Synopses & Reviews
A memoir by the worldand#8217;s leading dolphin and whale expert, revealing the extraordinary richness of these animalsand#8217; intelligence and exposing our terrible mistreatment of the smartest creatures in the sea.
For centuries, humans and dolphins have enjoyed a special relationship, evident not just in mythology and folklore but in many documented encounters. Some past cultures even worshipped dolphins and condemned anyone who killed or wounded of them. Yet in recent decades, a paradox: on the one hand, we have discovered extraordinary depths of dolphin intelligence and their emotional lives, to the point of glimpsing their self-consciousnessand#8212;on the other hand, in Japan, dolphins are slaughtered indiscriminately, and several nations keep them in cruel conditions.
Diana Reiss is one of the worldand#8217;s leading experts on dolphin intelligence who has helped lead the revolution in dolphin understanding for three decades. In addition, as an activist, she is a leading rescuer who helped inspire and served as an adviser for The Cove, and who continues to campaign against the annual Japanese slaughters. Here, she combines her science and activism to show us just how smart dolphins really are, and why we must stop mistreating them. Readers will be astonished at dolphinsand#8217; sonar capabilities; at their sophisticated, lifelong playfulness; at their emotional intelligence; and at their ability to bond with other species, including humans and even dogs! Her beloved companion dolphins, each with distinct personalities, create their own toys, type commands on a keyboard, tease and scold her playfully, and express their affection and delight. In Reissand#8217;s most famous experiments, she used a mirror to prove that dolphins are self-aware, and even self-conscious. The Dolphin in the Mirror is both a scientific revelation and a emotional eye-opener, revealing one of the greatest intelligences on Earth.
"Alex is the African gray parrot whose ability to master a vocabulary of more than 100 words and answer questions about the color, shape and number of objects garnered wide notice during his life as well as obituaries in worldwide media after his death in September 2007. Pepperberg, who teaches animal cognition, has previously documented the results of her 30-year relationship with Alex in The Alex Studies. While this book inevitably covers some of the same ground, it is a moving tribute that beautifully evokes 'the struggles, the initial triumphs, the setbacks, the unexpected and often stunning achievements' during a groundbreaking scientific endeavor spent 'uncovering cognitive abilities in Alex that no one believed were possible, and challenging science's deepest assumptions about the origin of human cognitive abilities.' Pepperberg deftly interweaves her own personal narrative including her struggles to gain recognition for her research with more intimate scenes of life with Alex than she was able to present in her earlier work, creating a story that scientists and laypeople can equally enjoy, if they can all keep from crying over Alex's untimely death." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[M]ovingly combines the scientific detail of a researcher...with the affectionate understanding that children...instinctively possess: that 'animals know more than we think, and think a great deal more than we know.'" Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
"Readers interested in how a scientist methodically goes about gathering data will find Alex & Me an intriguing look behind the scenes. But readers who are looking for a touching little love story get the better deal here." USA Today
"[A] nice companion to Pepperberg's more scientific writings." Library Journal
On September 6, 2007, an African Grey parrot named Alex died prematurely at age thirty-one. His last words to his owner, Irene Pepperberg, were "You be good. I love you."
What would normally be a quiet, very private event was, in Alex's case, headline news. Over the thirty years they had worked together, Alex and Irene had become famous two pioneers who opened an unprecedented window into the hidden yet vast world of animal minds. Alex's brain was the size of a shelled walnut, and when Irene and Alex first met, birds were not believed to possess any potential for language, consciousness, or anything remotely comparable to human intelligence. Yet, over the years, Alex proved many things. He could add. He could sound out words. He understood concepts like bigger, smaller, more, fewer, and none. He was capable of thought and intention. Together, Alex and Irene uncovered a startling reality: We live in a world populated by thinking, conscious creatures.
The fame that resulted was extraordinary. Yet there was a side to their relationship that never made the papers. They were emotionally connected to one another. They shared a deep bond far beyond science. Alex missed Irene when she was away. He was jealous when she paid attention to other parrots, or even people. He liked to show her who was boss. He loved to dance. He sometimes became bored by the repetition of his tests, and played jokes on her. Sometimes they sniped at each other. Yet nearly every day, they each said, "I love you."
Alex and Irene stayed together through thick and thin despite sneers from experts, extraordinary financial sacrifices, and a nomadic existence from one university to another. The story of their thirty-year adventure is equally a landmark of scientific achievement and of an unforgettable human-animal bond.
Alex & Me "is the remarkable true story of an extraordinary relationship between psychologist Irene M. Pepperberg and Alex, an African Grey parrot who proved scientists and accepted wisdom wrong by demonstrating an astonishing ability to communicate and understand complex ideas. A New York Times "bestseller and selected as one ofthe paper scritic s "Top Ten Books of the Year, Alex & Me "is much more that the story of an incredible scientific breakthrough. It s a poignant love story and an affectionate remembrance of Pepperberg s irascible, unforgettable, and always surprising best friend."
From Alex's first words to his sudden death, Alex & Me tells the story of a delightful and mischievous parrot who rocked the scientific establishment. Yet his real story can't be found in any science journal the story of a relationship, with its affection, jealousy, and lifelong rewards. 8-page photo insert.
