For Love of Insects

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Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003 - Nature - 448 pages
14 Reviews

Imagine beetles ejecting defensive sprays as hot as boiling water; female moths holding their mates for ransom; caterpillars disguising themselves as flowers by fastening petals to their bodies; termites emitting a viscous glue to rally fellow soldiers--and you will have entered an insect world once beyond imagining, a world observed and described down to its tiniest astonishing detail by Thomas Eisner. The story of a lifetime of such minute explorations, For Love of Insects celebrates the small creatures that have emerged triumphant on the planet, the beneficiaries of extraordinary evolutionary inventiveness and unparalleled reproductive capacity.

To understand the success of insects is to appreciate our own shortcomings, Eisner tells us, but never has a reckoning been such a pleasure. Recounting exploits and discoveries in his lab at Cornell and in the field in Uruguay, Australia, Panama, Europe, and North America, Eisner time and again demonstrates how inquiry into the survival strategies of an insect leads to clarifications beyond the expected; insects are revealed as masters of achievement, forms of life worthy of study and respect from even the most recalcitrant entomophobe. Filled with descriptions of his ingenious experiments and illustrated with photographs unmatched for their combination of scientific content and delicate beauty, Eisner's book makes readers participants in the grand adventure of discovery on a scale infinitesimally small, and infinitely surprising.

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Review: For Love of Insects

User Review  - Kevin - Goodreads

This is really more of a 3.5 rating than 4, but it's a about arthropods which means it gets the extra 0.5 star. :) The pictures were great, but the writing was a bit long-winded, and this is coming from somebody who loves reading about insects. Read full review

Review: For Love of Insects

User Review  - Yuanhua Chan - Goodreads

The book, For Love of Insects, was written by Thomas Eisner. Thomas Eisner (1929—2011) was known as the “father of chemical ecology”. He was a professor of Chemical Ecology at Cornell University ... Read full review


Foreword by Edward O Wilson ix
Masters of Deception
Ambulatory Spray Guns

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About the author (2003)

Thomas Eisner is J. G. Schurman Professor of Chemical Ecology at Cornell University. In 1994 he was awarded the National Medal of Science. His film "Secret Weapons" won the Grand Award at the New York Film Festival and was named Best Science Film by the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

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