This landmark work, the distillation of a lifetime of research by the world’s leading myrmecologists, is a thoroughgoing survey of one of the largest and most diverse groups of animals on the planet. Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson review in exhaustive detail virtually all topics in the anatomy, physiology, social organization, ecology, and natural history of the ants. In large format, with almost a thousand line drawings, photographs, and paintings, it is one of the most visually rich and all-encompassing views of any group of organisms on earth. It will be welcomed both as an introduction to the subject and as an encyclopedia reference for researchers in entomology, ecology, and sociobiology.
A monumental achievement, the last word in myrmecology, the study of ants… It is likely the average adult…will be intrigued by passages about these ubiquitous and complicated creatures.
The Ants is a stunningly attractive volume that belongs as much on the coffee table as it does on the lab bench… The 20 chapters are organized thematically, and they are written in a clear, accessible and engaging style… Only Hölldobler and Wilson could have written such a comprehensive and integrated treatment of ant biology. It represents a herculean labour of love, and it sets a new standard for synthetic works on major taxa… The Ants will undoubtedly remain in active service for decades, guiding both tourists and seasoned travellers through a strange and wonderful world.
While it is impossible to write a definitive tome and make it 100 percent transparent to the nonscientist, this volume achieves the utmost clarity… Science is rarely good literature. The Ants is an exalting exception.
Hölldobler and Wilson’s mighty tome will surely take its place among the greatest of all entomology books…it will inspire many new generations of students with its blend of scholarship, enthusiasm, and unabashed delight.
This magnificent and long-awaited volume is the definitive work on [ants]… Every imaginable area of interest to a biologist, a sociologist, even a curious citizen, is covered… At once remarkably exhaustive and parsimonious, the book does not stint on exhaustive detail wherever such detail is required.
The Ants is not only another milestone in a remarkable career but also a high point in crossover publishing. For the specialist, Hölldobler and Wilson bring elegance and order to a complex subject. For the curious layman, there is a glimpse into the workings of evolution.
The beauty of this heavily illustrated tome is that it conveys this message to both the lay reader and the professional entomologist with equal aplomb. For the interested but ignorant, Hölldobler and Wilson provide a gentle introduction into the complex and bizarre reality of life as an ant… This myrmecological bible—with its 50-page key to ant classification, 60 pages of detailed anatomical drawings and hundreds of other sketches and photos—is a scientific and artistic accomplishment of historic significance. Yet it succeeds in convincing even the most casual reader of—as the first chapter is titled—the Importance of Ants.
- 752 pages
- 10 x 12 inches
- Belknap Press
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