Animal Wise - May 2013 Big Ideas Book Club Book

Animal Wise - The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures


Did you know that dolphins are self-aware, rats love to be tickled, chimps grieve, killer whales have cultures and octopuses have personalities? Did you know that dogs have extensive vocabularies and birds practice songs in their sleep?

Animal Wise takes us on a dazzling exploration into the minds and emotions of animals, through the unusual and committed researchers who study them. Looking at insects, parrots, crows, blue jays, fish, rats, elephants, dolphins, chimpanzees, wolves and dogs, Morell examines the amazing inroads made in the field of animal cognition; the unique personalities of the pioneering researchers involved; the moral and ethical issues raised; and the dilemmas involving how we can accurately uncover animals’ cognitive abilities like memory, feelings, personality and self-awareness – traits that many in the 20th century felt were unique only to humans.

By standing behaviourism on its head, Morell brings the world of nature brilliantly alive in a nuanced, deeply-felt appreciation of the human–animal bond.

Virginia Morell is an acclaimed science journalist and author. She is a prolific contributor to National Geographic, Discover and Science, among other publications. She is also the author of Ancestral Passions, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Blue Nile; and coauthor with Richard Leakey of Wildlife Wars.

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  • Zack

    Hey all, sorry for the late cancellation. Would've been great to attend and hope to next time. Cheers

    May 29, 2013

  • Fiona

    I am really disappointed that I won't be able to make it after all. See you next month!

    May 27, 2013

  • Hunter

    Look forward to it. Will pop in for a copy of the book.

    1 · April 30, 2013

  • Dr George A.

    Ditto. Cracking out the book this weekend. Would be great to meet you Danika :)

    1 · April 27, 2013

  • Danika

    Excited to read the book, and look forward to meeting you all...

    1 · April 26, 2013

  • Dr George A.

    For our May book we are looking at animal cognition/psychology. Should be a great read. Join us!!

    March 23, 2013

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