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Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death

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Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Bernd Heinrich is one of the finest naturalists of our time. Life Everlasting shines with the authenticity and originality that are unique to a life devoted to natural history in the field.”—Edward O. Wilson, author of The Future of Life and The Social Conquest of Earth

How does the animal world deal with death? And what ecological and spiritual lessons can we learn from examining this? Bernd Heinrich has long been fascinated by these questions, and when a good friend with a terminal illness asked if he might have his “green burial” at Heinrich’s hunting camp in Maine, it inspired the acclaimed biologist and author to investigate. Life Everlasting is the fruit of those investigations, illuminating what happens to animals great and small after death.

From beetles to bald eagles, ravens to wolves, Heinrich reveals the fascinating and mostly hidden post-death world that occurs around us constantly, while examining the ancient and important role we too play as scavengers, connecting death to life.

"Despite focusing on death and decay, Life Everlasting is far from morbid; instead, it is life-affirming . . . convincing the reader that physical demise is not an end to life, but an opportunity for renewal."—Nature

“A worldwide tour of the role of death in nature that is consistently fascinating and fun to read.”—Seattle Times

Synopsis:

Bernd Heinrich receives a letter from a severely ill friend asking if he might have a "green burial" at Heinrich's hunting camp, and the acclaimed biologist/author sets out to explore exactly how the animal world deals with the death-to-life cycle and what we can learn from the process, both ecologically and spiritually.

Synopsis:

From one of the finest naturalist/writers of our time, a fascinating investigation of Natures inspiring death-to-life cycle

When a good friend with a severe illness wrote, asking if he might have his “green burial” at Bernd Heinrichs hunting camp in Maine, it inspired the acclaimed biologist to investigate a subject that had long fascinated him. How exactly does the animal world deal with the flip side of the life cycle? And what are the lessons, ecological to spiritual, raised by a close look at how the animal world renews itself? Heinrich focuses his wholly original gaze on the fascinating doings of creatures most of us would otherwise turn away from—field mouse burials conducted by carrion beetles; the communication strategies of ravens, “the premier northern undertakers”; and the “inadvertent teamwork” among wolves and large cats, foxes and weasels, bald eagles and nuthatches in cold-weather dispersal of prey. Heinrich reveals, too, how and where humans still play our ancient and important role as scavengers, thereby turning—not dust to dust—but life to life.

About the Author

Bernd Heinrich is an acclaimed scientist and the author of numerous award-winning books, including the bestselling The Mind of the Raven, Why We Run, and Winter World. He is a frequent contributor to national media, and professor emeritus of biology at the University of Vermont.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

I. SMALL TO LARGE

Beetles That Bury Mice 3

Sendoff for a Deer 21

The Ultimate Recycler: Remaking the World 37

II. NORTH TO SOUTH

Northern Winter: For the Birds 59

The Vulture Crowd 75

III. PLANT UNDERTAKERS

Trees of Life 99

Dung Eaters 127

IV. WATERY DEATHS

Salmon Death-into-Life 147

Other Worlds 153

V. CHANGES

Metamorphosis into a New Life and Lives 169

Beliefs, Burials, and Life Everlasting 179

Acknowledgments 193

Further Reading 195

Index 213

Product Details

ISBN:
9780544002265
Subtitle:
The Animal Way of Death
Author:
Heinrich, Bernd
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Subject:
Animals
Subject:
Nature Studies-Zoology
Subject:
Environmental Studies-Environment
Edition Description:
Cloth
Publication Date:
20130604
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb

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Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Mariner Books - English 9780544002265 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Bernd Heinrich receives a letter from a severely ill friend asking if he might have a "green burial" at Heinrich's hunting camp, and the acclaimed biologist/author sets out to explore exactly how the animal world deals with the death-to-life cycle and what we can learn from the process, both ecologically and spiritually.
"Synopsis" by ,
From one of the finest naturalist/writers of our time, a fascinating investigation of Natures inspiring death-to-life cycle

When a good friend with a severe illness wrote, asking if he might have his “green burial” at Bernd Heinrichs hunting camp in Maine, it inspired the acclaimed biologist to investigate a subject that had long fascinated him. How exactly does the animal world deal with the flip side of the life cycle? And what are the lessons, ecological to spiritual, raised by a close look at how the animal world renews itself? Heinrich focuses his wholly original gaze on the fascinating doings of creatures most of us would otherwise turn away from—field mouse burials conducted by carrion beetles; the communication strategies of ravens, “the premier northern undertakers”; and the “inadvertent teamwork” among wolves and large cats, foxes and weasels, bald eagles and nuthatches in cold-weather dispersal of prey. Heinrich reveals, too, how and where humans still play our ancient and important role as scavengers, thereby turning—not dust to dust—but life to life.

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