Books on the Natural History of Animals

591 Specific Topics in Natural History of Animals

Further Reading:

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 shows, 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 the entire continent of Africa to bring us the very 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 living 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 it 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.

Scholar and researcher Douglas J. Emlen studies the weaponry of animals to explain how the weapons humans use. The similarities between animal adaptations and human inventions such as armor reveal our relationship to the animal world.

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. It is female responsiveness, he contends, that determines the course of history.

David Quammen Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind, 2003.

Until recently, humans occupied the middle of the food chain. Creatures like crocodiles, bears, and tigers were ever-present dangers to which millions of people lost their lives. But in recent centuries, as we have become more dominant in the landscape, these predators are becoming less common in our environments. David Quammen looks at these disappearing relationships between humans and beasts.

Carl Safina Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, 2015.

Ecologist Carl Safina begins in the Amboseli National Park in Kenya, where elephant families try to survive in their harsh landscape. He then looks at a pack of wolves in Yellowstone to see how they deal with a tragedy. And he finishes the book in the Pacific Northwest by examining how a group of killer whales relate to one another.

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

Evolutionary biologist Beth Shapiro looks at de-extinction, which is the process of bringing extinct species back to life. She shows how it is already in use today, considers where it may be heading, and examines ethical considerations and risks involved.

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 bring us 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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