Dolphins arenand#8217;t just beloved, they are brilliant and conscious. So why do we treat them so terribly? Diana Reiss is one of the worldand#8217;s leading experts on dolphin intelligence. In addition, as a dolphin advocate, she is a leading rescuer who helped inspire and served as an adviser for the Oscar-winning filmThe Cove.Here, she combines her science and activism to show just how smart dolphins really are and why we must stop mistreating them. Readers will be astonished at their sophisticated lifelong creativity and playfulness, their emotional intelligence, their level of self-awareness, and their ability to communicate with humans. Her beloved mentor dolphins (as she calls them), each with distinct personalities, create their own toys, use underwater keyboards, tease and scold her playfully, and give us glimpses of their intelligence that often seem very familiar.The Dolphin in the Mirroris both a scientific revelation and an emotional eye-opener, revealing one of the greatest intelligences on the planet.
Alex & Me is the remarkable true story of an extraordinary relationship between psychologist Irene M. Pepperberg and Alex, an African Grey parrot who proved scientists and accepted wisdom wrong by demonstrating an astonishing ability to communicate and understand complex ideas. A New York Times bestseller and selected as one of the papers critics Top Ten Books of the Year, Alex & Me is much more that the story of an incredible scientific breakthrough. Its a poignant love story and an affectionate remembrance of Pepperbergs irascible, unforgettable, and always surprising best friend.
A Hollywood hummingbird rehabber will do nearly anything to save these tiny, fragile creatures, and readers following her adventures will learn just how astonishing and heartwarming these birds can be.
A heartwarming account of the trials and triumphs a hummingbird rehabber encounters while caring for her tiny, fragile patients
Before he collided with a limousine, Gabriel, an Annaandrsquo;s hummingbird with a head and throat cloaked in iridescent magenta feathers, could spiral 130 feet in the air, dive 60 miles per hour in a courtship display, hover, and fly backward. When he arrived in rehab caked in road grime, he was so badly injured that he could barely perch. But Terry Masear, one of the busiest hummingbird rehabbers in the country, was determined to save this damaged bird, who seemed oddly familiar. During the four months that Terry worked with Gabriel, she took in 160 hummingbirds, from a miniature nestling rescued by a bulldog and a fledgling trapped inside a skydiving wind tunnel at Universal CityWalk, to Pepper, a female Annaandrsquo;s injured on a film set. In their time together, Pepper and Gabriel form a special bond and, together, with Terryandrsquo;s help, learn to fly again. Woven around Gabrielandrsquo;s and Pepperandrsquo;s stories are those of other colorful birds in this personal narrative filled with the science and magic surrounding these fascinating creatures.
The culmination of 35 years of research on dolphin and whale intelligence, The Dolphin in the Mirror is a journey inside the minds of both species and a plea that we treat them with the respect due to highly intelligent creatures.
The Dolphin in the Mirror is a memoir by the world's leading dolphin and whale expert, revealing both the extraordinary richness of their intelligence, and the often fatal consequences of their interactions with humans. It is both a journey inside the minds of these amazing creatures and a plea that we treat them with the respect they are due.
andquot;One comes away from Reissandrsquo;s book agreeing that andlsquo;dolphins are among the smartest creatures on the planetandrsquo; and that they merit not just our attention but our care and protection.andquot;andmdash;New York Times For centuries, humans and dolphins have enjoyed a special relationship, evident not just in mythology and folklore but in many documented encounters. Diana Reiss is one of the worldandrsquo;s leading experts on dolphin intelligence, and her decades of research and interactions with dolphins have made her a strong advocate for their global protection. In The Dolphin in the Mirror, Reiss combines her science and activism to show just how smart dolphins really are and why we must protect them. Dolphins are creative and self-aware, with distinct personalities and the ability to communicate with humans. They craft their own toys, use underwater keyboards, and live in complex societies in the seas. And yet some nations continue to slaughter them indiscriminately. This story of Reissandrsquo;s encounters and research with dolphins is both a scientific revelation and an emotional eye-opener, revealing one of the greatest intelligences on the planet and exposing our terrible mistreatment of the smartest creatures in the sea. andquot;Reiss has managed no small featandmdash;synthesizing personal experience, descriptive material, and scientific fact . . . No one reading this book could possibly remain untouched by the beauty and intelligence of these powerful mammals of the sea.andquot;andmdash;Irene Pepperberg, author of Alex and Me andquot;Reiss fills the book with such intriguing tales and with the science behind themandhellip; Reiss is passionate about her science, but she is passionate about her subjects as well.andquot;andmdash;The Tampa Bay Times
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.
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.
About the Author
Dr. Diana Reiss is Professor in the Psychology Department at Hunter College and in the Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Program of The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She directs the Dolphin Research Program at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. She is also adjunct faculty in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University, and she served as a member of the Animal Welfare Committee of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Her research focuses on dolphin cognition and communication, comparative animal cognition, and the evolution of intelligence. She has authored papers published in numerous international scientific journals and book chapters and her work has been featured in many television science programs. She has authored papers published in numerous international scientific journals and book chapters and her work has been featured in many television science programs.
Table of Contents
1.and#8194;The Dog Who Knows a Thousand Wordsand#8195;1
3.and#8194;Christmas in Juneand#8195;26
4.and#8194;Let the Puppy Be a Puppyand#8195;36
5.and#8194;and#8220;Youand#8217;ve Got to Name Her Chaser!and#8221;and#8195;52
6.and#8194;Chaser Learns What Not To Chaseand#8195;63
7.and#8194;Listening to the Farmerand#8195;73
8.and#8194;Learning by Playingand#8195;89
14.and#8194;Chaser Takes a Bowand#8195;167
15.and#8194;Chaser Goes to Washingtonand#8195;193
16.and#8194;Expanding the Conversationand#8195;209
Epilogue: Unleashing Chaserand#8217;s Geniusand#8195;229