A nest is a structure built by certain animals to hold eggs, offspring, and, occasionally, the animal itself. Although nests are most closely associated with birds, members of all classes of vertebrates and some invertebrates construct nests. They may be composed of organic material such as twigs, grass, and leaves, or may be a simple depression in the ground, or a hole in a rock, tree, or building. Human-made materials, such as string, plastic, cloth, or paper, may also be used. Nests can be found in all types of habitat.

Nest building is driven by a biological urge known as the nesting instinct in birds and mammals. Generally each species has a distinctive style of nest. Nest complexity is roughly correlated with the level of parental care by adults. Nest building is considered a key adaptive advantage among birds, and they exhibit the most variation in their nests ranging from simple holes in the ground to elaborate communal nests hosting hundreds of individuals. Nests of prairie dogs and several social insects can host millions of individuals.

A Night Heron building a nest
A night heron building a nest.
Swans with nest and eggs at Lake Constanze
Swans with nest and eggs at Lake Constance

Nest building

Purposes of nesting

Structural purposes

Nest building is often driven by a biological urge in pregnant animals to protect one's offspring known as the nesting instinct. Animals build nests to protect their eggs, their offspring, or themselves from danger. The simplest nest structures are adapted to hide eggs from predators, shield them from the sun or other environmental factors, or simply keep them from being scattered in ocean currents. In some cases, nests also help provide safety in numbers for egg-laying animals.[1]

Pandion haliaetus -Belize -building nest-8
A pair of ospreys building a nest.

Social purposes

Many nest builders provide parental care to their young, while others simply lay their eggs and leave. Brooding (incubating eggs by sitting on them) is common among birds. In general, nest complexity increases in relation to the level of parental care provided.[1] Nest building reinforces social behavior, allowing for larger populations in small spaces to the point of increasing the carrying capacity of an environment. Insects that exhibit the most complex nest building also exhibit the greatest social structure. Among mammals, the naked mole-rat displays a caste structure similar to the social insects while building extensive burrows that house hundreds of individuals. [2]

Usage of environment

Versatility in use of construction material may be an adaptive advantage (less energy used to gather materials) or a disadvantage (less ability to specialize construction). The available evidence suggests that natural selection more often favors specialization over flexibility in nest construction.[2]

At the most basic level, there are only two types of nest building: sculpting and assembly.


Sculpting is the process of removing material to achieve a desired outcome. Most commonly this entails burrowing into the ground or plant matter to create a nesting site.


Assembly entails gathering, transporting, and arranging materials to create a novel structure. Transportation has the greatest time and energy cost so animals are usually adapted to build with materials available in their immediate environment.

Building Materials

Plant matter is the most common construction material for nests. Other common materials include fur or feathers, perhaps from the animal itself, mud or dirt, fecal matter, and specialized secretions from the animal's body.

Effects on environment

Nest building can have a substantial impact on the environment in which animals live. The combined digging activity of termites and mole-rats in South Africa has created a "mima prairie" landscape marked by huge areas of flat land punctuated by mounds 30 metres (98 ft) wide and 2 metres (6.6 ft) high. Similar structures exist in the United States, created by pocket gophers, and Argentina, rodents of the genus Ctenomys.

Lasting effects

Nests constructed by megapode birds have been mistaken for anthropological features by professionals, due to their exceptional height (10 metres [33 ft]) and abundance (hundreds in a single location).[2]

Nest builders

Natural Beehive and Honeycombs
Hundreds of honeybees gather on their honeycomb nest.

Nest architecture may be as useful for distinguishing species as the animals' physical appearance. Species identified through such means are called ethospecies. This is especially common in wasps and termites, but also can apply to birds. In most animals, there is some variation in nest construction between individuals. Whether these differences are driven by genetics or learned behavior is unknown.[2]

With the exception of a few tunneling mammals, nest builders exhibit no specialized anatomy, instead making use of body parts primarily used for other purposes. This is possibly due to the sporadic nature of nest building, minimizing the selective pressures of anatomy used for nest building.[2]


In general, birds are the most skilled nest builders, although not all species of birds build nests, some laying their eggs directly onto rock ledges or bare soil without first modifying the area. Complex nest building is considered to be one of the key adaptive advantages of birds.[1] Nests help regulate temperature and reduce predation risks, thus increasing the chance that offspring live to adulthood.[2]

