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Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, twenty-fifth anniversary edition

by E. O. Wilson
Cambridge (MA): Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000. 720 pages.

When it was first published in 1975, Sociobiology both offered a new biological synthesis, aimed at explaining social behaviors such as altruism, aggression, and nurturance in their evolutionary context, and provoked a fierce controversy, largely on account of its final chapter addressing the subject of human behavior.

The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies

by Bert Hölldobler and E. O. Wilson
New York: W. W. Norton, 2008. 544 pages.

From the publisher: “The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of The Ants render the extraordinary lives of the social insects in this visually spectacular volume. The Superorganism promises to be one of the most important scientific works published in this decade. Coming eighteen years after the publication of The Ants, this new volume expands our knowledge of the social insects (among them, ants, bees, wasps, and termites) and is based on remarkable research conducted mostly within the last two decades. These superorganisms ...

Journey to the Ants

by Bert Hölldobler and E. O. Wilson
Cambridge (MA): Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998. 304 pages.

If the 750+ pages of The Ants are too daunting, there’s always Journey to the Ants, which provides a briefer treatment for a lay reader. Chapters include The Dominance of Ants, For the Love of Ants, The Life and Death of the Colony, How Ants Communicate, War and Foreign Policy, The Ur-Ants, Conflict and Dominance, The Origin of Cooperation, The Superorganism, Social Parasites: Breaking the Code, The Trophobionts, Army Ants, The Strangest Ants, and How Ants Control Their Environment.

The Ants

by Bert Hölldobler and E. O. Wilson
Cambridge (MA): Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1990. 752 pages.

The bible of myrmecology, The Ants is not only a definitive guide to its subject but also a beautifully written study, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1991. According to the reviewer for Nature, “The Ants is a stunningly attractive volume that belongs as much on the coffee table as it does on the lab bench. ... The 20 chapters are organized thematically, and they are written in a clear, accessible and engaging style ... Only Hölldobler and Wilson could have written such a comprehensive and integrated treatment of ant biology.

Nature Revealed: Selected Writings, 1949-2006

by E. O. Wilson
Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. 719 pages.

A wide-ranging collection of Wilson’s writing throughout his career, Nature Revealed contains sixty-one articles on ants and sociobiology, biodiversity studies (systematics and biogeography), and conservation and the human condition, plus a bibliography of his published work. “The papers collected here,” Wilson explains in his preface, “are those subjects to which ants and my boyhood passions led me.

An Introduction to the Invertebrates, second edition

by Janet Moore
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. 340 pages.

A short but thorough guide to the invertebrate phyla, Moore's textbook emphasizes evolution throughout, with introductory chapters on "The process of evolution: Natural selection" and "The pattern of evolution: Molecular evidence" as well as a final chapter on "Invertebrate evolutionary history". The reviewer for the Quarterly Review of Biology commented, "Survival is a mark of success, as every biologist knows.

The Greatest Show on Earth

by Richard Dawkins
New York: Free Press, 2009. 480 pages.

Reviewing The Greatest Show on Earth for RNCSE, Douglas Theobald wrote, "Dawkins outlines the goal for his latest tome in the introduction: 'Evolution is a fact, and this book will demonstrate it.

Developmental Plasticity and Evolution

by Mary Jane West-Eberhard
New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. 816 pages.

A major contribution to a synthesis of development and evolution, Developmental Plasticity and Evolution, in the words of the reviewer for Evolution & Development, "comprehensively explores the mechanisms and implications of developmental plasticity to numerous aspects of both micro- and macroevolution ... West-Eberhard seamlessly shifts between a broad mastery of the classical literature and up-to-date modern science. ...

Evolution, second edition

by Douglas J. Futuyma
Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates, 2009. 545 pages.

Now in its second edition, Evolution is described by its publisher as "a comprehensive treatment of contemporary evolutionary biology that is directed toward an undergraduate audience. It addresses major themes — including the history of evolution, evolutionary processes, adaptation, and evolution as an explanatory framework — at levels of biological organization ranging from genomes to ecological communities. Throughout, the text emphasizes the interplay between theory and empirical tests of hypotheses, thus acquainting students with the process of science.

On the Origin of Species

by Charles Darwin
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964. 540 pages.

This facsimile of the first edition of Darwin's epochal work is supplemented with a useful introduction by the great evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr. "When we go back to the Origin, we want the version that stirred up the Western world", Mayr explains. "The first edition represents Darwin in his most revolutionary spirit and this is the edition that stands as so great a monument in man's intellectual history." The publisher, Harvard University Press, proudly — and correctly — says, "For modern reading and for reference, it is the standard edition of Darwin's greatest work."


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