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Buzz, Sting, Bite: Why We Need Insects

July 15, 2019

An enthusiastic, witty, and informative introduction to the world of insects and why we—and the planet we inhabit—could not survive without them.


"There are more than 200 million insects for every human being living on the planet today. As you sit reading this sentence, between 1 quadrillion and 10 quadrillion insects are shuffling and crawling and flapping around on the planet, outnumbering the grains of sand on all the world’s beaches. Like it or not, they have you surrounded, because Earth is the planet of the insects."—Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson


An enthusiastic, witty, and informative introduction to the world of insects and why we—and the planet we inhabit—could not survive without them.

Insects comprise roughly half of the animal kingdom. They live everywhere—deep inside caves, 18,000 feet high in the Himalayas, inside computers, in Yellowstone’s hot springs, and in the ears and nostrils of much larger creatures. There are insects that have ears on their knees, eyes on their penises, and tongues under their feet. Most of us think life would be better without bugs. In fact, life would be impossible without them.

Most of us know that we would not have honey without honeybees, but without the pinhead-sized chocolate midge, cocoa flowers would not pollinate. No cocoa, no chocolate. The ink that was used to write the Declaration of Independence was derived from galls on oak trees, which are induced by a small wasp. The fruit fly was essential to medical and biological research experiments that resulted in six Nobel prizes. Blowfly larva can clean difficult wounds; flour beetle larva can digest plastic; several species of insects have been essential to the development of antibiotics. Insects turn dead plants and animals into soil. They pollinate flowers, including crops that we depend on. They provide food for other animals, such as birds and bats. They control organisms that are harmful to humans. Life as we know it depends on these small creatures.

With ecologist Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson as our capable, entertaining guide into the insect world, we’ll learn that there is more variety among insects than we can even imagine and the more you learn about insects, the more fascinating they become. Buzz, Sting, Bite is an essential introduction to the little creatures that make the world go round.


"Insects have survived five rounds of mass extinction. The dinosaurs first staggered out into the world after the third of those, around 240 million years ago. So next time you catch yourself thinking how irritating an insect is, bear in mind that this animal class has been on the planet since long before the dinosaurs. That alone merits a little respect, if you ask me." —Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson is a professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences near Oslo and a scientific advisor to the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research. She holds a doctorate in conservation biology and teaches nature management and forest ecology. The author of Buzz, Sting, Bite, Anne is also an ultra-marathon runner.

 

This book giveaway is being brought to you by Simon & Schuster. They have made 20 copies available.

 

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