Bird nests vary from simple depressions in the ground known as scrapes to largely unstructured collections of branches to elaborately woven pendants or spheres. The megapodes, one of the few groups who do not directly brood their young, incubate their young in a mound of decomposing vegetation. One species, Macrocephalon maleo, uses volcanic sand warmed by geothermal heat to keep its eggs warm.[1] Among the simple nest builders are falcons, owls, and many shorebirds. The weavers exhibit perhaps the most elaborate nests, complete with strands of grass tied into knots. Most bird nests lie somewhere in the middle, with the majority building cup-shaped nests using some combination of mud, twigs and leaves, and feathers. Some birds, such flamingos and swifts, use saliva to help hold their nest together. The edible-nest swiftlet uses saliva alone to construct their nests.[3] The rufous hornero nest is composed entirely of mud and feces, which is placed on tree branches to allow the sun to harden it into a usable structure.[4] The tailorbirds stitch together leaves to provide cover for their nest sites.[1]

Webervogelnst Auoblodge
A single nesting colony of the sociable weaver may house hundreds of individuals

The sociable weaver builds large communal nests in which many individual nests reside. They divide the nest using walls of grass placed atop a base of large sticks. At the entrances to the nest, sharp sticks are placed to ward off intruders.[4] A single communal site can measure 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height and 8 metres (26 ft) in width. As many as 300 mating pairs may reside in the structure.[5] Other birds often built their own nests on top of Weaver nest sites.[4]

Some birds build nests in trees, some (such as vultures, eagles, and many seabirds) will build them on rocky ledges, and others nest on the ground or in burrows.[3] Each species has a characteristic nest style, but few are particular about where they build their nests. Most species will choose whatever site in their environment best protects their nest, taking into account the nest's style. Several species will build on a cactus whenever possible. The bushtit and Bullock's oriole will suspend their nests from the tips of slender branches.[1] The oropendolas take hanging nests to the extreme, constructing pouches up to 1.8 metres (5.9 ft) tall using hanging vines as their base.[1][4] The hanging nest is attached to thin tree branches, discouraging predation.[4] Other species seek out crevices, using buildings or birdhouses when tree holes are not available.[1]

Typical bird nests range from 2 centimetres (0.79 in) in size (hummingbirds) to 2 metres (6.6 ft) (eagles) in diameter.[3] The largest nest on record was made by a pair of bald eagles. It was 2.9 metres (9.5 ft) in diameter, 6 metres (20 ft) deep and was estimated to weigh more than 2 tonnes (4,400 lb).[6] The lightest bird nests may weigh only a few grams.[3] Incubation mounds of the mallee fowl can reach heights of 4.57 metres (15.0 ft) and widths of 10.6 metres (35 ft). It is estimated the animal uses as much as 300 tonnes (660,000 lb) of material in its construction.[5] The extinct Sylviornis neocaledoniae may have constructed nesting mounds 50 metres (160 ft) in diameter.[2]


Many species of small mammals such as rodents, rabbits, and ground squirrels dig burrows into the ground to protect themselves and their young.[7] Prairie dogs build an elaborate system of tunnels which can span large stretches of land. One such structure, called a town, spanned 25,000 square miles (65,000 km2) and held an estimate 400 million individuals. Their homes are adapted to withstand large (above-ground) temperature variation, floods, and fire. Their young are raised in the deepest chambers where the temperature is the most stable.[4]

Many mammals, including raccoons and skunks, seek natural cavities in the ground or in trees to build their nests. Raccoons, and other rodents, use leaves to build nest underground and in trees. Tree squirrels build their nests (dreys) in trees, while voles nest in tall grass.[7] In some species, the nest serve as homes for adults while in others they are used to raise young. The duck-billed platypus and the echidna lay eggs in nests.[3]

Gorillas build fresh nests daily out of leaves and other vegetation in which they sleep at night. They sometimes also build nests during the day for resting in. The smaller species of gorilla build their nests in trees, while the larger are confined to the ground. Nests of the western gorilla, the largest species, measure about 1 metre (3.3 ft) in diameter.[8]


Spawn hatching
Paradise fish begin to hatch from a bubble nest.

