Planet of the Bugs: Evolution and the Rise of Insects

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9780226163611: Planet of the Bugs: Evolution and the Rise of Insects

Dinosaurs, however toothy, did not rule the earth and neither do humans. But what were and are the true potentates of our planet? Insects, says Scott Richard Shaw millions and millions of insect species. Starting in the shallow oceans of ancient Earth and ending in the far reaches of outer space where, Shaw proposes, insect-like aliens may have achieved similar preeminence Planet of the Bugs spins a sweeping account of insects’ evolution from humble arthropod ancestors into the bugs we know and love (or fear and hate) today.

Leaving no stone unturned, Shaw explores how evolutionary innovations such as small body size, wings, metamorphosis, and parasitic behavior have enabled insects to disperse widely, occupy increasingly narrow niches, and survive global catastrophes in their rise to dominance. Through buggy tales by turns bizarre and comical from caddisflies that construct portable houses or weave silken aquatic nets to trap floating debris, to parasitic wasp larvae that develop in the blood of host insects and, by storing waste products in their rear ends, are able to postpone defecation until after they emerge he not only unearths how changes in our planet’s geology, flora, and fauna contributed to insects’ success, but also how, in return, insects came to shape terrestrial ecosystems and amplify biodiversity. Indeed, in his visits to hyperdiverse rain forests to highlight the current insect extinction crisis, Shaw reaffirms just how crucial these tiny beings are to planetary health and human survival.

In this age of honeybee die-offs and bedbugs hitching rides in the spines of library books, Planet of the Bugs charms with humor, affection, and insight into the world’s six-legged creatures, revealing an essential importance that resonates across time and space.
 

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About the Author:

Scott Richard Shaw is professor of entomology and Insect Museum curator at the University of Wyoming, Laramie. He has discovered more than one hundred and fifty insect species, including a number of parasitic wasps named after cultural icons such as David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Ellen DeGeneres, and Shakira—the last of which, Aleiodes shakirae, causes its host caterpillar to contort as if belly dancing.

Review:

“[One of] the best popular science books of 2014: biological sciences.” (GrrlScientist Guardian)

“This succinct but vivid history of the planet is told from the perspective of insects, which have dominated the terrestrial environment for millions of years. It is a humbling perspective, one that puts us well and truly in our place—principally as the destroyers of a natural environment that insects have been helping to preserve long before our ancestors crawled out of the primal slime. . . . Shaw writes with a contagious enthusiasm and is an excellent guide to the history of our buggy planet.” (PD Smith Guardian)

"Shaw’s detailed investigation places the broad classifications of ancient and modern insects in the context of their development, and, by showing specifics of coevolution, he makes a strong case for valuing the interconnectedness of all life." (Publishers Weekly)

“Shaw tackles evolution from the perspective of the insects, a refreshing and insightful change from the usual human-centered view, and argues convincingly that insects have diversified and thrived more successfully than any other animal on Earth. . . . Shaw's coherent, precise writing is complemented by pleasing illustrations of insects and fossils. . . . A readable, compact introduction for the layperson.” (Library Journal)

“The 165-million-year-long era when dinosaurs roamed the Earth shouldn’t be called the Age of Reptiles. Nor should the era that followed, which extends to the present, be christened the Age of Mammals. Just ask an insect guy. In Planet of the Bugs, Shaw . . . makes a good case that Earth has long been dominated by insects. . . . In a chapter-by-chapter march through time, [he] engagingly chronicles the evolutionary innovations that have rendered insects so successful. . . . Drawing from field studies and the fossil record, Planet of the Bugs is a fascinating look at the rise and proliferation of creatures that shape ecosystems worldwide.” (Sid Perkins Science News)

