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The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies

by and

The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Ants are so much a part of our everyday lives that unless we discover them in our sugar bowl we rarely give them a second thought. Yet those minuscule bodies voyaging across the kitchen counter merit a closer look, for as entomologists Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson tell us in their latest book, they are part of a superorganism....The term "superorganism" was first coined in 1928 by the great American ant expert William Morton Wheeler. Over the ensuing eighty years, as debates around sociobiology and genetics have altered our perspectives, the concept has fallen in and out of favor, and Hölldobler and Wilson's book is a self-professed and convincing appeal for its revival." Tim Flannery, the New York Review of Books (read the entire New York Review of Books review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of The Ants render the extraordinary lives of the social insects in this visually spectacular volume.

The Superorganism promises to be one of the most important scientific works published in this decade. Coming eighteen years after the publication of The Ants, this new volume expands our knowledge of the social insects (among them, ants, bees, wasps, and termites) and is based on remarkable research conducted mostly within the last two decades. These superorganisms — a tightly knit colony of individuals, formed by altruistic cooperation, complex communication, and division of labor — represent one of the basic stages of biological organization, midway between the organism and the entire species. The study of the superorganism, as the authors demonstrate, has led to important advances in our understanding of how the transitions between such levels have occurred in evolution and how life as a whole has progressed from simple to complex forms. Ultimately, this book provides a deep look into a part of the living world hitherto glimpsed by only a very few. 110 color and 100 black-and-white illustrations.

Review:

"Wilson and Hlldobler...bring an alienlike world to the notice of interested nonscientists." Booklist

Review:

"While the superorganism concept is not new, it has never been stated explicitly or explored on such a grand scale." Library Journal

Synopsis:

The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of render the extraordinary lives of the social insects in this visually spectacular volume.

Synopsis:

The Superorganism promises to be one of the most important scientific works published in this decade. Coming eighteen years after the publication of The Ants, this new volume expands our knowledge of the social insects (among them, ants, bees, wasps, and termites) and is based on remarkable research conducted mostly within the last two decades. These superorganisms--a tightly knit colony of individuals, formed by altruistic cooperation, complex communication, and division of labor--represent one of the basic stages of biological organization, midway between the organism and the entire species. The study of the superorganism, as the authors demonstrate, has led to important advances in our understanding of how the transitions between such levels have occurred in evolution and how life as a whole has progressed from simple to complex forms. Ultimately, this book provides a deep look into a part of the living world hitherto glimpsed by only a very few.

About the Author

Bert Hölldobler is Foundation Professor at Arizona State University and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Leibniz Prize. He lives in Arizona and Germany.

Edward O. Wilson, a Harvard professor for nearly five decades, is the author of more than twenty books and the recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes and the National Medal of Science. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393067040
Author:
Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Illustrator:
Nelson, Margaret C.
Author:
Holldobler, Bert
Author:
Wilson, Edward Osborne
Author:
Wilson, Edward O.
Author:
Wilson, E. O.
Author:
Traverso, Amy
Author:
Hlldobler, Bert
Subject:
Insects & Spiders
Subject:
Life Sciences - Zoology - Entomology
Subject:
Insect societies
Subject:
Developmental Biology
Subject:
Animals - Insects & Spiders
Subject:
Nature Studies-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
November 2008
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
110 color, 100 black-and-white
Pages:
544
Dimensions:
10 x 8 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Entomology and General Invertebrates
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Insects » Entomology

The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$55.00 In Stock
Product details 544 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393067040 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Ants are so much a part of our everyday lives that unless we discover them in our sugar bowl we rarely give them a second thought. Yet those minuscule bodies voyaging across the kitchen counter merit a closer look, for as entomologists Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson tell us in their latest book, they are part of a superorganism....The term "superorganism" was first coined in 1928 by the great American ant expert William Morton Wheeler. Over the ensuing eighty years, as debates around sociobiology and genetics have altered our perspectives, the concept has fallen in and out of favor, and Hölldobler and Wilson's book is a self-professed and convincing appeal for its revival." (read the entire New York Review of Books review)
"Review" by , "Wilson and Hlldobler...bring an alienlike world to the notice of interested nonscientists."
"Review" by , "While the superorganism concept is not new, it has never been stated explicitly or explored on such a grand scale."
"Synopsis" by , The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of render the extraordinary lives of the social insects in this visually spectacular volume.
"Synopsis" by , The Superorganism promises to be one of the most important scientific works published in this decade. Coming eighteen years after the publication of The Ants, this new volume expands our knowledge of the social insects (among them, ants, bees, wasps, and termites) and is based on remarkable research conducted mostly within the last two decades. These superorganisms--a tightly knit colony of individuals, formed by altruistic cooperation, complex communication, and division of labor--represent one of the basic stages of biological organization, midway between the organism and the entire species. The study of the superorganism, as the authors demonstrate, has led to important advances in our understanding of how the transitions between such levels have occurred in evolution and how life as a whole has progressed from simple to complex forms. Ultimately, this book provides a deep look into a part of the living world hitherto glimpsed by only a very few.

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