Book: Dragonflies: Magnificent Creatures of Water, Air, and Land

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Dragonflies: Magnificent Creatures of Water, Air, and Land

Pieter van Dokkum, the Sol Goldman Family Professor of Astronomy and chair of the Department of Astronomy

(Yale University Press)

Almost without noticing, dragonflies dart through the world, flying, seeing, hunting, and mating. In this book Pieter van Dokkum reveals many of the dragonfly’s secrets, capturing the stages of this insect’s life cycle in unprecedented close-up photographs. He documents scenes of dragonfly activity seldom witnessed and rarely photographed.
 

The book begins on a moonlit summer night, when an alien-looking larva crawls out of the water and transforms into a fully formed dragonfly. In the following chapters dew-covered dragonflies sparkle in the morning sun, then a pair of mating dragonflies move through the air in a twelve-legged, eight-winged dance. In the final chapter, one generation dies as the next prepares to leave the water and begin its own winged journey. Each stage is documented through van Dokkum’s lens and accompanied by information on various species of dragonflies and damselflies, their metamorphosis, and their ecological importance as insect predators.

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