“Behind the witty prose lies a serious message. The triumph of insects is inseparably connected to the success and progression of almost all life on the planet in some way or another. Insects have coevolved with plants and animals and can act as friend or foe, spanning all lifestyles from predator to parasite to pollinator. So entangled are they in the fate of many cornerstone species that the decline of insect groups has put many ecosystems at risk of collapse, including several that are crucial for human survival. We may be somewhat flippant about their influence on our own evolutionary history, but we can be sure that the demise of insects would have catastrophic consequences for our future. . . . Eloquent and very knowledgeable, Shaw is also, perhaps more importantly when it comes to a good read, a storyteller capable of painting a rich portrayal of prehistoric lands filled with weird and wonderful bugs and beasts. His captivating and comical writing had me marveling at detailed accounts of giant dragonfly-like beasts with two-foot wingspans, and laughing out loud at aptly named sections such as ‘Secretive societies with an anal fixation.’ I am not, it is fair to say, a lover of things that creep and crawl, but looking through Shaw’s eyes, I found myself appreciating their place in my world a little more. Moreover, as he made me realize, it is not my world at all, but theirs.” (Tiffany Taylor, University of Reading Times Higher Education)

“Accessible and entertaining . . . . Shaw’s unusual perspective on life can be delightfully askew: why, he asks, do we give our loved ones flowers instead of stink bugs, when many of the latter are just as colourful and sweet-smelling? Overall, readers should come away with a deeper appreciation of insect diversity, and a fresh regard for evolution’s sweep.” (Bob Holmes New Scientist)

“Shaw has been collecting bugs since he was four. Now a professor of entomology at the University of Wyoming, he shares his passion for these creatures and their cosmological significance in Planet of the Bugs. The scope of this work is immense. . . . Packed with intriguing trivia. . . . Shaw boggles the reader with his enthusiasm and expertise, and reveals a playful side. Among his many encyclopedic turns, he waxes philosophical and indulges in metaphor and even humor, resulting in a surprisingly accessible and entertaining read. A love of bugs is not required. Discover: An impassioned view of insect evolution and the awesome implications of bugs for all life on earth.” (Julia Jenkins Shelf Awareness for Readers)

“Shaw is a masterful guide to insects’ intimidating diversity and complicated history. . . . He is particularly effective at dispelling misconceptions, pointing out that, despite what exterminators might suggest, most insects are not pests. . . . Science-minded readers will appreciate how alternative, competing hypotheses are presented for various unresolved questions, like why insects first evolved flight and the causes of mass extinctions. In the end, Planet of the Bugs succeeds as an accessible introduction to the evolutionary history of the organisms that truly dominate our planet. (Hint: It’s not us.).” (Scott Solomon, Rice University Washington Independent Review of Books)

“Shaw does a wonderful job of describing how important insects are by giving a chronological account of their terrifically successful and diverse evolution. . . . Humorous and provocative. . . . The insects are more numerous, more speciated, more diverse, and historically more influential than we, and despite all the detrimental changes we have wrought especially over the past couple of centuries, it is the insects’ planet, and my bet is that it will remain so even if the humans don’t last on it.” (Rob Hardy Commercial Dispatch)

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Shaw, Scott Richard
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Shaw, Scott Richard
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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2014. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Dinosaurs, however toothy, did not rule the earth - and neither do humans. But what were and are the true potentates of our planet? Insects, says Scott Richard Shaw - millions and millions of insects. Starting in the shallow oceans of ancient earth and ending in the far reaches of outer space - where, Shaw proposes, insect-like aliens might have achieved similar preeminence - Planet of the Bugs spins a sweeping account of insects evolution from humble arthropod ancestors into the bugs we know and love (or fear and hate) today. Leaving no stone unturned, Shaw explores how evolutionary innovations such as small body size, wings, metamorphosis, and parasitic behavior have enabled insects to disperse widely, occupy increasingly narrow niches, and survive global catastrophes in their rise to global dominance. Through buggy tales at turns bizarre and comical - from caddisflies that construct portable houses or weave silken aquatic nets to trap floating debris, to parasitic wasp larvae that develop in the blood of host insects and, by storing waste products in their rear ends, are able to postpone defecation until after they emerge - he not only unearths how changes in our planet s geology, flora, and fauna contributed to insects success, but also how, in return, insects came to shape terrestrial ecosystems and amplify biodiversity. Indeed, in his visits to modern earth s hyperdiverse rain forests to highlight the current insect extinction crisis, Shaw reaffirms just how critical these tiny beings are to planetary health and human survival. In this age of honeybee die-offs and bedbugs hitching rides in the spines of library books, Planet of the Bugs charms with humor, affection, and insight into the world s six-legged creatures, revealing an essential importance that resonates across time and space. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780226163611

