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Publisher's Summary

Edward O. Wilson recalls his lifetime with ants - from his first boyhood encounters in the woods of Alabama to perilous journeys into the Brazilian rainforest.   

"Ants are the most warlike of all animals, with colony pitted against colony.... Their clashes dwarf Waterloo and Gettysburg", writes Edward O. Wilson in his most finely observed work in decades. In a myrmecological tour to such far-flung destinations as Mozambique and New Guinea, the Gulf of Mexico's Dauphin Island and even his parents' overgrown yard back in Alabama, Wilson thrillingly evokes his nine-decade-long scientific obsession with more than 15,000 ant species. Wryly observing that "males are little more than flying sperm missiles" or that ants send their "little old ladies into battle", Wilson eloquently relays his brushes with fire, army, and leafcutter ants, as well as more exotic species: the Matabele, Africa's fiercest warrior ants; Costa Rica's Basiceros, the slowest ants in the world; and New Caledonia's Myrmecia apicalis, the most endangered of them all. 

A personal account by one of our greatest scientists, Tales from the Ant World is an indispensable volume for any lover of the natural world.

©2020 Edward O. WIlson (P)2020 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Tales from the Ant World

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

difficult to listen to

horrible sound. had to stop listening early on. toobad as I was looking forward to listening to it

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing. Worth a second read

Wow! Highly recommend! opened up a whole new world I had not known before. The stories were captivating. & surprising! Don’t miss the chance to be entertained & educated !

2 people found this helpful

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Terrible narration, pointless rambling writing.

I purchased this as I am an entomologist always interested in hearing tales from other entomologists outside of my area of expertise. I am sorely disappointed as there was far more self-aggrandizing than there was interesting anecdotes about ants. Yes, there are some good informational segments about a few ant species, but it is far more dominated by the author congratulating himself on his neo-colonial scientific achievements. It is not what I was interested in. Plenty of other entomologists have written books on their insects with a much better balance of insect facts to personal boasting. Further, the story didn't flow well and was interrupted by uninteresting ramblings, and didn't feel like it had a solid conclusion.

Additionally, the narrator is terrible! He sounded drunk to passersby who walked into the laboratory while I had this playing in the background. They wanted to know who that drunk or ill man was, speaking in the background. Awful narration.

1 person found this helpful

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Worth it & fun

I listen to this before I sleep. but this doesn’t make me fall asleep, it relaxes and educates me. Fun to learn about nature & take my mine off current events. I now look at ants in a different way- especially the ones in my kitchen

1 person found this helpful

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Great content, but I wasn't crazy about the reader

Wilson is more knowledgeable about ants than maybe any person in the world and he tells his story well. Many fascinating facts. But I would have chosen a different reader and had to speed it up 10%

1 person found this helpful

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Great book

Fascinating! Makes me want to become a naturalist at 80! Will read this author again.

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beautiful book spectacularly read

I'm as far from a scientist as an educated person can be, yet I found this book delightful. I learned a lot about ants, obviously, but also about evolution and even about human beings. And Wilson is a great story teller. He makes you feel like you're there in the Amazon jungle with him. I thought the reader was absolutely spectacular. One had the sense of an older, seasoned and somewhat mischievous man.

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This guy loves ants!

Hubby got it for me as a joke gift since we are having an ant invasion and are trying to be "green" getting rid of them. Early on the writer states how lucky we are if ants are coming into our kitchen b/c they don't spread illness and we have a great opportunity to basicly be citizen scientists to observe them. Entertaining to listen to while cooking, cleaning & killing scout ants!