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Extraordinary Insects: Weird, Wonderful & Indispensable

It was a pleasure to review one of HarperCollins recent nature releases, ‘Extraordinary Insects’, by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson. Published on the Mudlark imprint, the book is wonderfully written and packed with facts about how insects keep the world going.

The passion and enthusiasm for the topic that Anne has jumps off the page, and really brings the subject alive. Revealing this hidden world of astonishing creatures that play a vital role in our eco-system, you’ll find out how cockroaches are used to find life in collapsed buildings and ants keep aphids as pets. And you can dive into learning about behaviour such as mating, parenting and the important cleaning up process that insects perform in decomposing dead organic matter in order to prepare for new life to form, an amazing cycle to bear witness to.

Her calls to action are simple and achievable: be curious about bugs; take the time to look and learn; teach children about all the strange and useful things insects do; make gardens, parks and green spaces a better place for little visitors; get insects on the agenda in land use plans and official reports, agricultural regulations and government budgets; and do it before it’s too late!

Anne’s urgent mission to communicate to people the importance of insects to our continuing existence on this earth and how we must learn to protect them is perfectly summarised in the book’s afterword with this quote from Harvard Professor E.O Wilson: 

‘If human beings were to disappear tomorrow, the world would go on with little change…But if invertebrates were to disappear, I doubt that the human species could live more than a few months.’

Anne herself has a Doctorate degree in Conservation Biology and is a professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. She recently became the first female scientist to be given the Bonnevie Award, and has been nominated for Norway’s most prestigious literary award, the Brage prize.

The book is out now in hardback, priced £14.99.

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