477 pages, 16 plates with b/w photos; b/w maps
In a world where we usually measure animals by human standards, prize-winning author and MacArthur Fellow Carl Safina takes us inside their lives and minds, witnessing their profound capacity for perception, thought and emotion, showing why the word "it" is often inappropriate as we discover who they really are.
Weaving decades of observations of actual families of free-living creatures with new discoveries about brain functioning, Carl Safina's narrative breaches many commonly held boundaries between humans and other animals. In Beyond Words, readers travel the wilds of Africa to visit some of the last great elephant gatherings, then follow wolves of Yellowstone National Park sort out the aftermath of their personal tragedy, then plunge into the astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in waters of the Pacific Northwest. We spend quality time, too, with dogs and falcons and ravens; and consider how the human mind originated.
In his wise and passionate new book, Safina delivers a graceful examination of how animals truly think and feel, which calls to question what really does – and what should – make us human.
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Carl Safina is author of six books, including Song for the Blue Ocean, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Eye of the Albatross, Voyage of the Turtle, and The View From Lazy Point. Safina is founding president of Blue Ocean Institute at Stony Brook University, where he also co-chairs the University's Center for Communicating Science.