A comprehensive and beautifully illustrated natural history of insects.
Insects are the most successful group of animals ever to have lived. They comprise a million species and perhaps 10 quintillion individuals: one in every four animals on the planet is a beetle; one in every ten is a butterfly or moth. Much of life on earth depends on the activities of these busy, teeming arthropods, from pollination to the breaking down of waste matter.
In Alien Worlds, Steve Nicholls draws on a lifetime of writing about, photographing and filming the natural world to create an ambitious account of insect evolution and biology. Each chapter of Alien Worlds centres on one or more of the traits of insect life that have allowed them to hold dominion over the earth's terrestrial and freshwater environments for so long, from their staggering reproductive ability to their complex partnership with flowering plants, and from their remarkable level of care for their young to their sophisticated social lives.
Alien Worlds explores what insects are, and why there are so many of them; the impact on insects (the only flying invertebrates) of the possession of wings; and the extraordinary sensory world of insects. It offers a winning fusion of glorious imagery and fine biological writing by an entomological specialist who writes both entertainingly and with authentic scientific rigour - and who also happens to be a very gifted nature photographer.