Science writer Morell (Ancestral Passions) debunks the behaviorism theory that animals, as a lower life form, rely solely on instinct for survival. Using scientific studies and reported observations, Morell presents a compelling argument that demonstrates that animals from ants to elephants have and use cognitive abilities including intelligence, memories, feelings, and self-awareness. Unfazed by scientific jargon, Kirsten Potter's evenly paced speech expresses Morell's awe and wonder at the animal world. The fascinating subject matter makes this a nice complement to narrower titles such as Lawrence Anthony's Elephant Whisperer and Amy Stewart's The Earth Moved. VERDICT Will appeal to those interested in animals and nature.--Laurie Selwyn, formerly at Grayson Cty. Law Lib., Sherman, TX[Page 50]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Morrell takes listeners on a tour the animal kingdom from ants and fish to elephants and chimps, exploring the wide range of research that shows the common traits humans share with animals, and rectifying common misconceptions about animal intelligence or the lack thereof. With an air of authority and a hint of sternness, Kristen Potter captures the tone and style of Morrell exceptionally well. Potter's straight and serious reading doesn't provide room for humor--instead she urges listeners to seriously consider the complexity of animals and the ways in which they are similar to human beings. Potter's deliberate tone makes it easy to listen to the book's complex information. And the narrator's congenial and conversational manner matches that of Morrell's prose, capturing and maintaining listener attention from beginning to end. A Crown hardcover. (Feb.)[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC