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Secret Lives of Ants

Jae Choe
foreword by Jane Goodall
photographs by Dan Perlman

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In the great naturalist tradition of E. O. Wilson, Jae Choe takes readers into a miniature world dominated by six-legged organisms. This is the world of the ant, an insect that humans, as well as most other life forms, depend upon for their very survival.

Easily one of the most important animals on earth, ants seem to mirror the actions, emotions, and industries of the human population, often more effectively than humans do themselves. They developed ranching and farming long before humans, and their division of labor resembles the assembly lines of automobile factories and multinational\u2026

In the great naturalist tradition of E. O. Wilson, Jae Choe takes readers into a miniature world dominated by six-legged organisms. This is the world of the ant, an insect that humans, as well as most other life forms, depend upon for their very survival.

Easily one of the most important animals on earth, ants seem to mirror the actions, emotions, and industries of the human population, often more effectively than humans do themselves. They developed ranching and farming long before humans, and their division of labor resembles the assembly lines of automobile factories and multinational enterprises. Self-sacrifice and a finely tuned chemical language are the foundations of their monarchical society, which is capable of waging large-scale warfare and taking slaves. Tales of their massacres and atrocities, as well as struggles for power, are all too reminiscent of our own.

The reality of ant society is more fascinating than even the most creative minds could imagine. Choe combines expert scientific knowledge with a real passion for these miniscule marvels. His vivid descriptions are paired with captivating illustrations and photographs to introduce readers to the economics, culture, and intrigue of the ant world. All of nature is revealed through the secret lives of the amazing ants. In the words of the author, "Once you get to know them, you’ll love them."

Reviews

Reviews

A good general introduction to the biology of ants.

Choe's goal is to expose the fascinating miniature world of ants to curious minds... Highly recommended.

Enter the miniature world of ants and learn about their societies, from massacres and power plays to self-sacrifice and factory-like enterprises.

An enjoyable popular read from an author who combines expert scientific knowledge of ants with a real passion for these miniscule marvels. The text is amply illustrated with complementary and captivating illustrations and original photographs. It will be a welcome addition to the bookcase of naturalists of any age.

It is his passion for the natural world that Jae brings to the study of ant biology. I congratulate my friend on writing a truly fascinating book.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5.5
x
8.5
Pages
184
ISBN
9781421404288
Illustration Description
75 color illus.
Table of Contents

Foreword, by Jane Goodall
Preface
Introduction: My First Journey to the Ants
Part I: The Economics of Ant Society
1. Ants Mean Business: How the Futuristic Economics of Ants Maximizes Their Returns
2

Foreword, by Jane Goodall
Preface
Introduction: My First Journey to the Ants
Part I: The Economics of Ant Society
1. Ants Mean Business: How the Futuristic Economics of Ants Maximizes Their Returns
2. Economies of Scale and Rational BusinessManagement: From Joint Ventures to Multinational Enterprises
3. A 50-Million-Year Tradition of Farming: The Massive Underground Mushroom Farms of the Leaf-cutter Ants
4. Ant Ranchers: Masters of Dairy Farming Second Only to Mankind
5. The World's First Bodyguards: Standing Watch for Room and Board
6. The Charge of the Ant Brigade: The Terrifying March of the Army Ants
Part II: The Culture of Ant Society
7. Talking with the Ants: The Clever Designs of Ant Communication
8. The Ants Come Home: Sense of Direction and Biological Clocks
9. Ants at Work: Maids, Nannies, Laborers, Soldiers
10. Con Artists of the Ant World: Parasites That Have Cracked the Ants' Secret Code
11. Villains and Monsters of the Ant World: Predators and Parasites
Part III: The Politics of Ant Society
12. No Children of Their Own: Females in the Service of an Amazon Queen
13. Conflict in the Queendom: Divine Right of the Queen? Or the Will of the Masses?
14. Political Conflict and International Alliances: Yesterday's Comrade, Today's Enemy
15. The Foundation Myth of the Aztec Ant Queendom: The Queens' Battle for the Throne
16. War and Slavery: From Full-Scale Slaughter to Bloodless Warfare
Epilogue: To Know Them Is to Love Them

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Jae Choe

Jae Choe is a university chair professor at Ewha Womans University, where he is also director of the Natural History Museum and the Research Institute of EcoScience. An award-winning author, his books include The Evolution of Social Behavior in Insects and Arachnids and The Evolution of Mating Systems in Insects and Arachnids.