From the Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of The Ants comes this dynamic and visually spectacular portrait of Earth's ultimate superorganism.
The Leafcutter Ants is the most detailed and authoritative description of any ant species ever produced. With a text suitable for both a lay and a scientific audience, the book provides an unforgettable tour of Earth's most evolved animal societies. Each colony of leafcutters contains as many as five million workers, all the daughters of a single queen that can live over a decade. A gigantic nest can stretch thirty feet across, rise five feet or more above the ground, and consist of hundreds of chambers that reach twenty-five feet below the ground surface. Indeed, the leafcutters have parlayed their instinctive civilization into a virtual domination of forest, grassland, and cropland—from Louisiana to Patagonia. Inspired by a section of the authors' acclaimed The Superorganism, this brilliantly illustrated work provides the ultimate explanation of what a social order with a half-billion years of animal evolution has achieved.
About the Authors
Bert Hölldobler is Foundation Professor at Arizona State University and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize. He lives in Arizona and Germany.
Regarded as one of the world’s preeminent biologists and naturalists, Edward O. Wilson grew up in south Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, where he spent his boyhood exploring the region’s forests and swamps, collecting snakes, butterflies, and ants—the latter to become his lifelong specialty. The author of more than twenty books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Ants and The Naturalist as well as his first novel Anthill, Wilson, a professor at Harvard, makes his home in Lexington, Massachusetts.
|List of illustrations||p. ix|
|The Ultimate Superorganisms||p. 5|
|The Attine Breakthrough||p. 11|
|The Ascent of the Leafcutters||p. 31|
|Life Cycle of the Leafcutter Ants||p. 33|
|The Atta Caste System||p. 51|
|Harvesting Vegetation||p. 59|
|Communication in Atta||p. 77|
|The Ant-Fungus Mutualism||p. 89|
|Hygiene in the Symbiosis||p. 95|
|Waste Management||p. 107|
|Agropredators and Agroparasites||p. 111|
|Lcafcutcer Nests||p. 115|
|Trails and Trunk Routes||p. 123|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 15th November 2010
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.1 x 15.7 x 1.3
Weight (kg): 0.35
Edition Number: 1