Superorganism The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies

ISBN-10: 0393067041
ISBN-13: 9780393067040
Edition: 2008
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Description: The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors ofThe Antsrender the extraordinary lives of the social insects in this visually spectacular volume. The Superorganismpromises to be one of the most important scientific works published in this decade. Coming  More...

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Book details

List price: $55.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/17/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 544
Size: 8.50" wide x 10.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 0.946

The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors ofThe Antsrender the extraordinary lives of the social insects in this visually spectacular volume. The Superorganismpromises to be one of the most important scientific works published in this decade. Coming eighteen years after the publication of The Ants, this new volume expands our knowledge of the social insects (among them, ants, bees, wasps, and termites) and is based on remarkable research conducted mostly within the last two decades. These superorganisms--a tightly knit colony of individuals, formed by altruistic cooperation, complex communication, and division of labor--represent one of the basic stages of biological organization, midway between the organism and the entire species. The study of the superorganism, as the authors demonstrate, has led to important advances in our understanding of how the transitions between such levels have occurred in evolution and how life as a whole has progressed from simple to complex forms. Ultimately, this book provides a deep look into a part of the living world hitherto glimpsed by only a very few. 110 color and 100 black-and-white illustrations.

Bert Hölldobler is now Foundation Professor of Biology at Arizona State University; formerly Chair of Behavioral Physiology and Sociology at the Theodor Boveri Institute, University of Würzburg. He is also the recipient of the U.S. Senior Scientist Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German government. Until 1990, he was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard University.

He was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1929. He is currently Pellegrino University Research Professor & Honorary Curator in Entomology of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard. He is on the Board of Directors of the Nature Conservancy, Conservation International & the American Museum of Natural History. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

The Construction of a Superorganism
Genetic Social Evolution
Sociogenesis
The Genetic Evolution of Decision Rules
The Division of Labor
Communication
The Rise of the Ants
Ponerine Ants: The Great Radiation
The Attine Leafcutters: The Ultimate Superorganisms
Nest Architecture and House Hunting
Glossary
Index

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