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Extraordinary Insects by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson

January 2, 2019

A journey into the weird, wonderful and truly astonishing lives of the small but mighty creatures who keep the world turning.

When Charles Darwin declared that the brain of an ant was “perhaps more marvellous than the brain of man” he had only scratched the surface of how instrumental insects are in explaining the history – and the future – of the Earth, and humans’ existence within in.

Out of sight, underfoot, unseen beyond fleeting scuttles or darting flights, insects occupy a hidden world, yet are essential to sustaining our entire natural landscape. Weird, wonderful, astonishing insects work quietly and tirelessly to complete the eternal and crucial circle of life and death on Earth. Bark beetles throw parties in the fermenting sap; termites cultivate fungi for food; ants farm lice for honey dew; flour beetle larva digest plastic; blowfly larva heal wounds; and all ensure that what is dead is decomposed, ready to become life once again.

But their private lives are also full of fun, intrigue and wonder – from musical mating rituals to house hunting for armies of beetle babies, developing flying techniques that inspire the US air force and metamorphosing into entirely new characters.

Insects influence our ecosystem like a ripple effect on water. They were here when life first moved to dry land, they preceded – and survived – the dinosaurs, and they will be here long after us.

After reading this extraordinary book you might think again before swatting a fly or squashing an ant…


Published 25th April 2019 | Hardback | 9780008316358 | RRP £14.99

If you’re a bookseller in the UK or Ireland and you’d like an advance reading copy of Extraordinary Insects, please send your request, along with your name and bookshop address, to Ammara at independentthinking@harpercollins.co.uk.


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