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Publisher's Summary

In many ways, insects are just like us. Elaborate mating rituals, a variety of parenting styles, and a plethora of careers - from architects and engineers, to farmers and ranchers. Like us, they’re able to share complex information essential for survival, significantly impact their environment, and recycle. But insects outdo us in so many respects. They are terrestrial, but some can live underwater. Their six legs are great for walking or running, but some can glide through the rainforest canopy, and many can fly. And some can create a material many times stronger than steel. 

The truth is, our planet belongs to the insects. Taken all together, they out-number us, out-weigh us, and could quite possibly out-last us. They are by far the most diverse group of organisms on Earth, with more than 1,000,000 species identified, as of now - 2,000 times more species than the mammals. In fact, beetles alone account for 23 percent of all plants, animals, bacteria, and fungi combined. 

In 24 captivating lectures beautifully illustrated with graphics, photos, and video footage, Professor Scott Solomon shares his passion for these extraordinary creatures. Why Insects Matter: Earth’s Most Essential Species will open your eyes to evolutionary accomplishments you had never even imagined. As many biologists have pointed out, if Homo sapiens simply disappeared one day, the loss would not be terribly disruptive to the rest of life on Earth. But if the insects disappeared, life on this planet would descend into chaos. Insects are Earth’s most essential species. 

Having established themselves on Earth 480 million years before any of our genus arose in Africa, insects have survived three mass extinctions; while 75 percent of all living species were extinguished, these animals endured. Just imagine all we could learn from them.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 The Great Courses (P)2022 The Teaching Company, LLC

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What a wonderfully interesting, educational, and well structured course

The narration was fantastic and fun to listen to. I highly recommend listening to this to learn more about the mysterious world of insects around you

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An unanticipated pleasure

Of the nearly one hundred Teaching Company Great Courses that I have listened to over the years, this ranks among my five or six favorites. It was a surprise to me that I would enjoy these lectures so much on a topic for which I had little prior affection. But the combination of a fascinating subject with the excellence of the presentation was a joy. Being able to share the speaker’s knowledge with his obvious enthusiasm was a privilege. Michael Solomon, MD (no relation)

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Not An Entomology Course

These lectures are well-delivered and cover a broad scope of biological/ecological/historical/agronomic/economic material similar to a non-majors insect natural history course. For that, it is well-done, but if you are wanting a college-level entomology course, this is not a good choice. PDF is excellent.