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Extraordinary Insects

Weird. Wonderful. Indispensable. The Ones Who Run Our World.
Narrated by: Kristin Milward
Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (87 ratings)

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Summary

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

Out of sight, underfoot, unseen beyond fleeting scuttles or darting flights, insects occupy a hidden world yet are essential to sustaining life on earth.

Insects influence our ecosystem like a ripple effect on water. They arrived when life first moved to dry land, they preceded - and survived - the dinosaurs, they outnumber the grains of sand on all the world’s beaches and they will be here long after us.

Working quietly but tirelessly, they give us food, uphold our ecosystems, can heal our wounds and even digest plastic. They could also provide us with new solutions to the antibiotics crisis, assist in disaster zones and inspire air force engineers with their flying techniques.

But their private lives are also full of fun, intrigue and wonder - musical mating rituals; house hunting for armies of beetle babies; metamorphosing into new characters; throwing parties in fermenting sap; cultivating fungi for food; farming smaller species for honey dew and always ensuring that what is dead is decomposed, ready to become life once again.

Here, we will discover life and death, drama and dreams, all on a millimetric scale. Like it or not, Earth is the planet of insects, and this is their extraordinary story.

©2019 Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What listeners say about Extraordinary Insects

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Utterly fascinating, brilliant narration

This book is gorgeous and absolutely fascinating - never thought I'd find myself saying that about a book on insects, but thanks to Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson, I have such a newfound respect for bugs. I'm very much enjoying the gentle narrationby Kristin Milward, this book feels lik the perfect antidote to some of the heavy going crime fiction I've been reading lately. I'm learning so much about the incredibly vital role that the trillions of insects around us constantly play in actually helping our planet, it's people, animals and plants to even exist and it's helping me feel grounded and more connected to nature. It's very humbling to learn that without insects, including the ones that seem to be the most hated by us, the human race would cease to exist. There are honestly so many utterly fascinating facts crammed into this book (did you know that insects were around to see both the beginning and the end of dinosaurs? Or that Meal Worms can actually digest plastic? I did not!), it's very accessible in a way that absolutely anybody is able to read and enjoy without feeling overwhelmed by scientific words and I know I will be listening to it many times again. I also plan to purchase the hardback version, because I really want to see Carim Nahaboo's beautiful illustrations that for some reason did not come with this audio book. Harper Collins, please update the Audible book to include these?

4 people found this helpful

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brilliant primer on entomology

humorous and informative and one of the best popular science books on entomology a great investment. the cover is similarly exquisite.

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very good and very informative!

I really enjoyed this book. It makes me with there were more just like it out there. Now i want to persue a career in entomology! Great listen.

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Fascinating insight into invertebrates

I absolutely loved this audio book it covered a lot in a short time form insect diversity, ecology, uses for humans and impact of climate change . Very well narated and packed with information, a book I will be listening to again.

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Incredible

An amazing view on the intricacies and importance of insects and ecosystems, and the services they provide to humans, as well as their intrinsic right to exist and be protected.

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Not so extraordinary!

I have been interested in entomology since I was 11 and now I am 57 still retain the interest. I got this audible on the basis of the cover and description. I was so disappointed the voice used was annoying and at times cringing and there were also some scientific detail incorrect. I had this free with amazon prime trial I would have been very upset had I paid for it! Did feel a bit cheated by its content as well as its presentation. Would not advise buying it

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Wild World of Insects

Keep trying to write a review for this but the audible app is atrocious so I'm putting way less effort into my FIFTH ATTEMPT (come on, audible, you're a massive multi-billion pound conglomerate, you can at least put some effort into your apps). Anyway, read this, it's fantastic. I want to write more but it'll probably just get deleted (again) so I'll just say this is an amazing read, loved the narration and learning all about the savage, bizarre, cute and wild world of insects.

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Epic!

An absolutely spellbinding account of all that’s interesting about insects in our natural world. Couldn’t stop listening! I will see insects with different eyes forever!

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Never look at a blowfly in quite the same way agan

I wanted to listen to something a bit different. This fitted the bill! An excellent listen. Fascinating, funny and full of facts. I wish was someone with a super retentive memory.... I recommend this as a super listen.

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Brilliant!

Best popular science book I have read in a long time. Just solved my problem of what I will be getting my Mum for her birthday as well.

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  • Matt
  • 28-01-20

Fascinating stories, writing didn't hit the mark

This book is a treasure trove of interesting facts on a wide array of insects (and a few other arthropods). I thoroughly enjoyed learning about quirky relationships between insects and other organisms like that between sloths and the moths evolved to live in their fur. There really was something new and fascinating to learn in every chapter.

That said, both the writing and narration had me on the verge of giving up multiple times. The writing style felt like it might be aimed at a teen or even preteen audience at times. The narrator had an intoxicated rather than intoxicating quality to her voice. At times I felt like a slightly tipsy aunt was reading me a strange bedtime story about fascinating little creatures she found in her garden. I can see how some may find this combination appealing and even particularly charming. It might even be the perfect book to listen to with your older children to get them excited about our amazing little companions in this world (if you don't mind the inevitable bits about bugs getting busy). But I for one found it a bit strange given the subject matter-of course, that might be the grumpy old man in me.

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  • Kent
  • 07-05-19

The perfect book about insects.

I have taken insects for granted. After listening to this book, I will never do that again. It tells you how insects work, their biology and how they relate to us. Our life and history are intertwined with these little bugs. Loved every single chapter. Great narration and writing.