Kingdom of Ants
Jose Celestino Mutis and the Dawn of Natural History in the New World
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Gomez Duran 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 Duran 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.