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4 Reviews
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4 star:
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3 star:    (0)
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very complete book, November 22, 2003
By 
merrymousies (Waterford, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This book was over my head (I don't have any sort of biology background, just more of a backyard naturalist who is hungry to learn) but nonethless I appreciate it for all the incredible information documented here. Its a very big book - 550 pages long and seems more like a serious reference text book for the student studying insects. In that context I think it'd be perfect. There are great drawinging, very detailed and indeed pretty too. There are insect family trees, drawing of nests and eggs, etc. I find the information in here fantastic. I enjoyed the chapter on behavior since that was what I originally was interested in learning about. Wilson talks about mazes with blind alleys and other neat things that ants do. Anyway, great book just be prepared for it to be very very technical.
Here are some of the chapters:
- Intro: the importance of societal insects
-degrees of social behavior
-the social wasps
- the ants
-the social bees
- the termites
- the presocial ants
- caste: ants
- caste: social bees and wasps
- caste: termites
- the elements of behavior
- communication: alarm
- communication: recruitment
- comminucation: recognition, food, grooming
- symbiosis
- population dynamics
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, November 15, 2000
By A Customer
An outstanding book, very enjoyable. Discusses ants, wasps, bees, termites, etc. A little bit dated now, but it still has one of the best overviews of social insects and their evolution of which I am aware. It is also very readable, with numerous illustrations.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cult following, April 23, 2005
This book has proven unexpectedly influential in the fields of artificial intelligence and pattern formation---make a bunch of agents which follow one or two simple rules, and they can make generic large-scale structures resembling societies.

It's a fascinating structuralist view of societies: rather than say, a Napoleon (or the queen), ants are ruled by hundreds of mindless actions dictated by enviornment (you and me). History, society is a constant pressure.

It's also brilliantly written and highly informative. This is a book for the ages.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book., February 5, 2009
This review is from: The Insect Societies (Belknap Press) (Hardcover)
Book was bought as a gift.

The receiver loved in.

Personally, I felt that the book was a bit pricey, but a great academic read or even a good read for those who are into insect societies. Nevertheless, a good buy.
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The Insect Societies (Belknap Press)
The Insect Societies (Belknap Press) by Edward O. Wilson (Hardcover - January 1, 1971)
$135.00 $93.81
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