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A gorilla shrewdly sells back a missing key chain to the highest bidder. An orangutan picks a lock to let himself out of his zoo enclosure and two elephants adopt a tag-team strategy to keep their handlers from putting them back into theirs.
In The Parrot's Lament, noted environmentalist Eugene Linden offers more than one hundred true anecdotes about animal acts of cooperation, heroism, escape—even tales of deception or manipulation of human beings. Drawing on the first-person experiences of veterinarians, field biologists, researchers, and trainers, Linden has compiled a warmly entertaining and powerfully persuasive argument for animal consciousness that, while not human, far exceeds what humans usually grant animals.
Scientifically sound and emotionally compelling, The Parrot's Lament contains remarkable stories that are sure to resonate with animal lovers, turning skeptics everywhere into believers.
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When Eugene Linden was writing The Parrot's Lament--a book subtitled "And Other True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity"--he enjoyed joking around with his 2-year-old daughter Sofia. "Are you a rutabaga?" "I'm not a rutabaga!" she would giggle. "Are you a waterbug?" "I'm not a waterbug!" Soon, Sofia learned to riff off her father's teasing: "I'm not a rutabaga; Daddy is a rutabaga!" or the truly insightful, "I'm not a rutabaga; the baby is a rutabaga. I'm a waterbug!"
As a passionate and accomplished student of animal intelligence since the '70s, Linden--of course--couldn't resist comparing Sofia's reasoning to that of an ape, puzzling over the cognitive cusp upon which she teetered. And it's this affectionate but knowledgeable analysis, the gentle transition from rutabagas to metacognition and emergent symbolic ability, that makes The Parrot's Lament so satisfying, sentimental but still scientifically solid. The science of consciousness and animal intelligence is contentious, but many in the field--Linden included--deeply suspect that animals know more than we can verify. Linden lays down the science with clarity and good humor, but he leaves it to his animal coauthors, the amorous dolphins, escape-artist orangs, enigmatic cats, and lying hyenas that populate the book's scores of anecdotes, to make his argument. --Paul HughesAbout the Author:
Eugene Linden is an award-winning journalist and the author of The Parrot’s Lament, The Future in Plain Sight, Silent Partners, and other books on animals and the environment. He has consulted for the U.S. State Department, the UN Development Program, and he is a widely traveled speaker and lecturer. In 2001, Yale University named Linden a Poynter Fellow in recognition of his writing on the environment. He lives in Nyack, New York, and Washington, D.C.
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Book Description SOUVENIR PRESS LTD, 2000. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0285635603