Tales from the Ant World
Edward O. Wilson
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5 hours 24 minutes
Edward O. Wilson recalls his lifetime with ants, from his first boyhood encounters in the woods of Alabama
to perilous journeys into the Brazilian rainforest.
“Ants are the most warlike of all animals, with colony pitted against colony,” writes Edward O. Wilson, one of
the world’s most beloved scientists. “Their clashes dwarf Waterloo and Gettysburg.” In Tales from the Ant World, twotime Pulitzer Prize winner Wilson takes us on a myrmecological tour to such far-flung destinations as Mozambique
and New Guinea, the Gulf of Mexico’s Dauphin Island, and even his parent’s overgrown urban backyard, thrillingly
relating his nine-decade-long scientific obsession with many of the Earth’s more than 15,000 ant species.
Animating his scientific observations with illuminating personal stories, Wilson homes in on twenty-five ant
species to explain how these genetically superior creatures talk, smell, and taste, and more significantly, belong to
colonies that fight to determine dominance. Wryly observing that “males are little more than flying sperm missiles” or
that ants send their “old ladies” into battle, Wilson eloquently relays his brushes with fire, army, and leafcutter ants, as
well as more exotic species. Among them are the very rare matabele, Africa’s fiercest warrior ants, whose female hunters
can carry up to fifteen termites in their jaw (and, as Wilson reports from personal experience, have an incredibly
painful stinger); Costa Rica’s Basiceros, the slowest of all ants; and New Caledonia’s bull ants, the most endangered of
them all, which Wilson discovered in 2011 after over twenty years of presumed extinction.
Tales from the Ant World is a fascinating, if not occasionally hair-raising, personal account by one of our greatest
scientists and a necessary volume for any lover of the natural world
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Tales from the Ant World...
Edward O. Wilson
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