Songs, Roars, and Rituals: Communication in Birds, Mammals, and Other Animals

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9780674008274: Songs, Roars, and Rituals: Communication in Birds, Mammals, and Other Animals

From the calling macaw and the roaring lion to the dancing lyrebird, animals all around us can be heard and seen communicating with each other and, occasionally, with us. Why they do so, what their utterances mean, and how much we know about them are the subject of Songs, Roars, and Rituals. This is a concise, yet comprehensive, introduction to the complexities of communication in animals.

Rogers and Kaplan take us on an exciting journey through communication in the animal world, offering insights on how animals communicate by sight, sound, smell, touch, and even electrical signaling. They explore a wide variety of communication patterns in many species of mammals and birds and discuss in detail how communication signals evolved, how they are learned, and what song and mimicry may mean.

An up-to-date account of the science of animal communication, this book also considers modern concepts (such as that of deceptive communication) and modern controversies, primarily those surrounding the evolution of human language and the use of symbolic language by apes. It concludes with a thought-provoking look at the future of communication between humans and animals.

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About the Author:

Lesley J. Rogers is a full professor at the University of New England, Armidale, Australia.

Gisela Kaplan is a full professor at the University of New England, Armidale, Australia.

Review:

A well-written survey of what is known about communication in animals (mostly birds and mammals) in eight concise chapters...As a primer to an exciting field of animal behavior, this eminently readable account succeeds in thoroughly engaging the reader.
--Nancy Bent (Booklist)

An accessible, non-technical volume on what all that growling, twittering, snorting and feather-ruffling actually signifies...While often startling, the book also leaves the reader warming to more unfluffy species, supporting the authors' subtext that all animals are worthy of our protection...This volume won't make you Dr. Dolittle, but it will make you question some preconceptions.
--Stephen McCarty (South China Morning Post)

Songs, Roars, and Rituals...is a hard book to dislike. Rogers and Kaplan have an appealing writing style that rolls along with just the right ration of anecdote to theory. They make reference to a wide variety of birds and mammals from every continent...richly laden with examples of animal communication that clarify the definitions being offered...Rogers and Kaplan draw some tricky theoretical distinctions very well...entertaining and elucidative.
--Clive Wynne (American Scientist 2001-01-01)

From the cat's meow to the bowerbird's bright-blue nest, animals constantly and variously exchange information...[The authors] have written an accessible, consistently absorbing and scientifically scrupulous survey of how animals send signals and of what evolutionary theory tells us about how they came to do so. (Publishers Weekly)

Rogers and Kaplan have written an introductory work that sets the table for a range of important topics: signaling and its importance, communication in birds and mammals, the ontogeny of communication, the evolution of communication, and animal-human contacts...The authors, throughout, make a strong case for the ethical treatment of animals, using communication as a property humans share that blurs the line between human superiority and animals' subordinate status...A welcome addition.
--H.N. Cunningham, Jr. (Choice 2001-04-01)

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Rogers, Lesley J.; Kaplan, Gisela
Published by Harvard University Press (2002)
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