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The Leafcutter Ants: Civilization by Instinct

Bert Hölldobler & Edward O. Wilson
Item #: D61195
Format: Paperback
Pages/Publication Date: 160 / 2011
Publisher: Norton
ISBN: 9780393338683
No Longer Available

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning authors of The Ants comes this surprising and dramatically illustrated portrait of earth's ultimate superorganism. It offers a detailed and authoritative description of leafcutter ants with a text for both lay and scientific readers. Each colony of leafcutters contains as many as five million workers, all daughters of a single queen that can live more than a decade. A nest can stretch 30 feet across, rise five feet or more above the ground, and consist of hundreds of chambers extending 25 feet below ground. Indeed, as the authors argue in this exploration of what a social order with a half-billion years of animal evolution has achieved, the leafcutters have parlayed their instinctive society into a virtual domination of forest, grassland, and cropland from Louisiana to Patagonia.

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