Books by Subject

Animal Behavior

Do Animals Think?
by Clive D. L. Wynne, Princeton University Press; (March 1, 2004)

Does your dog know when you've had a bad day? Can your cat tell that the coffee pot you left on might start a fire? Could a chimpanzee be trained to program your computer? In this provocative book, noted animal expert Clive Wynne debunks some commonly held notions about our furry friends. It may be romantic to ascribe human qualities to critters, he argues, but it's not very realistic. While animals are by no means dumb, they don't think the same way we do. Contrary to what many popular television shows would have us believe, animals have neither the "theory-of-mind" capabilities that humans have (that is, they are not conscious of what others are thinking) nor the capacity for higher-level reasoning. So, in Wynne's view, when Fido greets your arrival by nudging your leg, he's more apt to be asking for dinner than commiserating with your job stress.
That's not to say that animals don't possess remarkable abilities--and Do Animals Think? explores countless examples: there's the honeybee, which not only remembers where it found food but communicates this information to its hivemates through an elaborate dance. And how about the sonar-guided bat, which locates flying insects in the dark of night and devours lunch on the wing?
Engagingly written, Do Animals Think? takes aim at the work of such renowned animal rights advocates as Peter Singer and Jane Goodall for falsely humanizing animals. Far from impoverishing our view of the animal kingdom, however, it underscores how the world is richer for having such a diversity of minds--be they of the animal or human variety
Click here to learn more or purchase from

Myth of Monogamy : Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People
by David P. Barash, Phd., Judith Eve Lipton, M.D. 

Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours.

Hardcover - 227 pages (April 2001)
W H Freeman & Co; ISBN: 0716740044 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.00 x 9.52 x 6.44

Editorial Reviews
Shattering deeply held beliefs about sexual relationships in humans and other animals, The Myth of Monogamy is a much needed treatment of a sensitive issue. Written by the husband and wife team of behavioral scientist David P. Barash and psychiatrist Judith Eve Lipton, it glows with wit and warmth even as it explores decades of research undermining traditional precepts of mating rituals. Evidence from genetic testing has been devastating to those seeking monogamy in the animal kingdom; even many birds, long prized as examples of fidelity, turn out to have a high incidence of extra-pair couplings. Furthermore, now that researchers have turned their attention to female sexual behavior, they are finding more and more examples of aggressive adultery-seeking in "the fairer sex." Writing about humans in the context of parental involvement, the authors find complexity and humor:


Baby people are more like baby birds than baby mammals. To be sure, newborn cats and dogs are helpless, but this helplessness doesn't last for long. By contrast, infant Homo sapiens remain helpless for months ... and then they become helpless toddlers! Who in turn graduate to being virtually helpless youngsters. (And then? Clueless adolescents.) So there may be some payoff to women in being mated to a monogamous man, after all.

Careful to separate scientific description from moral prescription, Barash and Lipton still poke a little fun at our conceptions of monogamy and other kinds of relationships as "natural" or "unnatural." Shoring themselves up against the inevitable charges that their reporting will weaken the institution of marriage, they make sure to note that monogamy works well for most of those who desire it and that one of our uniquely human traits is our ability to overcome biology in some instances. If, as some claim, monogamy has been a tool used by men to assert property rights over women, then perhaps one day The Myth of Monogamy will be seen as a milestone for women's liberation. --Rob Lightner

Click here to learn more or purchase from

Clever As a Fox : Animal Intelligence And What It Can Teach Us About Ourselves
by Sonja I., Ph.d. Yoe

Hardcover - 324 pages (March 2001)
Bloomsbury Pub Plc USA; ISBN: 158234115X ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.91 x 9.59 x 6.36
Click here to learn more or purchase from

Animal Behavior Desk Reference, Second Edition: A Dictionary of Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution
by Edwards M. Barrow

Hardcover - 936 pages 2 edition (December 28, 2000)
CRC Pr; ISBN: 0849320054
Editorial Reviews

