Elephants have fascinated humans for millennia. Aristotle wrote of them with awe; Hannibal used them in warfare; and John Donne called the elephant “Nature’s greatest masterpiece. . . . The only harmless great thing.” Their ivory has been sought after and treasured in most cultures, and they have delighted zoo and circus audiences worldwide for centuries. But it wasn’t until the second half of the twentieth century that people started to take an interest in elephants in the wild, and some of the most important studies of these intelligent giants have been conducted at Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
The Amboseli Elephants is the long-awaited summation of what’s been learned from the Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP)—the longest continuously running elephant research project in the world. Cynthia J. Moss and Harvey Croze, the founders of the AERP, and Phyllis C. Lee, who has been closely involved with the project since 1982, compile more than three decades of uninterrupted study of over 2,500 individual elephants, from newborn calves to adult bulls to old matriarchs in their 60s. Chapters explore such topics as elephant ecosystems, genetics, communication, social behavior, and reproduction, as well as exciting new developments from the study of elephant minds and cognition. The book closes with a view to the future, making important arguments for the ethical treatment of elephants and suggestions to aid in their conservation.
The most comprehensive account of elephants in their natural environment to date, The Amboseli Elephants will be an invaluable resource for scientists, conservationists, and anyone interested in the lives and loves of these extraordinary creatures.
Baboon Mothers and Infants
Jeanne Altmann University of Chicago Press, 2001 Library of Congress QL737.P93A39 2001 | Dewey Decimal 599.865
When it was originally released in 1980, Jeanne Altmann's book transformed the study of maternal primate relationships by focusing on motherhood and infancy within a complex ecological and sociological context. Available again with a new foreword by the author, Baboon Mothers and Infants is a classic book that has been, in its own right, a mother to a generation of influential research and will no doubt provide further inspiration.
Cynthia Moss has studied the elephants in Kenya's Amboseli National Park for over twenty-seven years. Her long-term research has revealed much of what we now know about these complex and intelligent animals. Here she chronicles the lives of the members of the T families led by matriarchs Teresia, Slit Ear, Torn Ear, Tania, and Tuskless. With a new afterword catching up on the families and covering current conservation issues, Moss's story will continue to fascinate animal lovers.
"One is soon swept away by this 'Babar' for adults. By the end, one even begins to feel an aversion for people. One wants to curse human civilization and cry out, 'Now God stand up for the elephants!'"—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times
"Moss speaks to the general reader, with charm as well as scientific authority. . . . [An] elegantly written and ingeniously structured account." —Raymond Sokolov, Wall Street Journal
"Moss tells the story in a style so conversational . . . that I felt like a privileged visitor riding beside her in her rickety Land-Rover as she showed me around the park." —Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, New York Times Book Review
"A prose-poem celebrating a species from which we could learn some moral as well as zoological lessons." —Chicago Tribune
Cheney and Seyfarth enter the minds of vervet monkeys and other primates to explore the nature of primate intelligence and the evolution of cognition.
"This reviewer had to be restrained from stopping people in the street to urge them to read it: They would learn something of the way science is done, something about how monkeys see their world, and something about themselves, the mental models they inhabit."—Roger Lewin, Washington Post Book World
"A fascinating intellectual odyssey and a superb summary of where science stands."—Geoffrey Cowley, Newsweek
"A once-in-the-history-of-science enterprise."—Duane M. Rumbaugh, Quarterly Review of Biology