Did you know that ants teach, earthworms make decisions, rats love to be tickled and chimps grieve? Did you know that some dogs have thousand-word vocabularies and that birds practise songs in their sleep? That crows improvise tools, blue jays plan ahead and moths remember living as caterpillars?
Animal Wise takes us on a captivating journey into the inner world of animals, from sharp-shooting archerfish to pods of dolphins that rumble like rival street gangs. A formidable storyteller, Virginia Morell transports us to field sites and laboratories around the world, introducing us to pioneering animal-cognition researchers and their surprisingly intelligent and sensitive subjects. She probes the moral and ethical dilemmas of recognising that even “lesser animals” have cognitive abilities such as memory, feelings, personality and self-awareness—traits that many in the twentieth century felt were unique to human beings. Animal Wise is in the same league as the works of Jane Goodall, Cynthia Moss and Jeffrey Masson.
Shortlisted, 2013 LA Times Book Prize for Science & Technology
‘After you read this book, you will be convinced that many different animal species have true thoughts and emotions. You will take a journey to the centre of the animal mind.’ —Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human
‘Morell passionately and consistently proves her point in this frequently fascinating study of animal behavior … [She] is a gifted writer with a deep knowledge base that never talks down to the reader or the academic community—no small feat.’ —Publishers Weekly
‘[A] delightful exploration of how animals think … Morell makes a fascinating, convincing case that even primitive animals give some thought to their actions.’ —Kirkus Reviews
‘By the end of this compelling book, you wonder why humans have taken so long to accept that our fellow animals ...