Book Description
Animal Behavior Desk Reference, Second Edition: A Dictionary of Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution
Revised and updated, containing over 5,000 entries, with over 1,200 more entries than in the previous edition, Animal Behavior Desk Reference, Second Edition: A Dictionary of Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution provides definitions for terms in animal behavior, biogeography, ecology, evolution, genetics, psychology, systematics, statistics, and other related sciences. Formatted like a standard dictionary, this reference presents definitions in a quick- and easy-to-use style.
For each term, where applicable , you receive:
Multiple definitions listed chronologically
Term hierarchies summarized in tables
Definition sources
Directives that show where a concept is defined under a synonymous
name and concepts related to focal ones
Non-technical and obsolete definitions
Pronunciations of selected terms
Common-denominator entries
Classifications of organisms and descriptions of many taxa
Organizations relevant to animal behavior, ecology, evolution, and related sciences

Still the most complete work of its kind, Animal Behavior Desk Reference, Second Edition: A Dictionary of Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution can improve your scientific communication, particularly in the fields of animal behavior, evolution, ecology, and related branches of biology. If you are a teacher, student, writer, or active in science in any way, this book should be in your library and at your fingertips.


Discusses how definitions impact the way people communicate
Serves as an access point to the primary literature through extensive referencing
Presents variations in meaning that have developed for many different terms over time
Indicates controversies regarding the meanings of many terms with author-and-date citations

Click here to learn more or purchase from

The Triumph of Sociobiology
by John Alcock
Hardcover - 256 pages (May 2001)
Oxford Univ Pr (Trade); ISBN: 0195143833 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.96 x 9.55 x 6.35

Click here to learn more or purchase from

Animal Minds : Beyond Cognition to Consciousness
by Donald R. Griffin

Paperback (May 2001)
University of Chicago Press; ISBN: 0226308669

Other Editions: Hardcover

Editorial Reviews
Do animals think? According to Cartesian models of science that have long influenced the Western view of the natural world, they do not: they merely react to external stimuli, the responses to which they cannot control.

A different view has emerged in recent years, one that draws on findings from experimental psychology, biology, linguistics, and cognitive ethology. Writes Donald Griffin, an associate at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, "Communicative behavior is not a human monopoly." Animal communication--from the dance language of the bees to the vocalisms of parrots and bonobos--suggests that there is more than a ghost in the machine. For underlying that communicative ability are other powers that humans have no easy way of gauging: a sense of time and futurity, a complex memory, an ability to lie, even consciousness itself.

Griffin examines recent studies that show that many species are able to discern and classify colors, shapes, materials, and "sameness," and that many other species are able to adapt their communications systems to account for novel situations. Warning that our understanding of animal minds is still ill-formed and that much work remains to be done in the field before we can confidently answer that ancient question one way or the other, he argues that "animals are best viewed as actors who choose what to do, rather than as objects totally dependent on outside influences." --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Click here to learn more or purchase from

Animal Traditions : Behavioural Inheritance in Evolution
by Eytan Avital, Eva Jablonka

Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours.

Hardcover (February 2001)
Cambridge Univ Pr (Short); ISBN: 0521662737

Click here to learn more or purchase from

Hierarchy in the Forest : The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior
by Christopher Boehm

Hardcover - 292 pages (February 2000)
Harvard Univ Pr; ISBN: 0674390318 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.01 x 9.55 x 6.41

Book Description
Are humans by nature hierarchical or egalitarian? Hierarchy in the Forest addresses this question by examining the evolutionary origins of social and political behavior. Christopher Boehm, an anthropologist whose fieldwork has focused on the political arrangements of human and nonhuman primate groups, postulates that egalitarianism is in effect a hierarchy in which the weak combine forces to dominate the strong. The political flexibility of our species is formidable: we can be quite egalitarian, we can be quite despotic. Hierarchy in the Forest traces the roots of these contradictory traits in chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, and early human societies. Boehm looks at the loose group structures of hunter-gatherers, then at tribal segmentation, and finally at present-day governments to see how these conflicting tendencies are reflected. Hierarchy in the Forest claims new territory for biological anthropology and evolutionary biology by extending the domain of these sciences into a crucial aspect of human political and social behavior. This book will be a key document in the study of the evolutionary basis of genuine altruism.
Click here to learn more or purchase from

Wild Minds
by Marc D. Hauser, Ted Dewan (Illustrator)