Some species of frog build nests ranging from simple to modest complexity.[3] Many stream-dwelling frogs lay their eggs in a gelatinous mass which they attach to underwater vegetation. The jelly structure prevents the eggs from washing away.[1]


Fish engage in nest building activities ranging from simply scooping out sediment to building enclosed structures out of plant matter. Male sticklebacks produce a special enzyme in their kidneys that they use to bind plants together.[3]


The American Alligator is known for its parenting skills. They build large nests of mud and vegetation on river banks or vegetation mats. The female digs a hole in the center to lay her eggs, covers them, and then guards them for two months until they hatch. When eggs start to hatch, she breaks open the nest which has hardened over time and leads the young to the water where she continues to care for them for another year. Alligators are very particular about their nesting sites and will abandon a site if things go wrong.[1]

Cobras use leaves and other debris to build nests in which they lay eggs that both sexes guard. They carry the vegetation to the nest site by kinking their necks.[3] Sea turtles dig a hole in the sand above the high tide line in which they lay their eggs. They then cover the soft eggs to protect them from the sun and predators and leave.[1]


From the fossil record, it is known that many, or perhaps all, dinosaurs laid eggs. Paleontologists have identified a number of features that allow them to distinguish a nesting site from a random clustering of eggs. Those include regular clustering patterns, the co-occurrence of whole eggs with broken eggs and/or hatchlings, and the occurrence of physical features such as evidence of excavation.[1]

Maiasaura Nest Model.001 - Natural History Museum of London
Maiasaura probably exhibited great amounts of parental care.

The Oviraptor nests of Mongolia are perhaps the most famous case of dinosaur nesting. One specimen was found fossilized atop a nest in a brooding posture, proving the animal had been poorly named (Oviraptor means "egg taker").[1]

A site known as Egg Mountain in Montana provides exceptional evidence of dinosaur nesting behavior. The site features dozens of nests each with 20 or more eggs belonging to the Maiasaura. Juvenile teeth at the site exhibit signs of wear, while the leg bones are not developed enough to walk. This allowed scientists to conclude that the species provided extensive parental care for its young. It is likely the species covered its nests with sand and vegetation to keep them warm and nested in colonies for increased protection.[1]


Social insects, including most species of ants, bees, termites, and wasps, are nest builders. Their often elaborate nests may be found above or below ground. Features often include ventilation systems and separate chambers for the queen, her eggs, and developing individuals.[3]

Bees and hornets often seek out natural cavities in which to construct their nests, also known as hives, in which they store food and raise their young. Other species of bee and some wasps dig holes in the ground or chew through wood.[7] In the species Megachile rotundata, for example, females construct tubular-shaped nests in rotting wood as well as small holes in the ground, creating, each cell made from circular disks cut from plant leaves using the bee's mandibles.[9] Bee nests are founded upon the wax the secrete from their bodies, while those of wasps are dependent on their ability to turn plant water into paper using their saliva.[2] Nests often exhibit divided living, with eggs and food stores kept in distinct parts of the hive.[7] Vespid wasps build complex nests from paper-like material where they lay eggs in individual cells. When the young hatch, their parents feed them chewed up larvae. Different species exhibit different nest structures. Paper wasp nesting consist of a single tier of cells, while yellow jacket nests can be many layers thick, reaching up to 30 centimetres (0.98 ft) in diameter.[1] Nesting strategies can be plastic, for instance the wasp Parischnogaster mellyi will significant vary its nest construction based on environmental conditions, and the wasp Mischocyttarus mexicanus is known to nest in groups or alone depending on the distribution of potential nest sites in the area.[2][10] Nest sizes vary dramatically and the largest wasp nest on record measured 1.75 metres (5.7 ft) in diameter and was 3.7 metres (12 ft) tall. Found in New Zealand, it was likely built by the German wasp.[11]

Cathedral Termite Mound - brewbooks
Termite nests can extend 5 metres (16 ft) or more in the air.

