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Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--And Formed a Deep Bond in the Process

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Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--And Formed a Deep Bond in the Process Cover

ISBN13: 9780061673986
ISBN10: 0061673986
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

andldquo;Jans is an exceptional storytellerandmdash;no nature writer can top him in terms of sheer emotional force.andrdquo; andmdash;New York Times

and#160;

A Wolf Called Romeo is the true story of the exceptional black wolf who spent seven years interacting with the people and dogs of Juneau, Alaska, living on the edges of their community, engaging in an improbable, awe-inspiring interspecies dance, and bringing the wild into sharp focus.

and#160;

When Romeo first appeared, author Nick Jans and the other citizens of Juneau were wary, but as Romeo began to tag along with cross-country skiers on their daily jaunts, play fetch alongside local dogs, or simply lie near Nick and nap under the sun on a quiet afternoon, Nick and the rest of Juneau came to accept Romeo, and he them. Part memoir, part moving animal narrative, part foray into the mystique, lore, science, and history of the wolf, A Wolf Called Romeo is a book no animal lover should miss.

and#160;

andldquo;Beautifully written, A Wolf Called Romeo is a thoughtful and moving story about one of natureandrsquo;s most evocative animals.andrdquo; andmdash;Patricia McConnell, author of The Other End of the Leash

and#160;

andldquo;Jans is a perfect narrator for this story. Heandrsquo;s deeply knowledgeable about the Alaskan wilderness and he evokes its harsh beauties in powerful and poetic prose . . . A tingling reminder of the basic bond that occasionally spans the space between two species.andrdquo; andmdash;Christian Science Monitor

and#160;

NICK JANS is an award-winning writer, photographer, and author of numerous books, including The Grizzly Maze. He is a contributing editor to Alaska magazine and has written for a variety of publications, including Rolling Stone and the Christian Science Monitor.

Synopsis:

The amazing story of a very smart Border collie who is redefining animal intelligence.

Synopsis:

True tale of a remarkable, seven-year friendship between a wild, oddly gentle black wolf and the people and dogs of Juneau, Alaska.

Synopsis:

This is a fascinating and moving account of a remarkable community of chimpanzees who gradually learn to become chimps again after spending years in research laboratories.and#160; Brimming with empathy and touching stories, this book makes us question just what we owe to the animals who are our nearest genetic relations.

Synopsis:

The heartwarming and amazing story of Chaser, a Border Collie who has learned the names of over 1,000 objects, and her octogenarian trainer, exploring the true potential of animal intelligence and the ways in which any dog lover could achieve similar results.

Synopsis:

A New York Times Bestseller

The amazing story of a very smart Border collie who is redefining animal intelligence.

Chaser has a way with words. She knows over a thousand of themandmdash;more than any other animal of any species except humans. In addition to common nouns like house, ball, and tree, she has memorized the names of more than one thousand toys and can retrieve any of them on command. Based on that learning, she and her owner and trainer, retired psychologist John Pilley, have moved on to further impressive feats, demonstrating her ability to understand sentences with multiple elements of grammar and to learn new behaviors by imitation.

Johnandrsquo;s ingenuity and tenacity as a researcher are as impressive as Chaserandrsquo;s accomplishments. His groundbreaking approach has opened the door to a new understanding of animal intelligence, one that requires us to reconsider what actually goes on in a dogandrsquo;s mind. Chaserandrsquo;s achievements reveal her use of deductive reasoning and complex problem-solving skills to address novel challenges.

Yet astonishingly, Chaser isnandrsquo;t unique. Johnandrsquo;s training methods can be adopted by any dog lover. Through the poignant story of how he trained Chaser, raised her as a member of the Pilley family, and proved her abilities to the scientific community, he reveals the positive impact of incorporating learning into play and more effectively channeling a dogandrsquo;s natural drives.

Johnandrsquo;s work with Chaser offers a fresh perspective on whatandrsquo;s possible in the relationship between a dog and a human. His story points us toward a new way of relating to our canine companions that takes into account our evolving understanding of the way animals and humans learn.

