Monday, August 1, 2022

Tales from the Ant World, by Edward O. Wilson (author), Jonathan Hogan (narrator)

Recorded Books, ISBN 9781980091714, August 2020

Edward O. Wilson was a highly respected and accomplished myrmecologist, i.e., an expert on ants.

You may not think ants are fascinating, but in this book, narrated by Jonathan Hogan, Wilson geeks out about them with joy. In this short book, he gives us overviews of twenty-five different species of ants. Fire ants and leafcutter ants, the fastest-moving ants and the slowest-moving ants, ants who conduct slave raids to steal juveniles who will emerge into adulthood in the raiders' colony and grow up as part of that colony. Ants who farm and ants who keep "cattle." 

Ants who fight over territory, and ants who enter into peaceful alliances with other colonies, establishing peaceful "civilizations" over relatively large territories.

Ants who live in caves, which seems counterintuitive, and yet can be a quite welcoming environment for them. Even more counterintuitive, why you should welcome the presence of house ants in your home.

This isn't an intense, serious work of science. It's lively and interesting, and interspersed with Wilson's personal stories about his travels and research. It's both educational and fun.

I wasn't thrilled with the narrator, but my initial irritation faded fairly quickly, as I became caught up in the substance of the book.


I bought this audiobook.

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