• Empire of Ants

  • The Hidden Worlds and Extraordinary Lives of Earth’s Tiny Conquerors
  • By: Susanne Foitzik, Olaf Fritsche
  • Narrated by: Cat Gould
  • Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ants number in the ten quadrillions, and they have been here since the Jurassic era. Inside an anthill, you'll find high drama worthy of a royal court; and between colonies, high-stakes geopolitical intrigue is afoot. Just like us, ants grow crops, raise livestock, tend their young and infirm, and make vaccines. And, just like us, ants have a dark side: They wage war, despoil environments, and enslave rivals - but also rebel against their oppressors. 

Engineered by nature to fulfill their particular roles, ants flawlessly perform a complex symphony of tasks to sustain their colony - seemingly without a conductor - from fearsome army ants, who stage 12-hour hunting raids where they devour thousands, to gentle leafcutters cooperatively gardening in their peaceful underground kingdoms. 

Acclaimed biologist Susanne Foitzik has traveled the globe to study these master architects of Earth. Joined by journalist Olaf Fritsche, Foitzik invites listeners deep into her world - in the field and in the lab. (How do you observe the behavior of ants just millimeters long - or dissect a brain the width of a needle?) Empire of Ants will inspire new respect for ants as a global superpower - and raise new questions about the very meaning of "civilization".

©2019 Rowohlt Verlag GmbH (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about Empire of Ants

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underrated

I understand some of the reviews saying it was hard to listen to, but I dont agree at all. this book is excellent. it reads like a collection of summaries of the author's research projects with ants. I'd love to meet the author, I feel like we may be soul mates

1 person found this helpful

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Ant facts aplenty

Overall a good listen. While the narrator did a fine job I did find myself wishing for a bit more emotion in the delivery.

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I could not finish this book due to performance

Although I am sure the book is entertaining, I could not finish the book due to the reader having a very pronounced "s" sound, which unfortunately got on my nerves.

1 person found this helpful

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Hellish recording

The quality of recording cannot be worse. The sibilance is very, very harsh. Not sure if it is the recording device or the voice actor, but the sibilance is extremely prominent - I learned what the word 'sibilance' means after listening to this because I wanted to know how to filter out that excruciating hissing sound. I own a dozen Audible audiobook, and none were even close to this. Absolutely painful to listen.

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Difficult to listen to.

The content was fascinating. The narrator's style lacked range and was so repetitive and sing-song I found it difficult to listen. I hope to read the book in order to better grasp ideas presented.

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Take a breath between chapters

That is the only complaint I have. It give wonderful scientific information about ant species and biology and behavior. Communication is investigated well. Actual research is described including the scientists’ names.