Catalogue


Kingdom of ants : José Celestino Mutis and the dawn of natural history in the New World /
Edward O. Wilson and José M. Gómez Durán.
imprint
Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins university Press, c2010.
description
viii, 95 p.
ISBN
0801897858 (hbk.), 9780801897856 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins university Press, c2010.
isbn
0801897858 (hbk.)
9780801897856 (hbk.)
contents note
Who was Mutis -- The making of an eighteenth century naturalist -- The scientific contributions of José Celestino Mutis -- Mutis seeks advice -- Mutis begins his study of ants -- Ants are transported by ships -- Ant plants and plant ants -- Mutis learns about the mule-train (leafcutter) ants -- Unending struggles against the mule-train ants -- Ant wars -- Mutis solves the mystery of the nomadic pataloas -- Mutis measures the size of an army ant colony -- Mutis tracks the armies of ants -- Mutis studies the gender of ants and makes an amazing discovery -- Mutis' other ants -- How good a scientist was Mutis.
catalogue key
7322666
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-05-01:
Scientific discovery often stems from simple observation. Sometimes the subject of intense scrutiny is as obvious as the ground one walks on. Here, it is as obvious as the ground one shares with other creatures. In this intriguing account by noted scientist Wilson (emer., Harvard) and Duran (Iberian Myrmecological Association; Spanish Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology), the scientist is Jose Mutis, and his subjects are the 12 ant species present in the wilds of South America in the late 1700s. Mutis, a Spanish physician and botanist, moved to the New Kingdom of Granada (present-day Colombia) in 1760. Always having a keen interest in the world around him, he quickly became fascinated with the different ant species he saw everywhere he looked. Mutis corresponded with Linnaeus, the founder of the modern system of taxonomy and, at Linnaeus's suggestion, began working on a natural history of ants. By coupling excerpts from Mutis's forgotten diaries with recent findings on ant eating habits, reproductive behaviors, and emigration patterns, the authors give new relevance to one of the New World's oldest natural history studies. This interesting writing technique helps readers understand the continual nature of the process of scientific inquiry. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates and general readers. C. S. McCoy University of South Florida
Reviews
Review Quotes
A unique glance into the early world of science exploration, Kingdom of Ants is a delight to read and filled with intriguing information.
By coupling excerpts from Mutis's forgotten diaries with recent findings on ant eating habits, reproductive behaviors, and emigration patterns, the authors give new relevance to one of the New World's oldest natural history studies. This interesting writing technique helps readers understand the continual nature of the process of scientific inquiry.
Edward O. Wilson, one of those rare scientists who can make biology and science history not only readable but entertaining, has written a book that holds the reader's attention from beginning to end.
Recommended.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 2011
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Drawing on new translations of Mutis's nearly forgotten writings, this fascinating story of scientific adventure in 18th-century South America retrieves Mutis's contributions from obscurity.
Main Description
One of the earliest New World naturalists, Jos Celestino Mutis began his professional life as a physician in Spain and ended it as a scientist and natural philosopher in modern-day Colombia. Drawing on new translations of Mutis's nearly forgotten writings, this fascinating story of scientific adventure in eighteenth-century South America retrieves Mutis's contributions from obscurity. In 1760, the 28-year-old Mutis -- newly appointed as the personal physician of the Viceroy of the New Kingdom of Granada -- embarked on a 48-year exploration of the natural world of northern South America. His thirst for knowledge led Mutis to study the region's flora, become a professor of mathematics, construct the first astronomical observatory in the Western Hemisphere, and amass one of the largest scientific libraries in the world. He translated Newton's writings and penned essays about Copernicus; lectured extensively on astronomy, geography, and meteorology; and eventually became a priest. But, as two-time Pulitzer Prize--winner Edward O. Wilson and Spanish natural history scholar Jos M. G mez Dur n reveal in this enjoyable and illustrative account, one of Mutis's most magnificent accomplishments involved ants. Acting at the urging of Carl Linnaeus -- the father of taxonomy -- shortly after he arrived in the New Kingdom of Granada, Mutis began studying the ants that swarmed everywhere. Though he lacked any entomological training, Mutis built his own classification for the species he found and named at a time when New World entomology was largely nonexistent. His unorthodox catalog of army ants, leafcutters, and other six-legged creatures found along the banks of the Magdalena provided a starting point for future study. Wilson and Dur n weave a compelling, fast-paced story of ants on the march and the eighteenth-century scientist who followed them. A unique glance into the early world of science exploration, Kingdom of Ants is a delight to read and filled with intriguing information.
