David M. Phillips has taken his life-long love of insect biology and microscopy and produced a mesmerizing look into the hidden world of the insect form. Read more...
David M. Phillips has taken his life-long love of insect biology and microscopy and produced a mesmerizing look into the hidden world of the insect form. The 150 photographs in this book, all taken using an electron microscope, reveal an amazing variety of anatomical structures normally invisible to the human eye: a wax surface that prevents evaporation, antennae that sense molecules that are undetectable by other animals, and feet that allow insects to walk upside down on almost any surface. Organized with the nonscientific reader in mind, Art and Architecture of Insects explores the intricate structures of some of our planet's most fascinating residents. This book's stunning photography and entertaining facts will fill readers with a sense of wonder at the unseen universe that surrounds them.
Whether young or old, jaded insect-lover or new to the awe-inspiring strangeness of insect exoskeletons, one thing is certain: You will never look at insects in the same way again.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-05-12
- Reviewer: Staff
Former virologist Phillips collects dynamic, creepy, and starkly beautiful electron micrographs of insects to bring out the gorgeous, detailed structures imperceptible to the naked eye. Phillips's love of both entomology and photography comes through clearly in what he describes as a retirement project after ending his career as a biomedical researcher at New York City's Population Council, and though the text rambles from topic to topic without obvious breaks, the material is still clear, informative, and surprisingly entertaining. Though most of the black and white photos are of entire insect bodies, chapters are divided by body part—eyes, antennae, wings, etc.—and focus largely on functional anatomy, detailing how body structures make each insect well-suited for its ecological role and biological needs. From an artistic perspective the layout is occasionally awkward, but the information is never muddled, affirming that Philips really wants to teach real science as much as he wants to show the gorgeous shapes and structures underneath the often dull, tiny exteriors of bugs as we typically experience them. Phillips's delightful coffee-table volume reveals nature as architect in an ordered yet somehow whimsical world. 154 B&w images. (May)