What Good Are Bugs?
Insects in the Web of Life
By (author) Dr. Gilbert Waldbauer
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What Good Are Bugs? by Dr. Gilbert Waldbauer
Book DescriptionWe shriek about them, slap and spray them, and generally think of insects (when we think of them at all) as pests. Yet, if all insects, or even a critical few, were to disappear--if there were none to pollinate plants, serve as food for other animals, dispose of dead organisms, and perform other ecologically essential tasks--virtually all the ecosystems on earth, the webs of life, would unravel. This book, the first to catalogue ecologically important insects by their roles, gives us an enlightening look at how insects work in ecosystems--what they do, how they live, and how they make life as we know it possible.In "What Good Are Bugs?" Gilbert Waldbauer combines anecdotes from entomological history with insights into the intimate workings of the natural world, describing the intriguing and sometimes amazing behavior of these tiny creatures. He weaves a colorful, richly textured picture of beneficial insect life on earth, from ants sowing their "hanging gardens" on Amazonian shrubs and trees to the sacred scarab of ancient Egypt burying balls of cattle dung full of undigested seeds, from the cactus-eating caterpillar (aptly called "Cactoblastis") controlling the spread of the prickly pear to the prodigious honey bee and the "sanitary officers of the field"--the fly maggots, ants, beetles, and caterpillars that help decompose and recycle dung, carrion, and dead plants. As entertaining as it is informative, this charmingly illustrated volume captures the full sweep of insects' integral place in the web of life.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674016323
(235mm x 155mm x 23mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 19-Oct-2004
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Dr. Gilbert Waldbauer
How Not to be Eaten, Hardback (January 2012)
By explaining the many ways in which insects avoid becoming a meal for a predator, and the ways in which predators evade their defensive strategies, this book conveys an essential understanding of the unrelenting co-evolutionary forces at work in the world around us.
Fireflies, Honey, and Silk, Paperback (December 2010)
Explores the myriad ways in which the insects have enriched our lives - culturally, economically, and aesthetically. This book describes how many of the valuable products insects have given us are made, how they were discovered, and how they have been used through time and across cultures.
Walk Around the Pond, Paperback (May 2008)
Helps you discover the diverse inhabitants of the freshwater world.
Insights from Insects, Paperback (March 2005)» View all books by Dr. Gilbert Waldbauer
Explains that the 'bum rap' is mainly due to the small percentage of bugs that are a nuisance or harmful to humanity, the pests that make up less than 2 percent of all insects. This book profiles twenty such 'troublesome bugs', showing how the study of these creatures has led scientists to many discoveries that enhanced our understanding of life.
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Author Biography - Dr. Gilbert Waldbauer
Gilbert Waldbauer is Professor Emeritus of Entomology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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