Termites build elaborate nests that span multiple generations and may last decades.[2] Using chewed wood, mud, and feces they build large mounds which may extend well into the air.[4] The largest nests, built by members of genus Amitermes, stand nearly 7 metres (23 ft) tall with a similar circumference at the base, and host millions of individuals.[2] Termite mounds are constructed to allow for excellent air flow, regulating the mound temperature. The mounds protect against drying and predation allowing many species to lose ancestral traits such as hard bodies, skin pigmentation, and good eyesight. Magnetic termites construct their nests with flattened sides along the North-South axis to ensure maximum warming during the winter, while exposing minimal surface area to the harshest mid-day sunshine.[2] Other termite species use their nests to farm fungi.[4]

Ant nests feature an elaborate colony structure that may extend 2 metres (6.6 ft) or more underground. As the structure gets further underground, individual chambers become farther and farther apart indicating that the ant is aware of its depth. It is hypothesized that they accomplish this by sensing the level of carbon dioxide in the soil.[4] The leaf cutter ant builds a complex nest which can house 8 million individuals. Its nests feature numerous chambers, most notably garden chambers where they farm fungus on leaves they harvest from the forest.[2]

Species such as the carpenter ant and the wasp Polistes exclamans build "satellite nests" - smaller nests near, but separate from, the main nest.[12][13] These satellite nests are used as an insurance against predators and parasites; if the original nest is attacked, surviving members can move the satellite nest.[12] Other species such as the Black hover wasp, Parischnogaster alternata, construct nests in clusters with the central core composed of older colonies surrounded by younger colonies.[14]

The Eastern carpenter bee, Xylocopa virginica, is unique in that individuals of that species build their nests in wood, bamboo culms, agave stalks, and other similar materials, although their preferred nesting material is pine or cedar lumber. When digging the nests, they use the wood shavings scraped from the wall to create partitions within the tunnels. The nests are usually round and have about 1-4 tunnels, each with multiple branches. Because these materials are often useful for humans in construction, X. virgininica's nesting behavior presents the disadvantage of weakening wood in manmade structures.[15]

Effects on other species

The abundance of biological resources within the nest has led to a number of specialized predators. The aardvark and the ant eater use long tongues to prey upon termite and ant nests. Birds such as the honey buzzard specialize on wasp and bee nests, a resource also targeted by the tropical hornet. Symbiosis, ranging from feeding on waste to obligate parasitism, is common within the nest. Ant nests alone support symbiotes spanning six classes of arthropods which includes 35 families just from the beetles.[2]

Names of nests

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Tom Deméré; Bradford D. Hollingsworth (Spring 2002). "Nests and Nest-building Animals" (pdf). San Diego Natural History Museum. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Mike Hansell (2000). Bird Nests and Construction Behaviour. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521460385.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "nest". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on September 30, 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Mary Beth Griggs (2011-05-26). "8 Amazing Architects of the Animal Kingdom". Popular Mechanics. Archived from the original on August 13, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Most populous bird's nest". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on August 21, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  6. ^ "Largest bird's nest". Guinness World Records. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d "Mammal Nests and Burrows". Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species. University of Michigan. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  8. ^ "Largest mammal to build a nest". Guinness World Records. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  9. ^ Milius, Susan (2007-01-06). "Most bees live alone: No hives, no honey, but maybe help for crops". Science News. 171 (1): 11–13. doi:10.1002/scin.2007.5591710110. ISSN 1943-0930.
  10. ^ Clouse, R. (2001). “Some effects of group size on the output of beginning nests of Mischocyttarus mexicanus (Hymenoptera: Vespidae).” Florida Entomologist. 84(3):418-424.
  11. ^ "Largest wasp nest". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on July 2, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  12. ^ a b Joan E. Strassman (1981). "Evolutionary implications of early male and satellite nest production in Polistes exclamans colony cycles". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 8 (1): 55–64. doi:10.1007/BF00302844.
  13. ^ Jeff Hahn; Colleen Cannon; Mark Ascerno (2008). "Carpenter ants". University of Minnesota. Archived from the original on September 10, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  14. ^ Landi, M., C. Coster-Longman, and S. Turillazzi. "Are the Selfish Herd and the Dilution Effects Important in Promoting Nest Clustering in the Hover Wasp (Stenogastrinae Vespidae Hymenoptera)?" Ethology Ecology & Evolution 14.4 (2002): 297-305. Web.
  15. ^ Balduf, W. V. (1962-05-01). "Life of the Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa virginica (Linn.) (Xylocopidae, Hymenoptera)". Annals of the Entomological Society of America 55 (3): 263–271. doi:10.1093/aesa/55.3.263. ISSN 0013-8746.

