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A fascinating look at the world's most numerous inhabitants, illustrated with stunning images from the American Museum of Natural History's Rare Book Collection. To date, we have discovered and described or named around 1.1 million insect species, and thousands of new species are added to the ranks every year. It is estimated that there are around five million insect species on Earth, making them the most diverse lineage of all life by far. This magnificent volume from the American Museum of Natural History tells their incredible story. Noted entomologist Michael S. Engel explores insects' evolution and diversity; metamorphosis; pests, parasites, and plagues; society and language; camouflage; and pollination – as well as tales of discovery by intrepid entomologists. More than 180 illustrations from the Rare Book Collection at the Museum's Research Library reveal the extraordinary world of insects down to their tiniest, most astonishing details, from butterflies' iridescent wings to beetles' vibrant colors.
Michael S. Engel is a Research Affiliate at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He is also University Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Senior Curator of Entomology at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Dr. Engel is the coauthor of Evolution of the Insects, and author of numerous entomological treatises. He has been to 40 countries, north of the Arctic Circle and down to the equator in tropical rain forests, in search of living insects and ancient fossils. He lives in Lawrence, KS. The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world's preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. Since its founding in 1869, the Museum has pursued its mission--to discover, interpret, and share information about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe – through a broad program of scientific research, education, and exhibition. Each year, millions of visitors experience the Museum's 45 permanent exhibition halls, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium. The Museum's scientific collections contain more than 34 million specimens and artifacts, which are an invaluable resource for Museum scientists, for students in the Museum's Richard Gilder Graduate School, and for researchers around the world.