Hardcover - 315 pages (March 2000)
Henry Holt & Company, Inc.; ISBN: 0805056696 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.11 x 9.57 x 6.40
What's that squirrel thinking as it runs across the street? Behavioral neuroscientist Marc D. Hauser asks big questions about little brains in Wild Minds: What Animals Really Think. While his subjects aren't accessible for interviews, he believes that we can gain insight into their interior lives by examining their behavior in the context of their social and physical environments. Thus, while comparing the actions of chimps, rats, honeybees, and human infants, he is careful to keep in mind that each of them has different needs that require different kinds of intelligence and emotion and ought not be judged by the same criteria. Looking at counting, mapmaking, self-understanding, deception, and other intelligent activities, Hauser shows that the birds and the bees have more on their minds than we've come to believe. Acknowledging the vast gulf of language that separates our species from all others, he still maintains that this tool is but one of many and is no better an indication of "superior" intelligence than is the bat's fantastically well-developed echolocation system. In the last chapter, Hauser looks at moral behavior and decides that animals can be "moral patients but not moral agents"--that is, their inability to attribute mental states to others keeps them blameless for their actions but their sensitivity to suffering earns them fair treatment from the rest of us. Whether or not you agree with that, you're sure to find Wild Minds a refreshing look at the thoughts of our mute cousins. --Rob Lightner
Click here to learn more or purchase from

The Design of Animal Communication
by March Hauser (Editor), Mark Konishi (Editor)

Hardcover - 663 pages (March 2000)
MIT Press; ISBN: 0262082772 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.61 x 9.26 x 7.26
Editorial Reviews
Book Description
When animals, including humans, communicate, they convey information and express their perceptions of the world. Because different organisms are able to produce and perceive different signals, the animal world contains a diversity of communication systems. Based on the approach laid out in the 1950s by Nobel laureate Nikolaas Tinbergen, this book looks at animal communication from the four perspectives of mechanisms, ontogeny, function, and phylogeny.

About the Author
Mark D. Hauser is Professor in the Department of Psychology and Program in Neuroscience at Harvard University. He is the author of The Evolution of Communication (MIT Press, 1996). Mark Konishi is Bing Professor of Behavioral Biology at the California Institute of Technology.

Click here to learn more or purchase from

The Alex Studies : Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots
by Irene M. Pepperberg
Hardcover - 448 pages (January 2000)
Harvard Univ Pr; ISBN: 067400051X ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.38 x 9.53 x 6.47

Editorial Reviews
When Irene Pepperberg, a professor at the University of Arizona, says goodnight, she typically hears the reply "Bye. I'm gonna go eat dinner. I'll see you tomorrow." Though the response itself is not unusual, the source is, for it comes from Alex, a gray parrot, Pepperberg's main research subject for the past 22 years. That parrots can talk is well known; what Pepperberg set out to study was their cognitive abilities. By teaching the bird the meaning--not just the sound--of words in order to communicate, she hoped to discover how his brain worked. She exhaustively details her fascinating results in The Alex Studies.

Pepperberg bought Alex--a parrot of average intelligence and without lofty pedigree or training--from a pet store when he was 1. Since working with Pepperberg, he has developed a 100-word vocabulary and can identify 50 different objects, recognizing quantities up to six, distinguishing seven colors and five shapes, and understanding the difference between big and small, same and different, over and under. He can tell you, for instance, that corn is yellow even if there is no corn in view, as well as correctly select the square object among various shapes and identify it verbally. What this all means, stresses Pepperberg, is that Alex is not merely parroting but actually thinking; he bases answers on reason rather than instinct or mimicry.

Though the anecdotes are rich and Alex makes a lively subject, this is principally a research paper relying on intricate details and a prodigious amount of data (the notes and references alone run to 79 pages). This is not light reading, particularly for the layperson. Still, The Alex Studies manages to be more than a valuable contribution to science, for in providing ample evidence of our similarities to other creatures, the book ultimately calls into question the concept of human supremacy over the animal kingdom. Pepperberg's stated goal is "to provoke awareness in humans that animals have capacities that are far greater than we were once led to expect, and to remind us that all we need to examine these capacities are some enlightened research tools." She has provided such tools in this seminal work. --Shawn Carkonen
Click here to learn more or purchase from

The Hunting Apes : Meat Eating and the Origins of Human Behavior
by Craig B. Stanford

Hardcover - 262 pages (March 1999)
Princeton Univ Pr; ISBN: 0691011605 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.02 x 7.59 x 4.77
Other Editions: Paperback

Most evolutionary biologists agree that what makes humans unique among animals is our brainpower. But why--and how--did we evolve our oversized brains? Craig Stanford dusts off the old "Man the Hunter" theory, roundly criticized as replete with bad (and sexist) assumptions, and finds a thick, juicy, postmodern steak at the heart of it. He argues, "The origins of human intelligence are linked to the acquisition of meat, especially through the cognitive capacities necessary for the strategic sharing of meat with fellow group members."

