Waldbauer, Gilbert

All animals must eat. But who eats who, and why, or why not? Because insects outnumber and collectively outweigh all other animals combined, they comprise the largest amount of animal food available for potential consumption. How do they avoid being eaten? From masterful disguises to physical and chemical lures and traps, predatory insects have devised ingenious and bizarre methods of finding food. Equally ingenious are the means of hiding, mimicry, escape, and defence waged by prospective prey in order to stay alive.

This absorbing and engaging book demonstrates that the relationships between the eaten and the eaters are a central – perhaps the central – aspect of what goes on in the community of organisms, which, together with their physical environment, constitute an ecosystem. By explaining the many ways in which insects avoid becoming a meal for a predator, and the ways in which predators evade their defensive strategies, Gilbert Waldbauer conveys an essential understanding of the unrelenting co-evolutionary forces at work in the world around us.

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University of California Press, June 2021.  221 pages, paperback,  10 black and white illustrations