Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures

By Virginia Morell
Noted science writer Virginia Morell explores the frontiers of research on animal cognition and emotion, offering a surprising and moving exploration into the hearts and minds of wild and domesticated animals.
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a fish? Or a parrot, dolphin, or elephant? Do they experience thoughts that are similar to ours, or have feelings of grief and love? These are tough questions, but scientists are answering them. They know that ants teach, earthworms make decisions, and that rats love to be tickled. They ve discovered that dogs have thousand-word vocabularies, that parrots and dolphins have names, and that birds practice their songs in their sleep. But how do scientists know these things?
"Animal Wise" takes us on a dazzling odyssey into the inner world of animals from ants to wolves, and among the pioneering researchers who are leading the way into once-forbidden territory: the animal mind.Withthirty years of experience covering the sciences, Morell uses her formidable gifts as a story-teller to transport us to field sites and laboratories around the world, introducing us to animal-cognition scientists and their surprisingly intelligent and sensitive subjects. She explores how this rapidly evolving, controversial field has only recently overturned old notions about why animals behave as they do. She probes the moral and ethical dilemmas of recognizing that even lesser animals have cognitive abilities such as memory, feelings, personality, and self-awareness traits that many in the twentieth century felt were unique to human beings.
By standing behaviorism on its head, Morell brings the world of nature brilliantly alive in a nuanced, deeply felt appreciation of the human-animal bond, and she shares her admiration for the men and women who have simultaneously chipped away at what we think makes us distinctive while offering a glimpse of where our own abilities come from."

"A fascinating, accessible look at animal cognition." -"People ""This enthralling book might change the way we perceive other species who share the planet with us....A compelling read." "- Bark"magazine "This charming book about animal intelligence....has a nice arc to its structure--working from generally more basic (although still remarkable) cognitive abilities of creatures like adventurous ants to the complex thinking of chimps--and it is threaded through with philosophical questions that are as thought-provoking as the creatures and experiments she chronicles." - "Smithsonian "magazine "For most of the 20th Century, animals weren't allowed to have emotions...But Virginia Morell's new book, "Animal Wise," tells a new story. After six years of reporting in 11 different countries, the longtime science journalist is pretty certain: Animals feel. And strongly, as it turns out." "--Wired " "Each chapter takes readers on an adventure alongside researchers as they probe the minds of such disparate creatures as ants, trout, dolphins, elephants and chimpanzees.""--Scientific American" "Virginia Morell sheds light on the many surprises of cognitive awareness of animals." - "San Francisco Chronicle """Animal Wise" presents the latest research on the cognitive processes and emotional expressions manifested in animal behavior [and] reveals a dazzling, amazing world of animal behaviors.""--Portland Oregonian " "For page after exciting page, [Morell] shows [animals] making decisions, remembering the past, planning the future, and helping others in distress....She resists the urge to close her fine book with musings on what makes humans special. Bravo. It's humbler, wiser, and more instructive to stop looking down at animals from an imaginary evolutionary pinnacle and, instead, to try to see them as fellow thinking, feeling beings with minds as worthy of understanding as our own." - Sy Montgomery, "American Scholar" "Movingn


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ISBN: 9780307461452

About the Paperback

Publisher Broadway Books
Publish date 03/25/2014
Pages 304
ISBN-13 9780307461452
ISBN-10 0307461459
Language English

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