Main Description
One of the earliest New World naturalists, José Celestino Mutis began his professional life as a physician in Spain and ended it as a scientist and natural philosopher in modern-day Colombia. Drawing on new translations of Mutis's nearly forgotten writings, this fascinating story of scientific adventure in eighteenth-century South America retrieves Mutis's contributions from obscurity. In 1760, the 28-year-old Mutis-newly appointed as the personal physician of the Viceroy of the New Kingdom of Granada-embarked on a 48-year exploration of the natural world of northern South America. His thirst for knowledge led Mutis to study the region's flora, become a professor of mathematics, construct the first astronomical observatory in the Western Hemisphere, and amass one of the largest scientific libraries in the world. He translated Newton's writings and penned essays about Copernicus; lectured extensively on astronomy, geography, and meteorology; and eventually became a priest. But, as two-time Pulitzer Prizewinner Edward O. Wilson and Spanish natural history scholar José M. Gómez Durán reveal in this enjoyable and illustrative account, one of Mutis's most magnificent accomplishments involved ants. Acting at the urging of Carl Linnaeus-the father of taxonomy-shortly after he arrived in the New Kingdom of Granada, Mutis began studying the ants that swarmed everywhere. Though he lacked any entomological training, Mutis built his own classification for the species he found and named at a time when New World entomology was largely nonexistent. His unorthodox catalog of army ants, leafcutters, and other six-legged creatures found along the banks of the Magdalena provided a starting point for future study. Wilson and Durán weave a compelling, fast-paced story of ants on the march and the eighteenth-century scientist who followed them. A unique glance into the early world of science exploration, Kingdom of Ants is a delight to read and filled with intriguing information.
Main Description
One of the earliest New World naturalists, José Celestino Mutis began his professional life as a physician in Spain and ended it as a scientist and natural philosopher in modern-day Colombia. Drawing on new translations of Mutis's nearly forgotten writings, this fascinating story of scientific adventure in eighteenth-century South America retrieves Mutis's contributions from obscurity.In 1760, the 28-year-old Mutis -- newly appointed as the personal physician of the Viceroy of the New Kingdom of Granada -- embarked on a 48-year exploration of the natural world of northern South America. His thirst for knowledge led Mutis to study the region's flora, become a professor of mathematics, construct the first astronomical observatory in the Western Hemisphere, and amass one of the largest scientific libraries in the world. He translated Newton's writings and penned essays about Copernicus; lectured extensively on astronomy, geography, and meteorology; and eventually became a priest. But, as two-time Pulitzer Prize--winner Edward O. Wilson and Spanish natural history scholar José M. Gómez Durán reveal in this enjoyable and illustrative account, one of Mutis's most magnificent accomplishments involved ants.Acting at the urging of Carl Linnaeus -- the father of taxonomy -- shortly after he arrived in the New Kingdom of Granada, Mutis began studying the ants that swarmed everywhere. Though he lacked any entomological training, Mutis built his own classification for the species he found and named at a time when New World entomology was largely nonexistent. His unorthodox catalog of army ants, leafcutters, and other six-legged creatures found along the banks of the Magdalena provided a starting point for future study.Wilson and Durán weave a compelling, fast-paced story of ants on the march and the eighteenth-century scientist who followed them. A unique glance into the early world of science exploration, Kingdom of Ants is a delight to read and filled with intriguing information.
Table of Contents
Prologuep. 1
Who was Mutis?p. 5
The Making of an Eighteenth-Century Naturalistp. 9
The Scientific Contributions of José Celestino Mutisp. 23
Mutis Seeks Advicep. 27
Mutis Begins His Study of Antsp. 31
Ants are Transported by Shipsp. 37
Ant Plants and Plant Antsp. 39
Mutis Learns about the Mule-Train (Leafcutter) Antsp. 43
Unending Struggles against the Mule-Train Antsp. 53
Ant Warsp. 57
Mutis Solves the Mystery of the Nomadic Pataloasp. 63
Mutis Measures the Size of an Army-Ant Colonyp. 71
Mutis Tracks the Armies of Antsp. 75
Mutis Studies the Gender of Ants and Makes an Amazing Discoveryp. 83
Mutis' Other Antsp. 89
How Good a Scientist was Mutis?p. 93
Epiloguep. 97
Acknowledgmentsp. 99
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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