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The Leafcutter Ants : Civilization By Instinct - Bert Holldobler

The Leafcutter Ants

Civilization By Instinct

Paperback

Published: 15th November 2010
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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 illustrationsp. ix
Prologuep. 1
The Ultimate Superorganismsp. 5
The Attine Breakthroughp. 11
The Ascent of the Leafcuttersp. 31
Life Cycle of the Leafcutter Antsp. 33
The Atta Caste Systemp. 51
Harvesting Vegetationp. 59
Communication in Attap. 77
The Ant-Fungus Mutualismp. 89
Hygiene in the Symbiosisp. 95
Waste Managementp. 107
Agropredators and Agroparasitesp. 111
Lcafcutcer Nestsp. 115
Trails and Trunk Routesp. 123
Acknowledgmentsp. 129
Glossaryp. 131
Referencesp. 139
Indexp. 155
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780393338683
ISBN-10: 0393338681
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
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