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The Lives of Ants download epub

by Elisabeth Gordon,Laurent Keller


Epub Book: 1595 kb. | Fb2 Book: 1504 kb.

Laurent Keller is Professor of Ecology and Evolution, and Head of the Department of Ecology and Evolution, at the . Enter "The Lives of Ants," a book that's not too long nor too short.

Laurent Keller is Professor of Ecology and Evolution, and Head of the Department of Ecology and Evolution, at the University of Lausanne. In 2005 he was awarded the E. O. Wilson Naturalist Award. Elisabeth Gordon is a freelance journalist and writer. True, some sections wax genetics and terms such as "polygynous," "haploid" and "eusociality" creep from the text and produce the "I need a dictionary" sensation.

Ever since the study of natural history became a popular pastime for seventeenth and eighteenth century intellectuals in Europe, the lives and behaviour of ants have fascinated some people. Long before then in classical times, it had been recognised that ants (seed-eating ants) provisioned their nests in times of plenty for use in times of shortage and that the workers cooperated to find food and joined together in armies to repel enemies. The workers’ labours and self-sacrifices appeared to be controlled by a ruling class of soldiers all serving a supreme monarch, the queen

By (author), Laurent Keller ; Elisabeth Gordon.

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Pretty much everything is astonishing about ants. It is estimated that the total weight of ants equals the human population

Pretty much everything is astonishing about ants. Though they prefer a bit of heat, they are also found in Finland and the Alps. They are more of them than any other animal. It is estimated that the total weight of ants equals the human population. They are the most gregarious creatures in the world with a sophisticated social organisation run on strictly hierarchic lines. Download the new Indpendent Premium app.

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ingly documented the lives of ants, ants have been used as. favourite model systems in modern ethology and . KELLER and. GORDON have rather remarkably managed to touch on. nearly every imaginable topic about ants. favourite model systems in modern ethology and behavi-. oural ecology in the first half of the previous century and. finally the revolutions in molecular biology have repeatedly. turned ant biology on its head in the last few decades. the taxonomic position of ants, their origin and phylogeny, their ecological success story, their social life, division of. labour and work organization, social parasitism and slave.

The Lives of Ants Keller Laurent, Gordon Elisabeth Oxford Academ 9780199541874 : Looks at many aspects of the natural history of ants, from their sophisticated social structure, to their commu. The book gives readers a panoramic view of the hidden, poorly-known interrelations not only between pairs of ants and plant species, but also between species communities in the ecosystem. The authors have considered not just one aspect of animal-plant relationships, but have tried to show them in all their complexity.

Laurent Keller, Elisabeth Gordon. The Lives of Ants combines natural history with molecular biology, genetics, and even the latest developments in robotics, to explore the remarkable societies of ants, revealing the secrets of their mysterious lives.

The ins and outs of ant life. The real and crazy lives of the Echo Park homegirls are played out in the vibrant new film Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life). Do you want to read the rest of this article? Request full-text. Other Lives January 2007.

Since time immemorial, human beings have been fascinated by ants, amazed by them, intrigued and captivated by them. With numerous black-and-white images and eight pages of color plates, The Lives of Ants provides a state-of-the-art look at what we now know about these fascinating creatures, portraying a world that is rich and full of surprises, one which, even after decades of observation, is still full of unsolved mysteries. The authors illuminate the world of the ant, shedding light on such topics as the ant's impressive abilities in direction finding and quite amazing ingenuity when it comes to building their nests, finding supplies, or exploiting other members of the animal kingdom. They show, too, that they are capable of aggression and violence, which can disturb the apparent peace of their colonies and embroil them in fratricidal or matricidal strife. Even their sexual arrangements are at times quite strange. In this area, as in many others, they display marked originality. Readers also discover that ants are walking bundles of secretory glands (they have about forty of them), which enable them to emit between ten and twenty different pheromones, each of which has its own "meaning." Some are produced by workers for recruiting their sisters or for alerting them to danger. Others are used for marking territory, for identifying members of their colony or conversely for detecting foreigners, and for indicating the location of food. In addition, ants can also emit sound signals, made of a high-pitched squeak, and they can even dance, though not as intricately or as well as bees. The Lives of Ants combines natural history with molecular biology, genetics, and even the latest developments in robotics, to explore the remarkable societies of ants, revealing the secrets of their mysterious lives.

Comments: (7)

Washington
I found this book to be generally pretty interesting. It covers several topics about ants such as their social structure, reproductive behavior, how ants fight, and so on. Nothing is really covered in a lot of detail so nothing is overly complicated. A good book for a person with a casual interest in ants.
lucky kitten
This book was extremely interesting. It covers just about everything you want to know about ants, at least briefly. I went into reading the book because I was especially interested in kin altruism and how ant's complex social system evolved. The book did a very good job at summarizing those topics.

The only problems I see with the book are the translation and writing styles. Both seem a little... irregular at times. It also gives you the feeling that there is so much more about ants that just isn't covered. And the last few sections about technology were sort of random. I mean studying ants to help produce those amazing technologies... but does that really have to do with the lives of ants? It took me a few months to just go back and finish the book when I started on those chapters.

