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The New York Times Book of Insects

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Over the course of evolution, insects have learned to live in every extremity of the earth, from the scorching sands of the Sahara to the snow-mantled wastelands of Antarctica, and have inhabited the planet three thousand times longer than humans. Collected here are the most curious and entertaining articles on the world of insects from award-winning New York Times writers, including Natalie Angier, William K. Stevens, Jane E. Brody, Malcolm W. Browne, and Carol Kaesuk Yoon. Such wonders are revealed as the ...

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New York, New York, U.S.A. 2003 Soft Cover New 7 x 9 1/2. New with minimal sheflwear. A collection of the most curious and entertaining articles on the world of insects from the ... award-winning writers for The New York Times. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Over the course of evolution, insects have learned to live in every extremity of the earth, from the scorching sands of the Sahara to the snow-mantled wastelands of Antarctica, and have inhabited the planet three thousand times longer than humans. Collected here are the most curious and entertaining articles on the world of insects from award-winning New York Times writers, including Natalie Angier, William K. Stevens, Jane E. Brody, Malcolm W. Browne, and Carol Kaesuk Yoon. Such wonders are revealed as the deadly love affairs of an Australian spider; the aerodynamic secrets of insect flight as demonstrated by a giant, smoke-spewing moth; and the industrious fungus-farming, leaf-cutting ants of the Amazon. From the mysterious monarch butterfly to the lowly dung beetle, there is much for humans to learn from these ancient survivors.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
"I am delighted with this collection.The writing is crystal-clear andentertaining, the detail accurate, and the selection of topics wide enough tocompose a virtual entomological textbook.Read it, and an insect will neverbe a bug to you again."--Edward O. Wilson, Pulitzer-Prize winning co-author of The Ants
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585747924
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2003
  • Series: New York Times
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.96 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicholas Wade

NICHOLAS WADE, a science reporter for The New York Times, was the editor of Science Times from 1990 through 1996. He is the author of The Ultimate Experiment, The Nobel Duel, Betrayers of the Truth (with William J. Broad), and A World Beyond Healing, and editor of all the Science Times books (page 202). He lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Maestros of Earth and Air
In Recycling Waste, the Noble Scarab Is Peerless 7
Monarchs' Migration: A Fragile Journey 17
Can You Like a Roach? You Might Be Surprised 24
Dragonflies' Perfection as Performers and Predators 31
A Student of Bees Decodes the Signal to Swarm 38
Ant and Its Fungus Are Ancient Cohabitants 41
Cicadas: They're Back! 49
The Scorpion, Bizarre and Nasty, Recruits New Admirers 55
Defenders Rally to Misunderstood Robber Fly 62
Mosquitoes' Tricks Still Exceed Remedies 66
A Wealth of Forest Species Is Found Underfoot 71
Tallying Insects in a Costa Rican Forest 76
In Spring, Nature's Cycle Brings a Dead Tree to Life 80
2 Attack and Defense
Crafty Signs Spun in Web Say to Prey, "Open Sky" 89
Nibbled Plants Launch Active Attacks 96
Beetle Strategy Outwits Toxin-Spewing Plant 101
Life at the Extremes: Ants Defy Desert Heat 103
Honeybees Make Fight Too Hot for Giant Hornets 108
A Long-Secret Weapon of Millipede Is Unveiled 111
Laboring Ants Can Raise Brood of Warriors 113
Honeybees Conceal Reserve Army Among Workers 116
Fly Has Ear for Cricket's Song 120
3 Rituals of Insect Courtship
For an Australian Spider, Love Really Is to Die For 127
Spanish Fly Works, at Least for Fire-Colored Beetles 132
With Katydids, First to Sing Wins Bride 136
Nature Switches Roles for the Mating Game 139
For Fire Ant Queens, Fecundity Gene Brings Death 142
Any Male Moth Worth His Salt Must Be Able to Drink Deep 145
Moth Mothers Mate Often, Then Select the Father 149
Biggest Evolutionary Challenge May Be Other Half of the Species 153
4 Living Arrangements
Social Castes Found to Be Not So Rare in Nature 161
To Drive Away Wasps, Caterpillars Recruit a Phalanx of Ants 167
Serenade of Color Woos Pollinators to Flowers 171
An Elusive Moth with a 15-Inch Tongue Should Be Out There 173
5 Principles of Insect Design
How Nature Makes a Butterfly's Wing 177
Now Playing at a Nearby Lab: "Revenge of the Fly People" 182
Aerodynamic Secrets of Insect Flight 188
What's New About a Spider's Web? It Takes a Computer to Know 192
6 The Unwelcome Side of Insects
Mystery Bug Infestations? Call in the Insect Sleuth 197
Tiny Predator Imperils the Eastern Hemlock 201
Swarming Halloween Bugs Haunt Humans 205
Mite that Causes an Overwhelming Itch 210
Fearsome Fire Ants Stage Relentless Campaign in South 215
Power of Natural Pest-Killer Wanes from Overuse 221
7 Insects as Victims
Butterfly Farms May Be Last Hope of Rare Hunted Species 227
Trying Times for the American Honeybee 230
Rare Butterfly Consigned to Extinction 234
Captive Breeding Project Offers New Hope for Beleaguered Beetle 239
8 The Latest from the Field
For Leaf-Cutter Ants, Farm Life Isn't So Simple 248
In Death-Defying Act, Butterfly Thrives on Poison Vine 254
Honeybee Shows a Little Gene Activity Goes Miles and Miles 259
Wasp Invades a Spider and Puts It to Work 263
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