Synopsis:

and#8220;Astonishing . . . Moving.and#8221; and#8212;People

and#8220;The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary is an unflinching, visceral look at the emotional and physical damageand#8212;actual, real damage done to specific, individual apesand#8212;in some of Americaand#8217;s most notorious biomedical research labs. It is also the story of humans who were driven to provide them with refuge, retirement . . . and, ultimately, their inherent right to dignity.and#8221; and#8212;Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants

IN THE CANADIAN WILDERNESS, Gloria Grow has created a rehabilitation center like none other. Thirteen chimpanzees, rescued from zoos and medical testing laboratories, now call Fauna Sanctuary home. After decades of cruelty and deprivation, these resilient primates are finally free to eat, sleep, play, and roam in peaceand#8212;all while fighting their personal demons. Primatologist and author Andrew Westoll lived and worked at Fauna one remarkable summer, and The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary is his poignant testimony to the capacity of these animals to healand#8212;and to learn to be chimps again. This is an absorbing, bighearted story about the species more closely related to us than any other.

and#8220;There is plenty of moral outrage in this book, but there is also plenty of wonder . . . Impassioned and well reasoned.and#8221; and#8212;Cleveland Plain Dealer

About the Author

Irene M. Pepperberg is an associate research professor at Brandeis University in Massachusetts and teaches animal cognition at Harvard University. She is head of the Alex Foundation and author of The Alex Studies: Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Chimphouse Floor Plan xi

1. Full-Moon Week 1

2. Zihuatanejo, Quebec 15

3. Our Disquieting Doubles 35

4. Blueprints of a Dream 51

5. The Cage Hospital 65

6. Toby and the Hoodlums 82

7. Operation Cucarachas 115

8. Tales from the Campfi re 129

9. The Pressure Washer 145

10. Inner Sanctuary 171

11. War Memorials 193

12. The Haunted 224

13. The End of an Era 248

Afterword 259

How You Can Help the Chimps 263

Further Reading 265

Acknowledgments 267

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

gaby317, November 29, 2009 (view all comments by gaby317)
In June 1977, we drove to Noah's Ark, a pet store near O'Hare Airport in Chicago to pick out my own Grey parrot. I had been in touch with the bird department director of Noah's Ark several times in the previous few months, and knew they had been bred in captivity...The bird director greeted us and showed us where the Greys were, a big cage with eight birds, all about a year old. "Which one would you like?" he said, looking at me.

I shrugged, because I didn't know how to choose. In any case, I reasoned that because I was embarking on a scientific study that should reflect the cognitive abilities of Greys in general, I thought it best to have one chosen at random. "Why don't you select one for me?" I said.

"OK," he replied, and picked up a net, opened the cage door, and scooped up the most conveniet bird he could reach. He flipped the bird on its back on a table, clipped its wings, claws, and beak, and popped it into a small box. Very unceremonious."
-Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence - and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process by Irene M. Pepperberg

So begins the 30 year friendship and professional relationship that changes Irene Pepperberg's life and the world's understanding of the cognitive and communication abilities of birds (and by association non-mammals).

In Alex & Me, Irene Pepperberg reads as part memoir and part a glimpse into her research. Irene shares what it was like for her from when she receives her first pet at four-years old, and bonds with a bird to her experience as one of the first young women in the hard sciences at MIT and Harvard in the 1960s and 1970s. Although Irene obtained her doctorate was in theoretical chemistry, she discovered and was drawn to the study of animal minds, animal thinking, and communication. While at Harvard, Irene fell in love and married a fellow graduate student. When her husband was offered a teaching position at Purdue, Irene accompanied him and tried to find financial and professional support for her research into the cognitive and communication skills of Grey parrots.

She had no inkling of how much Alex and their work together experience would shape the next thirty years of her life and how they would change the world's understanding of the complexity and ability of a "bird's brain."

The story of Alex & Me is also a story of deep friendship and the amazing bird that is Alex. I had no understanding of how much a bird could understand or process, but reading about Irene and her colleagues' experiences with Alex and the other Grey parrots makes you realize how amazing animals are. Alex and his colleagues are socialized and deal with people for hours each day and form close personal bonds and make themselves understood. I can't help but wonder about the other animals around us that must be able to comprehend much more than we'd given them credit for.

Alex & Me is an amazing and touching book and the stories of both Irene Pepperberg and Alex will surely stay in your thoughts long after you've finished the book.

Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 1, 2009), 288 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher and TLC Book Tours.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061673986
Subtitle:
Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words
Author:
Pepperberg, Irene
Author:
Andrew Westoll
Author:
Hinzmann, Hilary
Author:
Pilley, John W
Author:
Pepperberg, Irene M.
Author:
Jans, Nick
Author:
Reiss, Diana
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Subject:
Birds
Subject:
Birds & Birdwatching - General
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Life Sciences - Zoology - Ornithology
Subject:
Human-animal relationships
Subject:
Animal communication
Subject:
Marine Life
Subject:
PETS / General
Subject:
General Pets
Subject:
Dogs - General
Subject:
dogs;dog training;animal cognition;pet care;behavioral science;animal intelligen
Subject:
chimpanzees;Fauna Sanctuary;great apes;laboratories;biomedical research;refuge;a
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20131029
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
One 8-page color insert; 16 photos
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

» History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Featured Titles
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» Pets » Birds » Parrots
» Pets » General
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» Pets » Pet Tales
» Reference » Science Reference » General
» Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
» Science and Mathematics » Biology » Zoology » Ornithology
» Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Animal Rights
» Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Animal Rights
» Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Zoology
» Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » Conservation and Animal Rights

Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--And Formed a Deep Bond in the Process Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Harper Paperbacks - English 9780061673986 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The amazing story of a very smart Border collie who is redefining animal intelligence.
"Synopsis" by , True tale of a remarkable, seven-year friendship between a wild, oddly gentle black wolf and the people and dogs of Juneau, Alaska.
"Synopsis" by , This is a fascinating and moving account of a remarkable community of chimpanzees who gradually learn to become chimps again after spending years in research laboratories.and#160; Brimming with empathy and touching stories, this book makes us question just what we owe to the animals who are our nearest genetic relations.
"Synopsis" by , The heartwarming and amazing story of Chaser, a Border Collie who has learned the names of over 1,000 objects, and her octogenarian trainer, exploring the true potential of animal intelligence and the ways in which any dog lover could achieve similar results.
"Synopsis" by ,
A New York Times Bestseller

The amazing story of a very smart Border collie who is redefining animal intelligence.

Chaser has a way with words. She knows over a thousand of themandmdash;more than any other animal of any species except humans. In addition to common nouns like house, ball, and tree, she has memorized the names of more than one thousand toys and can retrieve any of them on command. Based on that learning, she and her owner and trainer, retired psychologist John Pilley, have moved on to further impressive feats, demonstrating her ability to understand sentences with multiple elements of grammar and to learn new behaviors by imitation.

Johnandrsquo;s ingenuity and tenacity as a researcher are as impressive as Chaserandrsquo;s accomplishments. His groundbreaking approach has opened the door to a new understanding of animal intelligence, one that requires us to reconsider what actually goes on in a dogandrsquo;s mind. Chaserandrsquo;s achievements reveal her use of deductive reasoning and complex problem-solving skills to address novel challenges.

Yet astonishingly, Chaser isnandrsquo;t unique. Johnandrsquo;s training methods can be adopted by any dog lover. Through the poignant story of how he trained Chaser, raised her as a member of the Pilley family, and proved her abilities to the scientific community, he reveals the positive impact of incorporating learning into play and more effectively channeling a dogandrsquo;s natural drives.

Johnandrsquo;s work with Chaser offers a fresh perspective on whatandrsquo;s possible in the relationship between a dog and a human. His story points us toward a new way of relating to our canine companions that takes into account our evolving understanding of the way animals and humans learn.

"Synopsis" by ,
and#8220;Astonishing . . . Moving.and#8221; and#8212;People

and#8220;The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary is an unflinching, visceral look at the emotional and physical damageand#8212;actual, real damage done to specific, individual apesand#8212;in some of Americaand#8217;s most notorious biomedical research labs. It is also the story of humans who were driven to provide them with refuge, retirement . . . and, ultimately, their inherent right to dignity.and#8221; and#8212;Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants

IN THE CANADIAN WILDERNESS, Gloria Grow has created a rehabilitation center like none other. Thirteen chimpanzees, rescued from zoos and medical testing laboratories, now call Fauna Sanctuary home. After decades of cruelty and deprivation, these resilient primates are finally free to eat, sleep, play, and roam in peaceand#8212;all while fighting their personal demons. Primatologist and author Andrew Westoll lived and worked at Fauna one remarkable summer, and The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary is his poignant testimony to the capacity of these animals to healand#8212;and to learn to be chimps again. This is an absorbing, bighearted story about the species more closely related to us than any other.

and#8220;There is plenty of moral outrage in this book, but there is also plenty of wonder . . . Impassioned and well reasoned.and#8221; and#8212;Cleveland Plain Dealer

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