External links


Ants are eusocial insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the Cretaceous period, about 140 million years ago, and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than 12,500 of an estimated total of 22,000 species have been classified. They are easily identified by their elbowed antennae and the distinctive node-like structure that forms their slender waists.

Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. Larger colonies consist of various castes of sterile, wingless females, most of which are workers (ergates), as well as soldiers (dinergates) and other specialised groups. Nearly all ant colonies also have some fertile males called "drones" (aner) and one or more fertile females called "queens" (gynes). The colonies are described as superorganisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony.

Ants have colonised almost every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants are Antarctica and a few remote or inhospitable islands. Ants thrive in most ecosystems and may form 15–25% of the terrestrial animal biomass. Their success in so many environments has been attributed to their social organisation and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves. Their long co-evolution with other species has led to mimetic, commensal, parasitic, and mutualistic relationships.Ant societies have division of labour, communication between individuals, and an ability to solve complex problems. These parallels with human societies have long been an inspiration and subject of study. Many human cultures make use of ants in cuisine, medication, and rituals. Some species are valued in their role as biological pest control agents. Their ability to exploit resources may bring ants into conflict with humans, however, as they can damage crops and invade buildings. Some species, such as the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), are regarded as invasive species, establishing themselves in areas where they have been introduced accidentally.

Beijing National Stadium

Beijing National Stadium, officially the National Stadium (Chinese: 国家体育场; pinyin: Guójiā Tǐyùchǎng; literally: 'National Stadium'), also known as the Bird's Nest (鸟巢; Niǎocháo), is a stadium in Beijing. The stadium was jointly designed by architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron of Herzog & de Meuron, project architect Stefan Marbach, artist Ai Weiwei, and CADG, which was led by chief architect Li Xinggang. The stadium was designed for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics and will be used again in the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The Bird's Nest sometimes has some extra temporary large screens installed at the stands of the stadium. It was designed by the Basel-based architecture team Herzog & de Meuron.

Bird nest

A bird nest is the spot in which a bird lays and incubates its eggs and raises its young. Although the term popularly refers to a specific structure made by the bird itself—such as the grassy cup nest of the American robin or Eurasian blackbird, or the elaborately woven hanging nest of the Montezuma oropendola or the village weaver—that is too restrictive a definition. For some species, a nest is simply a shallow depression made in sand; for others, it is the knot-hole left by a broken branch, a burrow dug into the ground, a chamber drilled into a tree, an enormous rotting pile of vegetation and earth, a shelf made of dried saliva or a mud dome with an entrance tunnel. The smallest bird nests are those of some hummingbirds, tiny cups which can be a mere 2 cm (0.79 in) across and 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) high. At the other extreme, some nest mounds built by the dusky scrubfowl measure more than 11 m (36 ft) in diameter and stand nearly 5 m (16 ft) tall.Not all bird species build nests. Some species lay their eggs directly on the ground or rocky ledges, while brood parasites lay theirs in the nests of other birds, letting unwitting "foster parents" do the work of rearing the young. Although nests are primarily used for breeding, they may also be reused in the non-breeding season for roosting and some species build special dormitory nests or roost nests (or winter-nest) that are used only for roosting. Most birds build a new nest each year, though some refurbish their old nests. The large eyries (or aeries) of some eagles are platform nests that have been used and refurbished for several years.

In most species, the female does most or all of the nest construction, though the male often helps. In some polygynous species, however, the male does most or all of the nest building. The nest may also form a part of the courtship display such as in weaver birds. The ability to choose and maintain good nest sites and build high quality nests may be selected for by females in these species. In some species the young from previous broods may also act as helpers for the adults.

Brood parasite

Brood parasites are organisms that rely on others to raise their young. The strategy appears among birds, insects and some fish. The brood parasite manipulates a host, either of the same or of another species, to raise its young as if it were its own, using brood mimicry, for example by having eggs that resemble the host's (egg mimicry).

