Thursday, October 27, 2011

Calling all ant-o-philes

This post is again courtesy of Gerry. Some inquiring minds want to learn more and asked for his book recommendations. Gerry writes:

I would recommend (in this order):
1. Mark Moffett, Adventures among Ants.
2. Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson. The Leafcutter Ants: Civilization by Instinct.
3. Deborah Gordon.  Ants At Work: How An Insect Society Is Organized.
4. Laurent Keller. The Lives of Ants.
The Pima County library system has 1, 2 and 3. I'd recommend 1 as the most engagingly-written of the four and has some spectacular photos. The second one is also fascinating, but of course only focuses on one type of ant. The third one is a slightly drier and gets far more into the "dig 'em up and see what makes 'em tick" kind of research that I don't particularly like (though the results are *sometimes* interesting). The fourth one is quite dry but nevertheless has its moments, especially in its summary of ant genetics and the subtle struggles that take place *within* ant colonies.
If you search Google for "mark moffett interview" there's an interview with Terry Gross on 'Fresh Air'. (Anne says: it's linked here.) It was the Terry Gross interview that inspired me to read Mark Moffett's book, and that book made me want to read more.
Thanks again to Gerry for sharing his keen observations of nature in all its glory.

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