2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 August 2011
This book is excellent - extremely thorough, well written, informative, and well sourced. As a non specialist I do have a little trouble with the technical terminology, but there is a very good glossary so it's my problem, not theirs. I bought the book because I wanted a reasoned, well-argued, rational explanation of how insects evolved and how they got to be like they are. This book does it, and I am enjoying every moment reading it. I did not know simple things like the probable ancestor animal that insects, arachnids and crustaceans most likely evolved from, and why they are different. I didn't know basic things such as those insects that moult (they spell it "molt" - it's my only criticism) and those that don't. I didn't know much about insect behaviour, and I certainly didn't know anything about insect sexual reproduction. But in all these areas and more I'm gaining a good understanding of the subject, and the reasons why it is like it is. In summary, one of the best books I've bought and worth every penny of the admittedly high price.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2011
A truly stunning book. Many high quality illustrations and photographs are set against deep and technically rich information for all the major insect orders. This is placed in a broad context highlighting key evolutionary transitions. This is certainly a technical book - however the sections dealing with more general principles strike an excellent balance between depth and readability with historical context also included. All in all this is a marvellous work which I'll refer to again and again, as well as learning something new every time I pick it up (which isn't easy - this book is quite hefty).
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2009
very good book, nice digrams and very comprehensive. There's infomation about insect evolution I've been hard to find else where. It's also quite pleasurable to read, very asccesable to anyone with basic natural history knowlage
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2012
Grimaldi and Engels have produced an extraordinary work with this book. Definitely for serious researchers, naturalists or students of entomology, it is the most comprehensive guide to insect lineages. I can't recommend it highly enough.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2012
This is a bible of entomology and systematics. It's contents is well written and Grimaldi's resarch is extensive. Whatever you are interested in collecting insects or working on phylogeny and systematics this book covers the evolution of insects in a way you wont find anywhere else.