Brood parasitism relieves the parasitic parents from the investment of rearing young or building nests for the young, enabling them to spend more time on other activities such as foraging and producing further offspring. Bird parasite species mitigate the risk of egg loss by distributing eggs amongst a number of different hosts. As this behaviour damages the host, it often results in an evolutionary arms race between parasite and host as the pair of species coevolve.


A bumblebee (or bumble bee, bumble-bee, or humble-bee) is any of over 250 species in the genus Bombus, part of Apidae, one of the bee families. This genus is the only extant group in the tribe Bombini, though a few extinct related genera (e.g., Calyptapis) are known from fossils. They are found primarily in higher altitudes or latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, although they are also found in South America where a few lowland tropical species have been identified. European bumblebees have also been introduced to New Zealand and Tasmania. Female bumblebees can sting repeatedly, but generally ignore humans and other animals.

Most bumblebees are social insects that form colonies with a single queen. The colonies are smaller than those of honey bees, growing to as few as 50 individuals in a nest. Cuckoo bumblebees are brood parasitic and do not make nests; their queens aggressively invade the nests of other bumblebee species, kill the resident queens and then lay their own eggs, which are cared for by the resident workers. Cuckoo bumblebees were previously classified as a separate genus, but are now usually treated as members of Bombus.

Bumblebees have round bodies covered in soft hair (long branched setae) called pile, making them appear and feel fuzzy. They have aposematic (warning) coloration, often consisting of contrasting bands of colour, and different species of bumblebee in a region often resemble each other in mutually protective Müllerian mimicry. Harmless insects such as hoverflies often derive protection from resembling bumblebees, in Batesian mimicry, and may be confused with them. Nest-making bumblebees can be distinguished from similarly large, fuzzy cuckoo bees by the form of the female hind leg. In nesting bumblebees, it is modified to form a pollen basket, a bare shiny area surrounded by a fringe of hairs used to transport pollen, whereas in cuckoo bees, the hind leg is hairy all round, and pollen grains are wedged among the hairs for transport.

Like their relatives the honeybees, bumblebees feed on nectar, using their long hairy tongues to lap up the liquid; the proboscis is folded under the head during flight. Bumblebees gather nectar to add to the stores in the nest, and pollen to feed their young. They forage using colour and spatial relationships to identify flowers to feed from. Some bumblebees steal nectar, making a hole near the base of a flower to access the nectar while avoiding pollen transfer. Bumblebees are important agricultural pollinators, so their decline in Europe, North America, and Asia is a cause for concern. The decline has been caused by habitat loss, the mechanisation of agriculture, and pesticides.


The carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativus) is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, black, red, white, and yellow cultivars exist. Carrots are a domesticated form of the wild carrot, Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia. The plant probably originated in Persia and was originally cultivated for its leaves and seeds. The most commonly eaten part of the plant is the taproot, although the stems and leaves are eaten as well. The domestic carrot has been selectively bred for its greatly enlarged, more palatable, less woody-textured taproot.

The carrot is a biennial plant in the umbellifer family Apiaceae. At first, it grows a rosette of leaves while building up the enlarged taproot. Fast-growing cultivars mature within three months (90 days) of sowing the seed, while slower-maturing cultivars need a month longer (120 days). The roots contain high quantities of alpha- and beta-carotene, and are a good source of vitamin K and vitamin B6, but the belief that eating carrots improves night vision is a myth put forward by the British in World War II to mislead the enemy about their military capabilities.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that world production of carrots and turnips (these plants are combined by the FAO) for the calendar year 2013 was 37.2 million tonnes; almost half (~45%) were grown in China. Carrots are widely used in many cuisines, especially in the preparation of salads, and carrot salads are a tradition in many regional cuisines.

Crow's Nest (New York)

Crow's Nest is a mountain along the west bank of the Hudson River in the Town of Highlands on the northern edge of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point. US 9W passes just west of its summit and offers panoramic views of the Hudson River, the military academy's ski slope, and Constitution Island.

A small portion of the northern slopes are within Storm King State Park, but most of the mountain is on USMA property and thus generally off limits to the public (it is fenced off along Route 9W). There is a television relay tower located near the summit.

Crowsnest Pass

Crowsnest Pass (sometimes referred to as Crow's Nest Pass, French: passe du Nid-de-Corbeau) is a low mountain pass across the Continental Divide of the Canadian Rockies on the Alberta–British Columbia border.