Stanford studied the great apes, especially chimpanzees, and came to the conclusion that among primates, meat is a valuable commodity both nutritionally and socially. Although many other foods are nutritionally desirable, meat is unique in its social desirability, and for males, it represents power:

Underlying the nutritional aspect of getting meat, part of the social fabric of the community is revealed in the dominance displays, the tolerated theft, and the bartered meat for sexual access. The end of the hunt is often only the beginning of a whole other arena of social interaction.

In Stanford's view, females play a crucial role in keeping groups together and cementing individual relationships. Meat plays an important role in the way males fit in to a society, and the ability of males to get meat readily may very well explain their societal dominance. These conclusions are not liable to be nearly so controversial as the way Stanford gathered his data--he drew broad parallels between chimps and modern hunter-gatherer societies. Stanford also admits that a lack of fossil evidence supporting his meat/brain link is problematic. The Hunting Apes is an interesting look at what is likely the worthwhile center of a discredited evolutionary theory. --Therese Littleton

Click here to learn more or purchase from

Cheating Monkeys and Citizen Bees : The Nature of Cooperation in Animals and Humans
by Lee Alan Dugatkin

Hardcover - 256 pages (February 1999)
Free Press; ISBN: 0684843412 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.79 x 5.75 x 8.78
Other Editions: Paperback
"Man," Aristotle observes in his treatise The Politics, "is by nature a social creature." In this lively book of popular science, Lee Dugatkin takes a close look at the inescapable fact that humans are indeed social creatures whose instinct, it seems, is to aid one another in times of need. He examines the ways in which thinkers of various stripes have considered this subject. Economists, for instance, conceive of a "rational man" who acts cooperatively when the benefits of doing so outweigh the costs; theologians depict humans as being inherently good and thus inclined to kindness; some biologists take the matter of human cooperation as being a more sophisticated expression of cooperation in animal societies (to which Dugatkin rejoins, "animals show us a stripped-down version of what behavior in a given circumstance would look like without our moral will and freedom"). In the face of such views, Dugatkin proposes no dogma of his own. Instead, he takes up one interesting question after another (Do sparrows help one another locate food out of self-interest? What prompts a soldier to fall on a grenade to save nearby comrades? Is blood thicker than water?), expertly leading his readers through contending scientific and philosophical theories while seeking the answers. --Gregory McNamee
Click here to learn more or purchase from

Biological Exuberance : Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity
by Bruce Bagemihl

Hardcover - 512 pages 1 Ed edition (February 1999)
St Martins Pr (Trade); ISBN: 0312192398 ; Dimensions (in inches): 2.02 x 9.55 x 6.50
Other Editions: Paperback

Bruce Bagemihl writes that Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity was a "labor of love." And indeed it must have been, since most scientists have thus far studiously avoided the topic of widespread homosexual behavior in the animal kingdom--sometimes in the face of undeniable evidence. Bagemihl begins with an overview of same-sex activity in animals, carefully defining courtship patterns, affectionate behaviors, sexual techniques, mating and pair-bonding, and same-sex parenting. He firmly dispels the prevailing notion that homosexuality is uniquely human and only occurs in "unnatural" circumstances. As far as the nature-versus-nurture argument--it's obviously both, he concludes. An overview of biologists' discomfort with their own observations of animal homosexuality over 200 years would be truly hilarious if it didn't reflect a tendency of humans (and only humans) to respond with aggression and hostility to same-sex behavior in our own species. In fact, Bagemihl reports, scientists have sometimes been afraid to report their observations for fear of recrimination from a hidebound (and homophobic) academia. Scientists' use of anthropomorphizing vocabulary such as insulting, unfortunate, and inappropriate to describe same-sex matings shows a decided lack of objectivity on the part of naturalists.

