Adventures among Ants: A Global Safari with a Cast of Trillions

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University of California Press, May 5, 2010 - Science - 288 pages
7 Reviews
Intrepid international explorer, biologist, and photographer Mark W. Moffett, "the Indiana Jones of entomology," takes us around the globe on a strange and colorful journey in search of the hidden world of ants. In tales from Nigeria, Indonesia, the Amazon, Australia, California, and elsewhere, Moffett recounts his entomological exploits and provides fascinating details on how ants live and how they dominate their ecosystems through strikingly human behaviors, yet at a different scale and a faster tempo. Moffett’s spectacular close-up photographs shrink us down to size, so that we can observe ants in familiar roles; warriors, builders, big-game hunters, and slave owners. We find them creating marketplaces and assembly lines and dealing with issues we think of as uniquely human—including hygiene, recycling, and warfare. Adventures among Ants introduces some of the world’s most awe-inspiring species and offers a startling new perspective on the limits of our own perception.

• Ants are world-class road builders, handling traffic problems on thoroughfares that dwarf our highway systems in their complexity

• Ants with the largest societies often deploy complicated military tactics

• Some ants have evolved from hunter-gatherers into farmers, domesticating other insects and growing crops for food
 

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User Review  - dandelionroots - LibraryThing

Ants are fucking fascinating. His description of the superorganism and how from small to large colonies they confront and solve the problems of sustenance (foraging, agriculture, slavery), defense ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pikarun - LibraryThing

Wonderful tour into the world of ants. They are an extraordinary species with breathtaking variety. Wish he avoided the comparisons to human societies, though. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
1 Strength In Numbers
12
2 The Perfect Swarm
23
3 Division of Labor
36
4 Infrastructure
51
5 Group Transport
62
6 Big Game Hunters
72
7 Clash of the Titans
85
12 Slaves of Sagehen Creek
148
13 Abduction in the Afternoon
157
14 A Fungus Farmers Life
170
15 The Origins of Agriculture
187
16 Armies of the Earth
202
17 The Immortal Society
213
Conclusion
221
Acknowledgments and A Note on Content
232

8 Notes From Underground
95
9 Canopy Empires
110
10 Fortified Forests
120
11 Negotiating the Physical World
133
Notes
234
Index
265
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About the author (2010)

Mark W. Moffett, Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution, is the author of The High Frontier: Exploring the Tropical Rainforest Canopy and Face to Face with Frogs. Moffett has received the Explorers Club’s Lowell Thomas Award, the Distinguished Explorer Award from the Roy Chapman Andrews Society, Yale University’s Poynter Fellowship for Journalism, Harvard’s Bowdoin Prize for writing, and many international photography awards.

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