The cuckoos are a family of birds, Cuculidae, the sole taxon in the order Cuculiformes. The cuckoo family includes the common or European cuckoo, roadrunners, koels, malkohas, couas, coucals and anis. The coucals and anis are sometimes separated as distinct families, the Centropodidae and Crotophagidae respectively. The cuckoo order Cuculiformes is one of three that make up the Otidimorphae, the other two being the turacos and the bustards.

The cuckoos are generally medium-sized slender birds. Most species live in trees, though a sizeable minority are ground-dwelling. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution, with the majority of species being tropical. Some species are migratory. The cuckoos feed on insects, insect larvae and a variety of other animals, as well as fruit. Some species are brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of other species, but the majority of species raise their own young.

Cuckoos have played a role in human culture for thousands of years, appearing in Greek mythology as sacred to the goddess Hera. In Europe, the cuckoo is associated with spring, and with cuckoldry, for example in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost. In India, cuckoos are sacred to Kamadeva, the god of desire and longing, whereas in Japan, the cuckoo symbolises unrequited love.

Defensive fighting position

A defensive fighting position (DFP) is a type of earthwork constructed in a military context, generally large enough to accommodate anything from one soldier to a fire team (or similar sized unit).

Domestic pig

The domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus or only Sus domesticus), often called swine, hog, or simply pig when there is no need to distinguish it from other pigs, is a domesticated large, even-toed ungulate. It is variously considered a subspecies of the Eurasian boar or a distinct species. The domestic pig's head-plus-body-length ranges from 0.9 to 1.8 m (35 to 71 in), and adult pigs typically weigh between 50 and 350 kg (110 and 770 lb), with well-fed individuals often exceeding this weight range. The size and weight of a hog largely depends on its breed. Compared to other artiodactyls, its head is relatively long, pointed, and free of warts. Even-toed ungulates are generally herbivorous, but the domestic pig is an omnivore, like its wild relative.

When used as livestock, domestic pigs are farmed primarily for the consumption of their flesh, called pork. The animal's bones, hide, and bristles are also used in commercial products. Domestic pigs, especially miniature breeds, are kept as pets.

Edible bird's nest

Edible bird's nests are bird nests created by edible-nest swiftlets, Indian swiftlets, and other swiftlets using solidified saliva, which are harvested for human consumption. They are particularly prized in Chinese culture due to their rarity, supposedly high nutritional value, and flavour. Edible bird's nests are among the most expensive animal products consumed by humans, with nests being sold at prices up to about $3,000 per pound ($6,600/kg), depending on grading. The type or grading of a bird's nest depends on the type of bird as well as the shape and color of the bird's nest. It is usually white in colour, but there also exists a red version, sometimes called "blood" nest. The Chinese believe that it promotes good health, especially for the skin. The nests have been used in Chinese cooking for over 400 years, most often as bird's nest soup.

Empty Nest

Empty Nest is an American sitcom that originally aired on NBC from October 8, 1988, to April 29, 1995. The series, which was created as a spin-off of The Golden Girls by creator and producer Susan Harris, starred Richard Mulligan as recently widowed pediatrician Dr. Harry Weston, whose two adult daughters return home to live with him.

For its first three seasons, Empty Nest was one of the year's top 10 most-watched programs. It was produced by Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions in association with Touchstone Television.Empty Nest was part of NBC's Saturday night block of programming, and during its first four seasons it aired at 9:30pm ET, directly following The Golden Girls.

Google Nest

Nest is a brand of Google LLC used to market smart home products, including thermostats, smoke detectors, and security systems including smart doorbells and smart locks.The Nest brand name was originally owned by Nest Labs, co-founded by former Apple engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers in 2010. Its flagship product, which was the company's first offering, is the Nest Learning Thermostat, introduced in 2011. The product is programmable, self-learning, sensor-driven, and Wi-Fi-enabled – features that are often found in other Nest products. It was followed by the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in October 2013. After its acquisition of Dropcam in 2014, the company introduced its Nest Cam branding of security cameras beginning in June 2015.The company quickly expanded to more than 130 employees by the end of 2012. Google acquired Nest Labs for US$3.2 billion in January 2014, when the company employed 280. As of late 2015, Nest employs more than 1,100 and added a primary engineering center in Seattle.After Google reorganized itself under the holding company Alphabet Inc., Nest operated independently of Google from 2015 to 2018. However, in 2018, Nest was merged into Google's home-devices unit led by Rishi Chandra, effectively ceasing to exist as a separate business. In May 2019, it was announced that all Google home electronics products will henceforth be marketed under the brand Google Nest.


