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Based on remarkable research, eighteen years after the publication of the classic work The Ants, this new volume expands our knowledge of social insects (among them, ants, bees, wasps and termites). Superorganisms – tightly knit colonies of individuals, formed by altruistic co-operation, complex communication and division of labour – represent one of the basic stages of biological organisation, midway between the organism and the species. As the authors demonstrate, the study of the superorganism has led to important advances in our understanding of how the transitions between such levels have occurred in evolution and how life has progressed from simple to complex forms. Visually spectacular, The Superorganism provides a deep look into a part of the living world hitherto glimpsed by only a few.
Bert Hölldobler, the Foundation Professor at Arizona State University and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Leibniz Prize, divides his time between Arizona and Germany.
E.O. Wilson, a Harvard professor for nearly five decades, is the recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes and the National Medal of Science.
"The term "superorganism" was coined in 1928 by the great American ant expert William Morton Wheeler [...] Hölldobler and Wilson's book is a self-professed and convincing appeal for its revival."
– Tim Flannery, The New York Review of Books