Astounding as it sounds, a number of scientists have actually argued that when a female Bonobo wraps her legs around another female ... while emitting screams of enjoyment, this is actually "greeting" behavior, or "appeasement" behavior ... almost anything, it seems, besides pleasurable sexual behavior.

Throw this book into the middle of a crowd of wildlife biologists and watch them scatter. But Bagemihl doesn't let the scientific community's discomfort deny him the opportunity to show "the love that dare not bark its name" in all its feathery, furry, toothy diversity. The second half of this hefty tome is filled with an exhaustive array of species that exhibit homosexuality, complete with photos and detailed scientific illustrations of the behaviors described. Biological Exuberance is a well-researched, thoroughly scientific, and erudite look at a purposefully neglected frontier of zoology. --Therese Littleton
Click here to learn more or purchase from

Inside the Animal Mind
by George Page

Hardcover - 320 pages (December 1, 1999)
Doubleday; ISBN: 038549291X ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.20 x 9.65 x 6.4
Other Editions: Paperback

Editorial Reviews
George Page, creator and long-time host of television's Nature, knows animals well. He has written Inside the Animal Mind, a broad look at how birds, apes, and others solve problems without the advantages of the human brain, as a companion to the three-episode series covering the world of animal intelligence. Exploring the natural world and the laboratory, he comes up with some interesting insights into intelligence and (more importantly) how we see it. Though the reader occasionally wishes for greater depth, Page's breadth offers interconnections that we would never find elsewhere (moving from the Sun King's gamekeeper to Stephen Jay Gould is beyond most writers).

Page is clearly sympathetic to his subjects, speaking for them where most of them cannot. Investigating tool use and language, he finds the competition not so barren as we had once thought, with finches and gorillas merely heading the lists of nonhuman animals learning clever tricks. Interwoven with his descriptions of bright animals is a story of our own species' long, slow coming to terms with our non-unique status. Perhaps intelligence is not distributed equally, even among humans, but it seems fair to say that we've lost our monopoly. Page's warm, gentle prose also reminds us of our responsibilities to those whose capacity for suffering has been quietly ignored for centuries. Inside the Animal Mind ends with a call to treat animals with respect. --Rob Lightner
Click here to learn more or purchase from

Rattling the Cage : Toward Legal Rights for Animals
by Steven M. Wise, Jane Goodall

Hardcover - 362 pages 1 edition (February 2000)
Perseus Pr; ISBN: 0738200654 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.29 x 9.56 x 6.44
Editorial Reviews
Steven Wise has spent his legal career in courts across the United States, championing the interests of dogs, cats, dolphins, deer, goats, sheep, African gray parrots, and American bald eagles. In Rattling the Cage, Wise--who teaches "animal rights law" at several academic institutions, including Harvard Law School--presents a thorough survey of the legal, philosophical, and religious origins of humankind's inhumanity toward citizens of the animal kingdom. Wise's devotion for animals is evident as he explains how the bigoted notion that nonhuman creatures possess mere instrumental value rather than intrinsic value has led to their worldwide enslavement for human benefit.

Rattling the Cage offers Wise's argument to secure the blessings of liberty for chimpanzees and bonobos. Despite the cognitive, emotional, social, and sexual sophistication exhibited by both species, Wise acknowledges that advocating the legal personhood of what others might consider hairy little beasts leaves him vulnerable to ridicule and marginalization as a fringe academic. He compares his struggle to that of Galileo, recognizing that anachronistic cultural and religious beliefs may disable modern judges from ruling according to correct principles just as the irrational convictions of Galileo's contemporaries forced them to cling to an Earth-centered universe that no longer existed. "Think of a Fundamentalist Protestant faced with a decision about teaching evolution in the public schools or a Roman Catholic deciding a question of abortion rights," Wise suggests, then turns the rhetoric up a notch: "Is it surprising that Nazi judges dispensed Nazi justice and that racist judges dispensed racist justice?" Wise seems certain, though, that our concept of justice eventually will evolve to the point where no chimp or bonobo will be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law--perhaps the best for which any primate can hope, at least until apes preside over courts to administer a justice of their own making. --Tim Hogan

Click here to learn more or purchase from

Play Behavior In Animals

By G. Burghardt

Chapman & Hall, May 1997
ISBN: 0412037912

Click here to learn more or purchase from

 bio exhume


Return to Books by Subject List