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Scott R. Shaw
Editorial: The University of Chicago Press, United States (2014)
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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2014. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Dinosaurs, however toothy, did not rule the earth - and neither do humans. But what were and are the true potentates of our planet? Insects, says Scott Richard Shaw - millions and millions of insects. Starting in the shallow oceans of ancient earth and ending in the far reaches of outer space - where, Shaw proposes, insect-like aliens might have achieved similar preeminence - Planet of the Bugs spins a sweeping account of insects evolution from humble arthropod ancestors into the bugs we know and love (or fear and hate) today. Leaving no stone unturned, Shaw explores how evolutionary innovations such as small body size, wings, metamorphosis, and parasitic behavior have enabled insects to disperse widely, occupy increasingly narrow niches, and survive global catastrophes in their rise to global dominance. Through buggy tales at turns bizarre and comical - from caddisflies that construct portable houses or weave silken aquatic nets to trap floating debris, to parasitic wasp larvae that develop in the blood of host insects and, by storing waste products in their rear ends, are able to postpone defecation until after they emerge - he not only unearths how changes in our planet s geology, flora, and fauna contributed to insects success, but also how, in return, insects came to shape terrestrial ecosystems and amplify biodiversity. Indeed, in his visits to modern earth s hyperdiverse rain forests to highlight the current insect extinction crisis, Shaw reaffirms just how critical these tiny beings are to planetary health and human survival. In this age of honeybee die-offs and bedbugs hitching rides in the spines of library books, Planet of the Bugs charms with humor, affection, and insight into the world s six-legged creatures, revealing an essential importance that resonates across time and space. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780226163611

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Scott R. Shaw
Editorial: The University of Chicago Press, United States (2014)
ISBN 10: 022616361X ISBN 13: 9780226163611
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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2014. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Dinosaurs, however toothy, did not rule the earth - and neither do humans. But what were and are the true potentates of our planet? Insects, says Scott Richard Shaw - millions and millions of insects. Starting in the shallow oceans of ancient earth and ending in the far reaches of outer space - where, Shaw proposes, insect-like aliens might have achieved similar preeminence - Planet of the Bugs spins a sweeping account of insects evolution from humble arthropod ancestors into the bugs we know and love (or fear and hate) today. Leaving no stone unturned, Shaw explores how evolutionary innovations such as small body size, wings, metamorphosis, and parasitic behavior have enabled insects to disperse widely, occupy increasingly narrow niches, and survive global catastrophes in their rise to global dominance. Through buggy tales at turns bizarre and comical - from caddisflies that construct portable houses or weave silken aquatic nets to trap floating debris, to parasitic wasp larvae that develop in the blood of host insects and, by storing waste products in their rear ends, are able to postpone defecation until after they emerge - he not only unearths how changes in our planet s geology, flora, and fauna contributed to insects success, but also how, in return, insects came to shape terrestrial ecosystems and amplify biodiversity. Indeed, in his visits to modern earth s hyperdiverse rain forests to highlight the current insect extinction crisis, Shaw reaffirms just how critical these tiny beings are to planetary health and human survival. In this age of honeybee die-offs and bedbugs hitching rides in the spines of library books, Planet of the Bugs charms with humor, affection, and insight into the world s six-legged creatures, revealing an essential importance that resonates across time and space. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780226163611

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Shaw, Scott Richard
Editorial: University Of Chicago Press (2014)
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Murray Media
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Descripción University Of Chicago Press, 2014. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería 022616361X

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Scott Richard Shaw
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Descripción University Of Chicago Press, 2014. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M022616361X

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Scott Richard Shaw
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Descripción University of Chicago Press. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Nº de ref. de la librería B9780226163611

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Descripción Univ of Chicago. Estado de conservación: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Hardcover A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Bookshop in business since 1992!. Nº de ref. de la librería 2551729

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