Adventures among Ants (Paperback)
A Global Safari with a Cast of Trillions
University of California Press, 9780520271289, 288pp.
Publication Date: December 1, 2011
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Intrepid international explorer, biologist, and photographer Mark W. Moffett, “the Indiana Jones of entomology,” takes us around the globe on a strange and colorful journey in search of the hidden world of ants. In tales from Nigeria, Indonesia, the Amazon, Australia, California, and elsewhere, Moffett recounts his entomological exploits and provides fascinating details on how ants live and how they dominate their ecosystems through strikingly human behaviors, yet at a different scale and a faster tempo. Moffett’s spectacular close-up photographs shrink us down to size, so that we can observe ants in familiar roles; warriors, builders, big-game hunters, and slave owners. We find them creating marketplaces and assembly lines and dealing with issues we think of as uniquely human—including hygiene, recycling, and warfare. Adventures among Ants introduces some of the world’s most awe-inspiring species and offers a startling new perspective on the limits of our own perception.
• Ants are world-class road builders, handling traffic problems on thoroughfares that dwarf our highway systems in their complexity
• Ants with the largest societies often deploy complicated military tactics
• Some ants have evolved from hunter-gatherers into farmers, domesticating other insects and growing crops for food
About the Author
Mark W. Moffett, Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution, is the author of The High Frontier: Exploring the Tropical Rainforest Canopy and Face to Face with Frogs. Moffett has received the Explorers Club’s Lowell Thomas Award, the Distinguished Explorer Award from the Roy Chapman Andrews Society, Yale University’s Poynter Fellowship for Journalism, Harvard’s Bowdoin Prize for writing, and many international photography awards.
Praise For Adventures among Ants: A Global Safari with a Cast of Trillions…
“Packed with graphic enthusiasm...[and] provocative thoughts. . . . [Moffett] writes with an entertainer’s instinct for hooking a restless audience.”
— New York Times
"[Adventures among Ants] is hefty, yet aerodynamic. It’s really good for killing ants."
— The Colbert Report
“Take a look at daring eco-adventurer Mark Moffett's spectacular new ant book.” - Margaret Atwood
— Margaret Atwood
"Superb book by a first-class writer with an unsurpassed feel for ants.”
— Library Journal
“Adventures Among Ants may reach a broader audience than other recent publications and therefore stimulate interest in ants among a new generation.”
— Philip Newey
“Serfdom, war and dying for the tribe: It reads like a page out of a Russian novel. In fact, we're talking about ant life.”
— Los Angeles Times
“The book itself is a fine specimen . . . [Moffett’s] expertise with the camera must match his expertise on ant biology.”
— National Wildlife
“Moffett's ants are always sleek, polished and doing something spectacular.”
“Adventure Among Ants offers exotic tales of places you will probably never go, and glimpses of beautiful ants performing marvelous feats.”
— Deborah M. Gordon
“Many fascinating anecdotes.”
— Washington Post
Coverage from NPR