Dr. Eleanor's Book of Common Ants of California

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

Did you know that for every human on earth, there are about one million ants? They are among the longest-lived insects—with some ant queens passing the thirty-year mark—as well as some of the strongest. Fans of both the city and countryside alike, ants decompose dead wood, turn over soil (in some places more than earthworms), and even help plant forests by distributing seeds. But while fewer than thirty of the nearly one thousand ant species living in North America are true pests, we cringe when we see them marching across our kitchen floors.

No longer! In this witty, accessible, and beautifully illustrated guide, Eleanor Spicer Rice, Alex Wild, and Rob Dunn metamorphose creepy-crawly revulsion into myrmecological wonder. Emerging from Dunn’s ambitious citizen science project Your Wild Life (an initiative based at North Carolina State University) and the work of Brian Fisher with the California Academy of Sciences, Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants of California provides an eye-opening entomological overview of the natural history of California’s species most noted by project participants—and even offers tips on keeping ant farms in your home. Exploring species from the high noon and harvester ants to the honeypot and acrobat ants, and featuring Wild’s stunning photography, this guide will be a tremendous resource for teachers, students, and scientists alike. But more than this, it will transform the way Californians perceive the environment around them by deepening their understanding of its littlest inhabitants, inspiring everyone to find their inner naturalist, get outside, and crawl across the dirt—magnifying glass in hand.
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About the author

Eleanor Spicer Rice (www.verdantword.com) is an entomologist and writer living in Raleigh, North Carolina, whose newspaper and magazine topics range from belly button biodiversity to blue crabs in bath tubs. She received her PhD in entomology from North Carolina State University. Alex Wild (www.alexanderwild.com) is a wildlife photographer and curator of entomology at the University of Texas, Austin. Rob Dunn is a biologist and writer at North Carolina State University. He is the author of Every Living Thing: Man’s Obsessive Quest to Catalog Life, from Nanobacteria to New Monkeys; The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today; and The Man Who Touched His Own Heart: True Tales of Science, Surgery, and Mystery.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Aug 3, 2017
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Pages
80
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ISBN
9780226398518
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Animals / Insects & Spiders
Nature / General
Science / Life Sciences / Zoology / Entomology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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◆Booklist Online、PopScienceBooks評選,2011年Top 10健康類書籍、Top 5最佳生物類書籍

 

腹瀉、絞痛竟然可以靠吃蟲來解救?

盲腸裡因為有細菌,免疫功能才能增強?

沒有獵豹、老虎的追趕,才讓我們容易心悸與焦慮?

進入農業社會後,人類的壽命反而縮短了?

 

-- 原來,我們的身體想念著原始的自然;我們的身體不能沒有蟲?!

 

我們不再認為自己是自然裡的一分子了。我們早已習慣明亮的光線、乾淨的角落、美味的食物,還有冷氣。我們從未像現在這樣,如此地與自然脫鉤。從自然脫離,讓我們感受到了一些好處;當然,更有一些壞處。我們行動自如,但跑得沒那麼快了;我們得以直立行走,但背也開始痛了。

 

我們的身體思念著過去的同伴--千萬年來與身體交纏、互助、共生的物種--你絕對想不到,牠們竟然是線蟲、條蟲、鞭蟲這些寄生蟲。牠們當然能夠傷害牠們的宿主--人類,但是,牠們也能幫助人類。

 

鐮狀細胞貧血症、糖尿病、亞斯伯格症、過敏、焦慮症狀、自體免疫疾病,還有牙齒、下頦、視力等問題,甚至包括心臟病,這些現代社會日益普遍的疾病症狀,非常可能與我們的身體失去這些「蟲蟲」有關。

 

如掠食者的消失,導致原本用來對抗牠們而發展的大腦迴路,轉而使我們心智喪失;腸道蠕蟲的消失,也讓許多身體陷入病痛。我們的身體有兩大免疫勢力,一個對抗細菌與病毒,另一個對抗線蟲與其他寄生蟲,兩萬年來一直是如此。但是,當身體開始打擊不再存在的寄生蟲,它們也就短路了,就像叉角羚羊沒有了獵豹,牠們的跳躍與短跑,便不再那麼具有意義。

 

所有物種均有與其他物種互動的特徵與基因,倘若互動物種消失了,那些特徵與基因就會變得混亂,甚至出問題。免疫學家看到腸道無菌可擊,演化生物學家看到闌尾漸漸無用,靈長類動物學家看到腦中神經元的錯亂迴路,心理學家看到我們對陌生人的恐懼與戰爭行為。

