‘Insects are not dinosaurs’ is the slightly self-deprecating comment which opens this massive volume. Small for the most part insects may be, but this wonderful volume goes a substantial way to answering the rest of this opening quotation ‘ . . . and they probably pose us more strange puzzles and unexpected questions’. How very true, and in this epochal book the reviewer is hard-pushed to give even a summary, such is the diversity and range of the material presented. It is also, one must mention, a monument to one of the principal strengths of Soviet, now Russian, palaeontology in...

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