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The Ants

4.47  ·  Rating Details ·  387 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
This landmark work, the distillation of a lifetime of research by the world's leading myrmecologists, is a thoroughgoing survey of one of the largest and most diverse groups of animals on the planet. Hölldobler and Wilson review in exhaustive detail virtually all topics in the anatomy, physiology, social organization, ecology, and natural history of the ants.

In large form
Hardcover, 732 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Springer (first published 1990)
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Steven Peck
Sep 14, 2008 Steven Peck rated it it was amazing
If you only read one book on ants this year. Make it this one.
Jan 30, 2008 Kelly rated it it was amazing
My ex-boyfriend stole this book for me. I would stay up late at night and look at the pictures and try to learn all the funny words. To say the least, his book became my bible. Recently I opened it and noticed the dedication: "To the next generation of myrmecologists." This still makes me cry.
May 03, 2012 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
THE ANTS. (1990). Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson. *****.
Don’t be fooled by the five-star rating. It was not a five-star rating for me, since most of the material in this heavy tome was way over my head, but a five-star meaning that it is the only book you will ever need to read if you are studying ants – the science of myrmecology (my new word for the day). This is not just a coffee table book, it can also be used as a coffee table. The authors review, in exhaustive detail, all aspects of
Jan 07, 2012 Brian marked it as to-read
Everything you ever wanted to know about ants...

For instance, how do ants find their way around?
....they wanted to see if ants used the sky to find their way around, so they took pictures of the sky, blew them up into big portraits, put them above ant nests so that they blocked out the real sky, but oriented them slightly differently...and kept track of how the ants got all mixed up.

Ever wonder what an ant nest looks like inside?
....they found one, and poured quick dry cement into it. Then let
Sep 05, 2011 Jenny added it
Shelves: ants
OK so this book is physically huge and is an index of a TON of discovered ants. I'm giving it a five star rating even tho I know I'll never read it cover to cover. Just to have it and be able to refer to it is enuf for me!
Sanna Hyvönen
Dec 21, 2009 Sanna Hyvönen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in insects, nature, society or sociology.
This is one of the most amazing books I have read. I am intimidated by ants and thus have a huge hunger for information about them - and this book delivers!

Fantastic photography and the most high-level expertise imaginable. An absolute coffee-table topper.

I just wish I could afford a copy.
Mar 03, 2009 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: coffee-table
I think this book will permanently live on my coffee table, because it is way too big to read straight through, but perfect to peruse on occasion. Fun (and physically large enough) to share with a friend.
Mar 10, 2009 Meredith rated it it was amazing
The photographs clearly represent a labor of love for the entomologists who collaborated on this book. You will fall in love too. Who knew ants could be so fascinating?
Jun 01, 2007 Tim rated it liked it
You all made fun of me for buying and reading this. But look who knows more about ants than you do now!
May 04, 2012 Jaime rated it it was amazing
One of my Desert Island Books. I'd spend all my time becoming a self-taught myrmecologist!
Douglas Tatelman
Feb 23, 2013 Douglas Tatelman rated it liked it
I'm looking at an incredible sleek, well designed creature, with smooth surfaces and tiny features that put a Ferrari to shame. It's got little grooves to tuck in antennas when fighting. Tiny chemical factories that produce everything from poison to identifying scents to all that are needed for reproductive and digestive processes.

And their society is organized for food gathering and processing. They link together to move heavy objects. They design complex structures. Explore their world and for
Jan 19, 2016 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
The comprehensive treatment of one of the most interesting groups of organisms on the planet. Ants farm fungus, shepherd aphids, construct underground networks and arboreal empires, harvest seeds, enslave and parasitise each other, travel as nomads or fortify defenses with their own bodies. I love learning about ants, and this book provided me with a resource that will keep on giving. Having read it, I immediately wanted to dive back in to its fascinating storehouses of detail about the "little ...more
Dec 12, 2014 Bruce rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I had read Wilson's and Holldobler's popular account of Ant Societies: Journey to the Ants and was fascinated. I saw The Ants in a bookstore and was amazed by the book, its breadth of subject, physical layout, and photography. The book is intended for specialist, but is readable by anyone with a basic background in natural history. I have read about half the book over ten years, but I still return to yearly when I want to enjoy excellent, engaging scientific writing about a marvelous animal. It ...more
Marie Hviding
Mar 13, 2016 Marie Hviding rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012, science
This is an exhaustive look at ants. It is impressive in its comprehensiveness and its obvious enthusiasm for its subject. However, for the everyday reader hoping to learn about ants, it is a bit too much. I would have been much happier with something a bit less exhaustive and I probably would have retained a bit more information from something that wasn't striving to be so detailed. It's impressive but a bit too much.
Darin Stevenson
Dec 09, 2013 Darin Stevenson rated it it was amazing
This book is an astonishing reference and a monumental achievement. Anyone interested in social insects simply must have this, and The Insect Societies. I have been reading and re-reading it for 10 years. It is brilliant and peerless.
Feb 14, 2013 Murmel rated it really liked it
Faszinierend! Unerschöpfliche Fülle an Informationen und Bilder. Natürlich kein Buch um von Anfang bis Ende durchzulesen, sondern ich kann immer wieder darin blättern und einen interessantes Kapitel entdecken.
Jeptha Davenport
Apr 13, 2008 Jeptha Davenport rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an encyclopedic survey of the topic, with extensive and beautiful microphotography, field notes, diagrams and references. The perfect way to learn about ants if you don't have time to become a myrmecologist.
abersouth rated it it was amazing
Jan 20, 2008
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Bert Hölldobler is Foundation Professor at Arizona State University and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize. He lives in Arizona and Germany.
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