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Neanderthal Museum
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40822 Mettmann
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ANIMALARCHITECTURE – Photographs by Ingo Arndt

June 27th to November 1st 2015

Man-made architecture is something everyone is familiar with. The architectural masterpieces of animals, however, often go unnoticed – even though animals were already building nests, dams and huts back when  humans were still living in caves. From the tiny nest of a hummingbird to coral reefs, the world's largest animal-made structures, animal architecture continues to astonish. Photographer Ingo Arndt will showcase these spectacular structures and their inhabitants in the exhibition „ANIMAL ARCHITECTURE“, taking place from June 27th to November 1st 2015 in the Neanderthal Museum.

Renowned wildlife photographer Ingo Arndt spent two years traveling the world in order to capture these images. He photographed anthills up to two meters high built by tiny wood ants in European forests, colorful mating arenas of bowerbirds in West Papua, gigantic beaver dams in North America, and newly discovered termite fields in Australia.

His images focus on the structures themselves, highlighting their extraordinary architecture and their stunning beauty. The architects of these structures belong to diverse species of animals and are shown alongside their homes. Photographs taken in the wild are supplemented by a selection of studio shots. In the latter, Arndt focuses on the essentials, using close-up views to reveal a world otherwise hidden from sight – the complexity of a wasps' nest, the spiral inside a nautilus' shell or the artful grass nest of a harvest mouse.

The exhibition features stunning imagery as well as scientific insight into animal behavior. Fascinating stories about animal architects and their building skills are presented together with the images. Spiders, for example, design their webs according to a genetic blueprint. Compass termites orient their mounds in accordance with the position of the sun. The complex structure of their mounds even equips the chambers within with a form of air-conditioning. Collared doves are highly adaptable animals that use wire to construct their nests. These and other surprising facts are waiting to be discovered in the exhibition.

Born in Frankfurt in 1968, Ingo Arndt has been a professional wildlife photographer since 1992. His photographs are published around the world in magazines such as GEO, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife oder Terre Sauvage. Arndt travels the world for his photography, spending an average of six months a year on the road. Going beyond simply looking for the one perfect shot, his aim is to make complex ecological relationships visible and to document unique animal behavior. From early on in his career, elaborate long-term projects have been Ingo Arndt's specialty.

In 2005, Ingo Arndt was awarded a World Press Photo Award for his GEO photo series on animal feet. His images have won Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007. Many of his pictures have received European Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards. In 2006, he won the German Prize for Scientific Photography. In 2008 and 2012, the Society of German Wildlife Photographers (GDT) awarded him the Fritz Pölking Prize. Ingo Anrdt is an appointed Member of the German Photographic Society (DGPH).