I wanted to know what they were experiencing, and why to us they feel so compelling, and so-close. This time I allowed myself to ask them the question that for a scientist was forbidden fruit: Who are you?
Weaving decades of field observations with exciting new discoveries about the brain, Carl Safina's landmark book offers an intimate view of animal behavior to challenge the fixed boundary between humans and nonhuman animals. In Beyond Words, readers travel to Amboseli National Park in the threatened landscape of Kenya and witness struggling elephant families work out how to survive poaching and drought, then to Yellowstone National Park to observe wolves sort out the aftermath of one pack's personal tragedy, and finally plunge into the astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in the crystalline waters of the Pacific Northwest.
Beyond Words brings forth powerful and illuminating insight into the unique personalities of animals through extraordinary stories of animal joy, grief, jealousy, anger, and love. The similarity between human and nonhuman consciousness, self-awareness, and empathy calls us to re-evaluate how we interact with animals. Wise, passionate, and eye-opening at every turn, Beyond Words is ultimately a graceful examination of humanity's place in the world.
Considering the fascination human beings have with animal behavior, it's little wonder so many books on the subject exist. Yet so many of these resources compare animal behavior with human behavior apples to oranges rather than comparing one type of animal behavior with another. Safina (Song for the Blue Ocean) chooses to concentrate on the latter approach to animal behavior, meeting up with animal behavior researchers in the field: first observing elephant families in Kenya, then the wolves of Yellowstone, and, finally, killer whale pods in the Pacific Northwest. In between his on-site adventures, Safina discusses the higher-intelligence characteristics of lemurs, chimpanzees, and domestic dogs, among others. In this mind-bending book, Safina takes the reader along with him on his adventures, enlightening and educating at each of his stops. Those interested in animal behavior, as well as anyone who has ever wondered about higher animal intelligence, will feel as if they're right next to the author, learning along with him. B&w illus.