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4.1 out of 5 stars12
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 30 October 2009
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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on 17 January 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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on 6 June 2013
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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on 21 November 2013
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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on 15 February 2012
Like some other reviewers I found the writing so dreary at first that I contemplated stopping reading it. However I persevered and the writing improved - or maybe I just got used to it. Anyway, I was rewarded with a fascinating middle section of the book which covers such topics as slave making, army ants, honeypot ants, invader species, colony structure. However, the final few chapters seemed aimed at biologists more than naturalists. For a while I found the discussion on genetics interesting but soon found it hard work.

Mostly it seems a very approachable book. All the chapters are short and there are numerous colour photos, though (at up to 8 per page) some were so small they seem of little value. I think most people will get something from reading the book but it is rather variable in its interest and the quality of its writing
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on 26 December 2014
I just love this book. Full of information, great for research in an essay.
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on 1 November 2015
Some reviewers regarded the writing as dry; admittedly, it is not the most animated of writing styles, but it is perfectly readable, and the material covered is interesting without the need for animated prose.
The book serves as a great introduction to ants; that is, it covers a broad range of areas, but only in a "introductory", and not-to-detailed manner. This means that the reader is exposed to a range of topics that they can then explore in more detail elsewhere. I like this in introductory texts, as it raises awareness of the range of different areas to explore in more detail if the reader finds them interesting.
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on 23 July 2010
You would think that it's hard to write a boring book about something as interesting and fascinating as ants. However, this book manages to do that. While it contains a lot of interesting facts, the writing is flat, the style boring, and the book overall lacks something; it reads like a list of loosely connected facts or anecdotes rather than a book. Also, it often lacks in-depth explanations about some of the most fascinating facts it states. I found myself falling asleep after only few pages time after time... I'd recommend the authors, who I'm sure know their subject very well, to find a better editor for their next book.
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on 28 February 2013
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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on 22 July 2010
Thoroughly engaging, well written and very informative.
What fascinating lives there ubiquitous yet much overlooked insects have.
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