Books on the Natural History of Animals


February 20, 2023

590. Books on animals

Further Reading:

Art Wolfe The Living Wild, 2001.

Internationally recognized nature photographer Art Wolfe shares nearly 400 photographs he has taken worldwide of over 140 animals in their natural habitats.

591. Books on specific topics in the natural history of animals

Marc Bekoff The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy—and Why They Matter, 2007.

Using his original research, scientist Mark Bekoff shares the fantastic stories of emotional communications from animals that cover everything from grief to embarrassment. Animals, he proves, are much more complex than many of us believe, and he argues we should treat them with respect.

Linda Bender Animal Wisdom: Learning from the Spiritual Lives of Animals, 2014.

Veterinarian Linda Bender shares her research into the abilities of animals to perform feats that indicate extrasensory abilities. She shares stories of animals who know when an earthquake comes before seismologists and those who find loved ones in unfamiliar territory. She also offers techniques to help you communicate with your pets.

Alex Bernasconi Wild Africa, 2010.

Internationally acclaimed photographer Alex Bernasconi travels off-road across Africa to bring us the best of his thousands of photographs of Africa’s wildlife in its natural habitat.

Frans De Waal Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, 2016.

Psychologist Frans De Waal takes a cold, hard look at the human conceit that we are the most intelligent creatures. Using the latest scientific research into animal intelligence, he proposes an alternative to looking at intelligence as a pyramid with us at its top. Instead, perhaps it would be better to view life as a bush with myriad forms of intelligence on display that do not translate from one species to another.

Douglas J. Emlen Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle, 2014.

Award-winning scientist Douglas J. Emlen has studied animal weapons in forests and jungles for years. By examining sometimes extreme examples of teeth, horns, and claws, he looks at the evolutionary forces that created them. Then he uses these patterns to look at how humans developed our weapons.

Richard O. Prum The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World, 2017.

Ornithologist Richard O. Prum takes another look at Darwin’s theory of natural selection and examines what it tells us about evolution, animal species, and ourselves. He contends that female responsiveness determines the course of history.

Beth Shapiro How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction, 2015.

Ecologist Beth Shapiro looks at the cutting-edge science in de-extinction, the processes used to bring back previously extinct species through their ancient DNA. She looks at how much this will cost us and the risks involved. And she argues that we should do so only to revitalize and stabilize our current ecosystems.

Con Slobodchikoff Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Learning the Languages of Animals, 2012.

After studying the communications between prairie dogs for over a quarter of a century, Con Slobodchikoff looks at how we can understand the languages of various animal species to help us better understand communication systems–theirs and ours. In the process, we can vastly improve our understanding of our fellow creatures.

Scott Weidensaul The Ghost with Trembling Wings: Science, Wishful Thinking, and the Search for Lost Species, 2003.

Species are becoming extinct at an alarming rate. Yet, surprisingly, sometimes, these species resurface. How can this happen? Scott Weidensaul travels the planet to tell stories of these resurrections and discusses why they happen.

For more information on the Further Reading series, see Further Reading: Start Here.


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