Overall, I found this book to be quite excellent. It is a very good starting point for learning about these remarkable creatures.
Agagamand
thanks
Welahza
If you are into ants, this is an excellent book, very readable and in formative! It has some great pictures as well.
Soustil
Great!
WinDImmortaL
Much of the subject matter is interesting but the book suffers from a stiff academic style and a sub-par translation.
iSlate
Those ubiquitous ants, always around especially when you least appreciate them. Not only do they outnumber human population but their total mass closely matches the weight of our population. Classified within the order Hymenoptera of the Formicidae family, ants include over 12,000 described species, the number increasing as new varieties continue to be identified. Because their diversity, social structure, ecological ranges, communal life, range of habitats and multiple extraordinary features are so fascinating, reading about such complex social bugs is spellbinding. Beautifully translated from the original French, the myrmecological descriptions of the amazing characteristics of the ant civilizations will captivate students of all ages as well as the general reader. Research findings detailing the gregarious nature, communal life, social organization along with their adaptive variations are intriguing and whet the readers’ curiosity. Divided into eight themes with many short absorbing chapters, the Swiss authors capture the disparate characteristics that make these creatures so unique. Readers from preteens to adults will find the explorations exposed in this compellingly engrossing nature study competitively as fascinating as their fantasy novels. This is a reading that should be dissected, digested, analyzed and appraised by students in the natural sciences. It is indeed a work of artful detail and relevance to our modern world.
Anyone who has existed for more than an eye blink on this planet has encountered ants. These creatures, amongst the earth's most ubiquitous, have a talent for squeezing themselves into environments that previously seemed hermetically sealed. And they don't just enter, they occupy, particularly where voluminous foodstuffs lie strewn about (e.g., most human habitats). Many that come face to mandible with these diminutive invaders know next to nothing about their ways, they just want them out. But the curious may want to know how ants completely conquered the undergrowth. In many parts of the world a marching ant army means it's time to leave town, humans included. Though most ants appear no larger than three periods pronged together, as a collective they represent one of the greatest powers in all of the insect world. If you see army ants heading your way, run. Scorpions, spiders, crickets, katydids and even small birds and rodents do. They too have seen and know better than to mess with the ants.

Those who have delved into books about ants, perhaps some meant for youngsters, may have come out wanting. Others may have opened garage-sized entomology tracts with leading sentences incomprehensible to those outside of academia. Up to this point, books for general readers thirsty for details seem rarely to appear. Enter "The Lives of Ants," a book that's not too long nor too short. A book that does flirt with academic language in places, but mostly includes just enough detail without spewing arcane jargon. True, some sections wax genetics and terms such as "polygynous," "haploid" and "eusociality" creep from the text and produce the "I need a dictionary" sensation. But usually such terms receive adequate setup and explanation for even general readers to keep up. Fear fire ants, not vocabulary.

Eight distinct parts chop the discussion up into digestible bits. What remains incomprehensible is the number of ants present on our planet. No one really knows how many, but the first chapter uses the phrase "ten million billions." No other animal known appears in such quantities. And ants shun individualism as they unite and conquer as a "super-organism" revolving around single ("monogynous") or multiple ("polygynous") queens. Though most ants don't live long, some queens can endure for over a decade. Many also mate only once and still produce thousands of offspring. The males don't fare so well (their sorry fates compare to bee drones; most mate and die). Workers of some species lay eggs in the event of queen death. Unsurprisingly, diversity rules the ant kingdom. Substantial evidence has also built up that queens and workers play a political game in deciding the nature of their progeny. Queens lay the eggs, but nursemaid workers decide which larvae receive proper nourishment. Do any beings escape politics? Apparently not. Other sections deal with ant communication (pheromones help find the shortest path to and from food), rampaging army ants (just get out of the way), artistic weaver ants (who use larvae as little glue guns), wood ants (who spurt formic acid as defense), leaf-cutter ants (they use the leaves to harvest fungus), fascinating honeypot ants, livestock (aphids), incredibly destructive fire ants (really get out of the way, they not only bite but sting and can endanger large animals including humans), cloning, and genetics. Later chapters contain more technical, but not inaccessible, material. Debates over genetic determinations of behavior arise in discussions of the Gp-9 gene. In reference to this, the authors state "what we have here therefore is the first genetic element ever to be identified as influencing social organization in any living creature." Some background in genetics helps those with little background. A final section highlights the use of ant behavior in robotics. French scientists apparently discovered that the behavior of one species, Messor, follows Turing's laws - the first such validation, according to the authors. Even entomology and IT mingle.

Anyone looking for a juicier all-pervading treatment of ants will find "the Lives of Ants" a satisfying tromp. Be warned, the book references many Latin species names and, as said before, may throw out some esoteric vocabulary. Lovers of ants will probably find themselves unable to put the book down. Others may struggle through some of the more difficult sections, but the effort will pay off in a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of our most ubiquitous planetary companions. You'll never want to step on another one again.
The Lives of Ants download epub
Biological Sciences
Author: Elisabeth Gordon,Laurent Keller
ISBN: 0199541868
Category: Science & Math
Subcategory: Biological Sciences
Language: English
Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (April 25, 2009)
Pages: 252 pages