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Buzz, Sting, Bite

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Buzz, Sting, Bite

Why We Need Insects

Simon & Schuster,

15 min read
8 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Think twice before you swat that fly.

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  • Engaging


With charm and enthusiasm that will engage readers of all ages, professor of conservation Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson writes about bug anatomy, evolution, classification and life cycles. She shares fascinating stories about insect mating rituals, parasites that turn other insects into “zombie babysitters,” and insect alcoholism. Without insects, the animal kingdom would collapse, far less nutritious food would be available, and silk, beeswax and shellac would not exist. So the next time you swat an insect, consider: What would life on Earth be like without them?


Long before humans existed, insects dominated the Earth and flourished with great diversity.

Insects watched the dinosaurs come and go. They have been around for hundreds of millions of years. Today, the insect kingdom is the world’s most diverse and populous, with more than a million varieties. For every person, 200 million insects live on the Earth. Insects can adapt and survive anywhere, even in the oceans and in Antarctica. In a “United Nations of biodiversity,” insects would have 1.5 million delegates and make up half the assembly. Humans, even if they combine with all other vertebrates, would comprise only 3%.

In taxonomic classification, a kingdom divides into phylum and classwhich then divides into order, family and genusand finally, species. Insects belong to the animal kingdom, the Euarthropoda phylum and the Insecta class. In that class, 30 different orders exist. Beetles, wasps, flies and gnats, butterflies and moths, and “true bugs” are the five largest. While 380,000 species of beetles abound, the wasp order is growing, and may become the most populous. ...

About the Author

Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson is professor of conservation biology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and scientific adviser at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA). She researches nature management and biodiversity, especially the ecological role of insects in trees and forests.

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    A. P. 2 years ago
    Creo que es un resumen muy interesante sobre la vida... Crecimiento.... Desarrollo... De los insectos... Datos muy curiosos como cosas insólitas de los insectos