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The Lives of Ants [Paperback]

Laurent Keller , Elisabeth Gordon
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

25 Feb 2010
Humans have long been fascinated by ants. While not necessarily brightly coloured or beautiful, ants display some remarkable characteristics that are almost unique in the animal world. They live in intricately organized societies, made up of individuals that cooperate, communicate, and divide up daily tasks. They display amazing ingenuity when it comes to building nests and other structures, finding supplies, or even exploiting other members of the animal kingdom. They are capable too of aggression and violence, of disturbing the apparent peace of their colonies and of sudden fratricidal or matricidal strife. In short, the lives of ants are among the most fascinating in the natural world. This is an account of those lives - looking at the many species of ants around the world, explaining the secret of their huge ecological success, examining the remarkable and varied behaviours that ants exhibit, and tying in molecular biology, genetics, and even cutting-edge developments in robotics, to shed light on what makes ants unique.

Frequently Bought Together

The Lives of Ants + Journey to the Ants + The Super-organism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies
Price For All Three: 47.70

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (25 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199541876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199541874
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 12.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 216,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


An extraordinary book. The Herald

About the Author

Elisabeth Gordon is a freelance journalist and writer.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant insight into the lives of ants 30 Oct 2009
By Barrie
This is a well written, informative and wide ranging review of the life of ants. It's written in an engaging stlye with different facets of the lives of ants being represented by different chapters, therefore there are chapters on colony organization, ecology, reproductive strategies, genetics and even ants as the inspiration for new technologies. Although each chapter starts off simply there is enough detail here to draw in those normally sceptical of insect natural history.

There are sections on leaf cutters and slave makers, and another on invasive ants such as fire ants and argentine ants. The price is good too. If you have any interest inants, social biology or invertebrates in general this is a great read and not at all like a textbook.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange lives under our feet 17 Jan 2010
The second book I read on my own about 50 years ago was about the life of an ant. I learned a lot, but only the "nice" facts were given. In this book, you get the whole story. It is full of fascinating facts of the incredibly many different ways evolution have ordered the complex societies and sexual practises of these tiny-brained creatures. Ants fit well into their native environment, but when they hitchhike to other places they can become serious pest. The book gives a few really worrying examples that you need to know about.

The two authors are scientists themselves and their love of the family Formicidae shines through. Therefore, the somewhat awkward style can be forgiven. But the book would have been easier on the common reader if all the references to fellow scientist had been collected as notes at the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect book 21 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I know a hell of a lot about these wonderful animals. This book is filled with fact and information which added to my already huge knowledge. That is not to say it will be lost on beginners. This book is written well and every detail no matter how scientific is explained beautifully.

I book everybody should read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable and informative read 6 Jun 2013
By Hannah
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is remarkably well written and the author really does get his enthusiasm across! The sections of the book are clear and nicely set out. There is lots of information about the different species of ants. I now look at ants with interest and admiration. There is minimal scientific terminology and so this book is perfectly suited to anyone with an interest in the lives of ants.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction. 28 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A interesting book. Personally I would like more in depth technical detail, but overall a good interduction to the amazing life style of ants. Descriptons of all types and environments of ants included. A boon for anybody that keeps ant farms.
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