Hornets (insects in the genus Vespa) are the largest of the eusocial wasps, and are similar in appearance to their close relatives yellowjackets. Some species can reach up to 5.5 cm (2.2 in) in length. They are distinguished from other vespine wasps by the relatively large top margin of the head and by the rounded segment of the abdomen just behind the waist. Worldwide, there are 22 recognized species of Vespa, Most species only occur in the tropics of Asia, though the European hornet (Vespa crabro), is widely distributed throughout Europe, Russia, North America and Northeast Asia. Wasps native to North America in the genus Dolichovespula are commonly referred to as hornets (e.g., baldfaced hornets), but are actually yellowjackets.

Like other social wasps, hornets build communal nests by chewing wood to make a papery pulp. Each nest has one queen, who lays eggs and is attended by workers who, while genetically female, cannot lay fertile eggs. Most species make exposed nests in trees and shrubs, but some (like Vespa orientalis) build their nests underground or in other cavities. In the tropics, these nests may last year-round, but in temperate areas, the nest dies over the winter, with lone queens hibernating in leaf litter or other insulative material until the spring.

Hornets are often considered pests, as they aggressively guard their nesting sites when threatened and their stings can be more dangerous than those of bees.

Nest Learning Thermostat

The Nest Learning Thermostat (or Nest Thermostat) is a smart thermostat developed by Nest Labs and designed by Tony Fadell, Ben Filson, and Fred Bould. It is an electronic, programmable, and self-learning Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat that optimizes heating and cooling of homes and businesses to conserve energy.The device is based on a machine learning algorithm: for the first weeks users have to regulate the thermostat in order to provide the reference data set. The thermostat can then learn people's schedule, at which temperature they are used to and when. Using built-in sensors and phones' locations, it can shift into energy saving mode when it realizes nobody is at home.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (film)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 American tragicomedy film directed by Miloš Forman, based on the 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. The film stars Jack Nicholson as Randle McMurphy, a new patient at a mental institution, and features a supporting cast of Louise Fletcher, Danny DeVito, William Redfield, Will Sampson, Sydney Lassick, Brad Dourif, and Christopher Lloyd in their film debuts.

Filming began in January 1975 and lasted three months, taking place on location in Salem, Oregon, and the surrounding area, as well as on the Oregon coast. The producers decided to shoot the film in the Oregon State Hospital, an actual mental hospital, as this was also the setting of the novel.

Considered by some to be one of the greatest films ever made, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is No. 33 on the American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Movies list. The film was the second to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director and Screenplay) following It Happened One Night in 1934, an accomplishment not repeated until 1991 with The Silence of the Lambs. It also won numerous Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards. In 1993, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress, and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (novel)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962) is a novel written by Ken Kesey. Set in an Oregon psychiatric hospital, the narrative serves as a study of institutional processes and the human mind as well as a critique of behaviorism and a tribute to individualistic principles. It was adapted into the Broadway (and later off-Broadway) play One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Dale Wasserman in 1963. Bo Goldman adapted the novel into a 1975 film directed by Miloš Forman, which won five Academy Awards.

Time magazine included the novel in its "100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005" list. In 2003 the book was listed on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's 200 "best-loved novels."


An oocyte (UK: , US: ), oöcyte, ovocyte, or rarely ocyte, is a female gametocyte or germ cell involved in reproduction. In other words, it is an immature ovum, or egg cell. An oocyte is produced in the ovary during female gametogenesis. The female germ cells produce a primordial germ cell (PGC), which then undergoes mitosis, forming oogonia. During oogenesis, the oogonia become primary oocytes. An oocyte is a form of genetic material that can be collected for cryoconservation. Cryoconservation of animal genetic resources have been put into action as a means of conserving traditional livestock.


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