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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
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)
Regular price: £8.49
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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

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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?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Delightful and thought-provoking

Insects are fascinating and this book shares this fascination with enthusiasm, wit and scholarship. As entomology had formed part of my A level studies (in the early 1970s), I had some background knowledge of its subject matter. However, I am sure that this book would be equally accessible to those who have not studied them before. Entomology and ecology have moved on a long way since my time at school. For me, my fascination has been reinforced and extended. This book delights with its tales of the quirky, wonderful world of insects and it briefly touches on other arthropods. On a more serious note it also highlights the difficult future faced by many insects as part of their share in the ongoing anthropogenic mass extinction. While the world would be a poorer place without them for their own sake, the book also highlights particular ways in which their demise might contribute to the eventual downfall of our own species as part of the various climatological and ecological disasters of our own making that are currently brewing. I hope that this book reaches the wide audience it deserves. I also hope that it fosters more love and respect for these wonderful creatures.

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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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  • 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.

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