"Look to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise," says the proverb. Bert Hölldobler and E.O. Wilson have joined together to tell how they took this advice and to share the fruits of their wisdom. As Nature said, they "have done for ants what Levi's did for denim." Not just a good-parts version of their magisterial, Pulitzer-winning The Ants, Journey is also a double autobiography--the history of how early enthusiasm developed into an enormously fruitful scientific collaboration. "We, having entered our bug period as children, were blessed by never being required to abandon it," the authors write. Their devotion to their chosen field shines through.
Journey to the Ants gives an outstanding overview of the enormous variety and fascination of myrmecology, from the primitive bulldog ants of Australia to the complexities of weaver ant societies, slave-making ants and agriculture, army ants, and the social parasites concealed within anthills. There is an appendix with practical instructions for collecting individual ants or whole colonies, dead or alive. Hölldobler and Wilson clearly want other children to follow in their footsteps, growing from simple bug love to insights into evolution and society. --Mary Ellen Curtin
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Holldobler and Wilson have carefully distilled more than 80 years of their combined personal research and thorough knowledge of the literature to produce a book that is both packed with ideas and information and a joy to read. The authors subtitled their book 'A Story of Scientific Exploration' and, like all good stories, it has a logical progression and sensible themes and is hard to put down.--C. Ronald Carroll "American Scientist "