug, Acanthaspis petax, will collect the husks of the insects it has preyed on and place them on its back. Like the urchins and crab A. petax uses this to disguise itself from predators.
Collecting food is a very common behavior among a lot of animals, notably rodents and birds. They will collect excess food and cache it away to be accessed later (if they can find it again)
Ants are noted Collectors as well. Leafcutter ants especially are noted for cutting off pieces of inedible leaves and storing them underground allowing them to “ripen” with a fungus that is farmed inside the colony.
Those are all I can think of offhand. I hope this helps!
This is a cool post. I love bower birds. They are a very interesting group of birds. I didn’t know about the assassin bug and the sea urchins.
Goodness, you guys.
So, I just bought this book, Alex and Me, by Dr. Irene Pepperberg, president of the Alex Foundation, and a scientist whose work I have followed ever since I can remember seeing her appear on Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda. I saw the book on the bargain table at the Barnes & Noble when I was picking out my new day planner and purchased it (perhaps) impulsively.
This book has owned my life for the past 36hrs, after sitting down I couldn’t put it down and promptly read it cover-to-cover. When I was young and the scientist in me was blossoming, I was reading her primary research (look here); solid pieces that were beautifully empirical….Getting the opportunity to read about her human experience with this project has been so deeply touching. I cannot begin to describe how pleased I am to have gotten this book.
Dr. Pepperberg, you are a phenomenal person. Thank you for having the courage, the will, and the compassion to perform the work you’ve done and persevere through a laundry list of obstacles. You are so fortunate to have experience firsthand of such a miraculous proof of our greater oneness with all the good Earth around us. You are an inspiration to me on many levels. Alex taught us much—he will be missed.