 

作者要帶領我們看看,從原始生活到今日社會,人類的身體歷經了哪些改變,那讓我們付出了什麼代價。當我們愈來愈像無菌室裡培養的白老鼠時,我們該如何回返自然(rewilded)。

 

生物生態學領域專家學者推薦

 

「充滿樂趣的閱讀體驗。他不是一位生物學家兼差去當作家,而是兩者皆游刃有餘。唐恩巧妙地將歷史、研究資料以及推測,與真實的人類生活結合起來。他有著戲劇書寫與張力描摹的天賦……極具可讀性,可說是觀念與學科的知性融合。」

- 《波士頓環球報》(Boston Globe)

 

「隨著處處可見的幽默筆調,唐恩熟練地將複雜的生物系統解釋予一般讀者。……極力推薦給自然愛好者們,這本書應當能夠引起熱烈的討論。」

- 《圖書館期刊》(Library Journal)

 

「〔唐恩〕是位懂得在如藥般苦澀的科學資訊裡加入甜糖(好比說幽默)的能手,讓科學苦藥既有趣又扣人心弦。這就是一部了解地球上大小生命的入門讀物。」

- 《書單》(Booklist)

 

「這是本非比尋常的書,探索先前未有涉獵的主題。帶著清晰的筆調與詼諧的魅力,作者帶領讀者進入醫學、生態學與演化生物學的交疊世界,揭發人類生命狀態的重要版圖。」

- 愛德華.威爾森(Edward O. Wilson),哈佛大學名譽教授

 

「一開始就吸引住讀者……唐恩以確實的語言能力、科學研究與幽默逐一解答書中提出的疑問,讓讀者極為投入地賞讀……他是一位天賦與訓練養成俱有的作家。」

- 《紐約圖書月刊》(New York Journal of Books)

 

出版社 商周出版 (城邦)

Did you know that for every human on earth, there are about one million ants? They are among the longest-lived insects—with some ant queens passing the thirty-year mark—as well as some of the strongest. Fans of both the city and countryside alike, ants decompose dead wood, turn over soil (in some places more than earthworms), and even help plant forests by distributing seeds. But while fewer than thirty of the nearly one thousand ant species living in North America are true pests, we cringe when we see them marching across our kitchen floors.

No longer! In this witty, accessible, and beautifully illustrated guide, Eleanor Spicer Rice, Alex Wild, and Rob Dunn metamorphose creepy-crawly revulsion into myrmecological wonder. Emerging from Dunn’s ambitious citizen science project Your Wild Life (an initiative based at North Carolina State University), Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants of New York City provides an eye-opening entomological overview of the natural history of New York’s species most noted by project participants—and even offers insight into the ant denizens of the city’s subways and Central Park. Exploring species from the honeyrump ant to the Japanese crazy ant, and featuring Wild’s stunning photography as well as tips on keeping ant farms in your home, this guide will be a tremendous resource for teachers, students, and scientists alike. But more than this, it will transform the way New Yorkers perceive the environment around them by deepening their understanding of its littlest inhabitants, inspiring everyone to find their inner naturalist, get outside, and crawl across the dirt—magnifying glass in hand.
Did you know that for every human on earth, there are about one million ants? They are among the longest-lived insects—with some ant queens passing the thirty-year mark—as well as some of the strongest. Fans of both the city and countryside alike, ants decompose dead wood, turn over soil (in some places more than earthworms), and even help plant forests by distributing seeds. But while fewer than thirty of the nearly one thousand ant species living in North America are true pests, we cringe when we see them marching across our kitchen floors.

No longer! In this witty, accessible, and beautifully illustrated guide, Eleanor Spicer Rice, Alex Wild, and Rob Dunn metamorphose creepy-crawly revulsion into myrmecological wonder. Emerging from Dunn’s ambitious citizen science project Your Wild Life (an initiative based at North Carolina State University), Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants of Chicago provides an eye-opening entomological overview of the natural history of Chicago’s species most noted by project participants—and even offers tips on keeping ant farms in your home. Exploring species from the hobbit ant to the tiny trapjaw ant, and featuring contributions from E. O. Wilson and Field Museum ant scientist Corrie Moreau as well as Wild’s stunning photography, this guide will be a tremendous resource for teachers, students, and scientists alike. But more than this, it will transform the way Chicagoans perceive the environment around them by deepening their understanding of its littlest inhabitants, inspiring everyone to find their inner naturalist, get outside, and crawl across the dirt—magnifying glass in hand.
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