Animal dens

A comprehensive case study comparing animal homes to people homes, obviously

Ever look around your place and think, This place is a pigsty? Or a pigpen? Or I’m a pack rat? Animals get a bad rap for being untidy and messy but there’s an order involved in the homes animals make for themselves. And just like us humans, animals have lots of fun names for their homes. They have dens and hills and burrows and we have bungalows and quarters and mansions. Animals, they’re just like us! Or is that anthropomorphism?

Take a look at a few comparisons and start thinking about, if you had to pack it all up and come back to do life all over again as an animal, what would you choose?

Animal homes

Fox Den vs Basement Apartment

Fox den – Fox dens are cozy and dark little homes that foxes use when rearing their kits. They don’t stay in one place long and usually have a food storage area in the den, separate from their sleeping facilities. Fox dens are like that basement apartment you had when recovering from a bad breakup. Cozy and dark, you slept in bed a lot, surrounded by blankets and mugs of half-drunk tea with a clear trail from the bed to the kitchen for another spoonful of  ice cream. And when you left your cozy little den apartment, you blinked in the sun like a baby kit coming out to explore and play and learn and grow.

Animal dens

Bat Cave vs Windowless Studio

Bat Cave – Bats are flying mammals, the only true flying mammal. They’re beneficial to have around because they are great at controlling insect populations and spreading seeds. Bat homes are actually called roosts and usually a large, open and dark area which is why caves are ideal homes for bats. Bat caves, or roosts, often resemble the studio apartment without any windows you rented at the end of or right after college because you were broke. You went there to sleep at night but spent the rest of the time out and about, working your three jobs or scavenging for food.

Animal dens

Underground MoleHill vs Ranch Style Home

Underground Mole Tunnel – These are often long complex tunnels that have food storage areas for worms they have left alive by paralyzed with their saliva. They remind me of the long ranch homes that were so popular to build in the suburbs in the 70s. A long stretch home as a series of rooms of varying sizes on a wide lot with plenty of room to expand.

Animal homes

Ant Hill vs Mansion

Ant hill – Ants! I’ve listened to some fascinating podcasts recently about ants and they are crazy and complex little creatures. They have social constructs like loyalty. They’re like little gangs with the violence and the feeling of belonging. Ants hills were the things of little boys dreams, with a magnifying glass in hand and the sun at his back, that summer afternoon was full of destruction and death for the ant hill. Recently, science has found a way to cast molds of ant hills and, oh boy, you gotta watch the video. They’re crazy complex! And so, so, so beautiful. I would hang one of these molds in my home as art! Anyway, ant hills remind me of mansions or old, old estates. Full of staircases to get to plenty of different levels with rooms that never seem to end. Probably a long-forgotten secret passage, the stuff dreams are made of.

Ant colony casting. You have to watch this.

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