The Superorganism

The Superorganism Cover

The Superorganism

The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies

By Bert Holldobler; Edward Osborne Wilson; Margaret C. Nelson (Illustrator)

W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393067040, 522pp.

Publication Date: November 17, 2008

Description
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.


About the Author
Bert Holldobler is now Foundation Professor of Biology at Arizona State University; formerly Chair of Behavioral Physiology and Sociology at the Theodor Boveri Institute, University of Wurzburg. He is also the recipient of the U.S. Senior Scientist Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German government. Until 1990, he was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard University.

Edward O. Wilson, one of the world's preeminent biologists, is the author of more than twenty-five books, including "Sociobiology", the Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Ants", and the best-selling novel "Anthill". A professor emeritus at Harvard University, he lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Margaret C. Nelson is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Arizona State University.