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The Lives of Ants

The Lives of Ants Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Since time immemorial, human beings have been fascinated by ants, amazed by them, intrigued and captivated by them. With numerous black-and-white images and eight pages of color plates, The Lives of Ants provides a state-of-the-art look at what we now know about these fascinating creatures, portraying a world that is rich and full of surprises, one which, even after decades of observation, is still full of unsolved mysteries.

The authors illuminate the world of the ant, shedding light on such topics as the ant's impressive abilities in direction finding and quite amazing ingenuity when it comes to building their nests, finding supplies, or exploiting other members of the animal kingdom. They show, too, that they are capable of aggression and violence, which can disturb the apparent peace of their colonies and embroil them in fratricidal or matricidal strife. Even their sexual arrangements are at times quite strange. In this area, as in many others, they display marked originality. Readers also discover that ants are walking bundles of secretory glands (they have about forty of them), which enable them to emit between ten and twenty different pheromones, each of which has its own "meaning." Some are produced by workers for recruiting their sisters or for alerting them to danger. Others are used for marking territory, for identifying members of their colony or conversely for detecting foreigners, and for indicating the location of food. In addition, ants can also emit sound signals, made of a high-pitched squeak, and they can even dance, though not as intricately or as well as bees.

The Lives of Ants combines natural history with molecular biology, genetics, and even the latest developments in robotics, to explore the remarkable societies of ants, revealing the secrets of their mysterious lives.

Review:

"Science writer Gordon and ecology-evolution professor Keller (University of Lausanne) present a general-audience overview, short on jargon and long on storytelling, of Earth's most populous and successful genera. Keller and Gordon present ant life in 32 chapters, covering the vast expanse and variation of ant behavior, social structure, reproduction, genetics and ecology while highlighting their importance to ecosystems world-wide. Species of ants that nest underground are crucial for the aeration and nutrient content of soil; in the tropics, leafcutter ants feed leaves to underground fungi 'farms,' transferring nutrients from the rainforest canopy to depths of 15 feet below earth's surface. Even all-consuming hordes of army ants, marching across the plains of Africa, benefit the planet by creating a mobile ecosystem (flies and butterflies depend on their dung, birds and reptiles feast on both ants and their prey). Human intervention, meanwhile, has introduced species to new habitats, often with destructive results (fire ants in the southern United States, Argentine ants in Europe). Illuminating, entertaining and thought-provoking, without a hint of superiority, this witty species profile will appeal to general readers interested in alien animal kingdom behavior, and/or the effects of invasive species on economics and public health." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

With numerous black-and-white images and eight pages of color plates, The Lives of Ants provides a state-of-the-art look at what we now know about these fascinating creatures, portraying a world that is rich and full of surprises, and still full of unsolved mysteries. The authors illuminate the world of the ant, shedding light on such topics as the ant's impressive abilities in direction finding and quite amazing ingenuity when it comes to building their nests, finding supplies, or exploiting other members of the animal kingdom. They show, too, that they are capable of aggression and violence, which can embroil entire colonies in fratricidal or matricidal war. Readers also discover that ants are walking bundles of secretory glands (they have about forty of them), which enable them to emit from ten to twenty different pheromones, each of which has its own "meaning." In addition, ants can emit sound signals, made of a high-pitched squeak, and they can even dance, though not as intricately or as well as bees.

About the Author

Laurent Keller is Professor of Ecology and Evolution, and Head of the Department of Ecology and Evolution, at the University of Lausanne. In 2005 he was awarded the E. O. Wilson Naturalist Award.

Books by the same Author -

Levels of Selection in Evolution Queen Number and Sociality in Insects

Elisabeth Gordon is a freelance journalist and writer.

Table of Contents

Introduction

An ecological success story

1. Anywhere and everywhere

2. On tastes and colours

3. The secrets of success

4. A huge impact on the environment

5. A long long story

Social life

6. The birth of the colony

7. Division of labour

8. Let slip the ants of war

9. Flexible work arrangements

10. Communication systems

11. Family models

12. Parasites and slave-makers

Nowt so rum as ants!

13. Army ants

14. We work at the weaver's trade

15. Navigators who never lose their way

16. Honeypots

Advantageous liaisons

17. Colonies and their livestock

18. Ant trees

19. Attines and mushrooms getting on famously

Bloody pests!

20. Stand by for invaders!

21. Supercolonies

Kith and kin

22. Genetic altruism and sociality

23. Family feuds

24. Nepotism or not?

25. Caste struggles

26. Anything goes

Sociogenetics

27. Genes and family structure

28. The genomics of behaviour

29. So what's so special about the genome of fire ants?

High-tech ants

30. Computer modelling behaviour

31. Of ants and IT men

32. Swarm robotics

Conclusion

Further reading

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199541867
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Subject:
Life Sciences - Zoology - Entomology
Translator:
Grieve, James
Author:
null, Laurent
Author:
Keller, Laurent
Author:
null, Elisabeth
Author:
Gordon, Elisabeth
Subject:
Children s All Ages - Science
Subject:
Entomology
Subject:
Insects & Spiders
Subject:
Ants
Subject:
Hymenoptera.
Subject:
Animals - Insects & Spiders
Subject:
Life Sciences | Invertebrate zoology | Entomology
Publication Date:
20090425
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
Children/juvenile
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8pp color plate section, plus BandW inte
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
5.5 x 8.6 x 1.1 in 1.056 lb
Age Level:
Children's All Ages - Science

Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Insects » Ants and Termites
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Insects » Entomology

The Lives of Ants
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 256 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199541867 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Science writer Gordon and ecology-evolution professor Keller (University of Lausanne) present a general-audience overview, short on jargon and long on storytelling, of Earth's most populous and successful genera. Keller and Gordon present ant life in 32 chapters, covering the vast expanse and variation of ant behavior, social structure, reproduction, genetics and ecology while highlighting their importance to ecosystems world-wide. Species of ants that nest underground are crucial for the aeration and nutrient content of soil; in the tropics, leafcutter ants feed leaves to underground fungi 'farms,' transferring nutrients from the rainforest canopy to depths of 15 feet below earth's surface. Even all-consuming hordes of army ants, marching across the plains of Africa, benefit the planet by creating a mobile ecosystem (flies and butterflies depend on their dung, birds and reptiles feast on both ants and their prey). Human intervention, meanwhile, has introduced species to new habitats, often with destructive results (fire ants in the southern United States, Argentine ants in Europe). Illuminating, entertaining and thought-provoking, without a hint of superiority, this witty species profile will appeal to general readers interested in alien animal kingdom behavior, and/or the effects of invasive species on economics and public health." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , With numerous black-and-white images and eight pages of color plates, The Lives of Ants provides a state-of-the-art look at what we now know about these fascinating creatures, portraying a world that is rich and full of surprises, and still full of unsolved mysteries. The authors illuminate the world of the ant, shedding light on such topics as the ant's impressive abilities in direction finding and quite amazing ingenuity when it comes to building their nests, finding supplies, or exploiting other members of the animal kingdom. They show, too, that they are capable of aggression and violence, which can embroil entire colonies in fratricidal or matricidal war. Readers also discover that ants are walking bundles of secretory glands (they have about forty of them), which enable them to emit from ten to twenty different pheromones, each of which has its own "meaning." In addition, ants can emit sound signals, made of a high-pitched squeak, and they can even dance, though not as intricately or as well as bees.
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