The Ants

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Overview

View a collection of videos on Professor Wilson entitled "On the Relation of Science and the Humanities"

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. Hölldobler and 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune

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.
— Paul Galloway

New York Times Book Review

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.
— Thomas E. Lovejoy

Scientific American

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.
— William Brown

Washington Post

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.
— Rick Weiss

Nature

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.
— Donald H. Feener, Jr., et al.

Time

The Ants is not only another milestone in a remarkable career but also a high point in crossover publishing. For the specialist. Holldobler and Wilson bring elegance and order to a complex subject. For the curious layman, there is a glimpse into the workings of evolution.
— R.Z. Sheppard

Science
Hölldobler and Wilson's mighty tome will surely take its place among the greatest of all entomology books...it will inspire many new gereations of students with its blend of scholarship, enthusiasm, and unabashed delight.
Chicago Tribune - Paul Galloway
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.
New York Times Book Review - Thomas E. Lovejoy
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.
Scientific American - William Brown
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.
Washington Post - Rick Weiss
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.
Nature - Donald H. Feener
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.
Time - R.Z. Sheppard
The Ants is not only another milestone in a remarkable career but also a high point in crossover publishing. For the specialist. Holldobler and Wilson bring elegance and order to a complex subject. For the curious layman, there is a glimpse into the workings of evolution.
Time
The Ants is not only another milestone in a remarkable career but also a high point in crossover publishing. For the specialist. Holldobler and Wilson bring elegance and order to a complex subject. For the curious layman, there is a glimpse into the workings of evolution.
— R.Z. Sheppard
Scientific American
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.
— William Brown
Chicago Tribune
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.
— Paul Galloway
Washington Post
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.
— Rick Weiss
Nature
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.
— Donald H. Feener, Jr., et al.
New York Times Book Review
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.
— Thomas E. Lovejoy
Booknews
Halldobler and Wilson (both Harvard U.), high-profile biologists (Wilson's On Human Nature won a Pulitzer Prize), review in detail the anatomy, physiology, social organization, ecology, and natural history of ants, illustrating the 292 living genera with nearly a thousand line drawings, photographs, and paintings. Flawed only by (presumably) Wilson's well-known propensity toward reductionism--condescending, even when directed at ants. 101/4x121/4". Acidic paper. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674040755
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1990
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 746
  • Sales rank: 642,782
  • Product dimensions: 9.76 (w) x 12.72 (h) x 1.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Bert Hölldobler is now Foundation Professor of Biology at Arizona State University; formerly Chair of Behavioral Physiology and Sociology at the Theodor Boveri Institute, University of Würzburg. He is also the recipient of the U.S. Senior Scientist Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German government. Until 1990, he was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard University.

Edward O. Wilson is Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard University. In addition to two Pulitzer Prizes (one of which he shares with Bert Hölldobler), Wilson has won many scientific awards, including the National Medal of Science and the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

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Table of Contents

1. The Importance of Ants

2. Classification and Origins

3. The Colony Life Cycle

4. Altruism and the Origin of the Worker Caste

5. Colony Odor and Kin Recognition

6. Queen Numbers and Domination

7. Communication

8. Caste and Division of Labor

9. Social Homeostasis and Flexibility

10. Foraging Strategies, Territory, and Population Regulation

11. The Organization of Species Communities

12. Symbioses among Ant Species

13. Symbioses with Other Arthropods

14. Symbioses between Ants and Plants

15. The Specialized Predators

16.The Army Ants

17. The Fungus Growers

18. The Harvesting Ants

19. Weaver Ants

20. Collecting, Culturing, Observing

Glossary

Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Index

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2003

    The Myrmecologists' Bible

    I received this as a Christmas gift when I was, but 12. Admittedly, I was already fascinated by ants, and though the science was above me, I kept at it. Nearly 13 years later, it never fails to offer more information than you extracted the previous time. It will take many years and extremely hard work to ever beat this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2000

    If you want to know about Ants- this is it!!!

    This book is an exhaustive account of ants in every detail that any entomologist should have.The amount of work that went into this book is staggering!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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