THE THERMAL WARRIORS: STRATEGIES OF INSECT SURVIVAL (221 pp., Harvard University Press, 1996)
From the book jacket: "All bodily activity is the result of the interplay of vastly complex physiological processes, and all of these processes depend on temperature. For insects, the struggle to keep body temperature within a suitable range for activity and competition is often a matter of life and death.
A few studies of temperature regulation in butterflies can be found dating back to the late 1800s, but only recently have scientists begun to study the phenomenon in other insects. In The Thermal Warriors Bernd Heinrich explains how, when, and in general what insects regulate their body temperature and what it means to them. As he shows us, the ingenuity of the survival strategies insects have evolved in the irreducible crucible of temperature is astonishing: from shivering and basking, the construction of turrets (certain tiger beetles), and cooling with liquid feces to stilting (some desert ants and beetles), “panting” in grasshoppers and “sweating cicada,” and counter- and alternating-currents of blood flow for heat retention and heat loss.
In The Thermal Warriors Heinrich distills his great reference work, The Hot-Blooded Insects, to its essence: the most significant and fascinating stories that illustrate general principles, all conveyed in the always engaging prose we have come to expect from this author."
REVIEWS (5 of 5 stars on Amazon): "Heinrich, as a physiologist, ecologist, and evolutionary biologist, expertly conveys the fact that thermoregulation is an essential part of insect life."—Denise Butler
"Did you know that bees and most other flying insects have to shiver their muscles to warm-up their engines before flying because their flight muscles are adapted to work best at flight temperatures? Did you know that some butterflies have to stop and rest frequently on even moderately sunny days to keep from overheating? Heinrich has taken his in-depth experience in this field and created a summary version for those that want to know more, but don't have any interest in wading through a 600 page monolith."—Lineola
"This is fascinating hard science presented in a user-friendly format. Short and pithy."—Ken Braithwaite
BERND HEINRICH WRITES ABOUT THE THERMAL WARRIORS:
To my not so great surprise, The Hot-Blooded Insects did not catch fire. Although of large general interest, this book had probably appeared too specialist-oriented. Not even biologists were going to go out of their specialties to tackle a 4 cm-thick treatise on someone's narrow specialty, as I saw by one book of a well-known biologist who in 2016 wrote, "Insects are cold-blooded." So I wrote again this time omitted graphs since the data was already in the first book; I felt safe in not presenting all the supporting data, before making some generalizations and providing summarizing overviews. As one review said of this new book, “The Thermal Warriors is aimed at a general audience—though one that is prepared to think. It is illustrated with pleasing pencil drawings and impressive color thermographs of insects.”