Thursday, October 28, 2010

Five fittest books on animal survival

Bernd Heinrich is a renowned naturalist and emeritus professor of biology at the University of Vermont. His new book is The Nesting Season: Cuckoos, Cuckolds, and the Invention of Monogamy.

For the Wall Street Journal, he named a five best list of book on animal survival.

One title on the list:
Honeybee Democracy
by Thomas D. Seeley (2010)

In HONEYBEE DEMOCRACY, Thomas Seeley explains how a honeybee colony divides and reproduces: A contingent of 10,000 bees or more communicate among themselves and arrive unanimously at a decision about the best available new home. Building on a lifetime of observation and experimentation, Seeley relates the story with admirable clarity as we see his beloved honeybees—which have been in the consensus-building business for perhaps 200 million years—embark on the establishment of a new outpost. The process begins with a few scout bees and involves a vigorous debate before an agreement is reached. Then, on a signal, the group leaves en masse for the chosen place, likely a hollow tree some kilometers distant that the majority of the bees have never seen before. This spirit of cooperation, Seeley says, has much to tell us about solving complex human problems.
Read about the other books on the list.

Winter World by Bernd Heinrich made Bill Streever's five best list of books on extreme cold.

--Marshal Zeringue