The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2009 - Nature - 522 pages
7 Reviews
The Superorganism promises to be one of the most important scientific works published in this decade. Coming eighteen years after the publication of The Ants, this new volume expands our knowledge of the social insects (among them, ants, bees, wasps, and termites) and is based on remarkable research conducted mostly within the last two decades. These superorganisms—a tightly knit colony of individuals, formed by altruistic cooperation, complex communication, and division of labor—represent one of the basic stages of biological organization, midway between the organism and the entire species. The study of the superorganism, as the authors demonstrate, has led to important advances in our understanding of how the transitions between such levels have occurred in evolution and how life as a whole has progressed from simple to complex forms. Ultimately, this book provides a deep look into a part of the living world hitherto glimpsed by only a very few.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wildbill - LibraryThing

[The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies] This was a fascinating book that is definitely in my top five for 2013. It was written by research scientists about the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AlCracka - LibraryThing

Reading for the "Altruism" theme at the Bookish club. (It makes perfect sense, shut up.) This is a deeply intimidating book - 500 big pages full of big words - but it's been really interesting when I've had the gumption to focus on it. Yeah, I said gumption. Read full review

Contents

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About the author (2009)

Edward O. Wilson is widely recognized as one of the world's preeminent biologists and naturalists. The author of more than thirty books, including The Social Conquest of Earth, The Meaning of Human Existence, and Letters to a Young Scientist, Wilson is a professor emeritus at Harvard University. The winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, he lives with his wife, Irene Wilson, in Lexington, Massachusetts.

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