599. Books on mammals
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Frans De Waal Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves, 2020.
Biologist Jan van Hooff developed a close relationship with a chimpanzee matriarch named Mama. During his relationship with her, van Hooff found proof that animals can love, fear, hate, and have empathy just like humans. Sharing this story and others like it, Frans De Waal will help you see that animals are more like us than we realize.
Rebecca Giggs Fathoms: The World in the Whale, 2020.
When Australian author Rebecca Giggs found a stranded humpback whale on her local beach, she became curious about how the state of oceans affects these mammals. She uses history, science, and philosophy to probe the complexities of whales.
Steven Kazlowski The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World, 2008.
The threatened extinction of the polar bear provides a stark look at the impacts of climate change on the natural world. Wildlife photographer Steven Kazlowski documents how changes in habitat are already affecting these mammals.
Barry Lopez Of Wolves and Men, 1979.
In his gorgeous prose style, Barry Lopez examines the relationship between wolves and humans throughout the centuries using literature, history, science, and mythology.
Desmond Morris The Naked Ape: A Zoologist’s Study of the Human Animal, 1967.
Zoologist Desmond Morris examines the human race as a member of the animal kingdom. From our earliest ancestors to the incredible place in the world today, he looks at what makes us unique. He also warns about what may happen if humans forget who and what we are.
Farley Mowat Never Cry Wolf, 1963.
Canadian conservationist Farley Mowat writes of the summer he spent in the Arctic alone studying local wolf populations to determine why they were killing Arctic caribou. His account is a classic of nature writing.
Barbara Natterson-Horowitz Wildwood: The Epic Journey from Adolescence to Adulthood in Humans and Other Animals, 2019.
Evolutionary biologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz looks at the phase between childhood and adulthood, adolescence, by looking at a king penguin, a hyena, a humpback whale, and a European wolf.
Steven Rinella American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon, 2008.
Steven Rinella tells of winning a lottery permit to hunt wild buffalo in Alaska. While he defied the odds and killed one, his trip back to civilization with the meat was fraught with danger as he was trailed by grizzly bears and threatened with hypothermia. He relates his adventures here while examining the role of the buffalo in North America’s past.
George B. Schaller The Last Panda, 1994.
American mammologist and conservationist George B. Schaller traveled the forests of the Wolong and the Tangjiahe panda reserves. Hunted for their pelts and plagued by a loss of bamboo to eat, the pandas are nearing extinction.
Paula Wild The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild, and Dangerous, 2013.
The Americas are host to the large cat known by many names, including cougar, puma, and mountain lion. While they were once rarely seen outside the backcountry, they are increasing in population while encounters with humans are becoming more common. Paula Wild tells their story.
For more information on the Further Reading section, see “Further Reading: Start Here.”