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Animal Architects: Building and the Evolution of Intelligence

By: James L Gould and Carol Grant Gould

324 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations

Basic Books

Paperback | Mar 2012 | #196239 | ISBN-13: 9780465028382
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £11.99 $16/€14 approx
Hardback | Apr 2007 | #165199 | ISBN-13: 9780465027828
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £17.99 $24/€20 approx

About this book

Examines animal architecture across a range of species, from those whose blueprints are largely innate (such as spiders and their webs) to those whose challenging structures seem to require intellectual insight, planning, and even aesthetics (such as birds' nests, or beavers' dams). Beginning with instinct and the simple homes of solitary insects, James and Carol Gould move on to conditioning; the "cognitive map" and how it evolved; and the role of planning and insight. Finally, they reflect on what animal building tells us about the nature of human intelligence--showing why humans, unlike many animals, need to build their castles in the air.

A notable achievement... highly readable... Animal constructions are fascinating, and the authors provide some useful insights into them.
- Nature

"One of the best popular science books of recent years."
- The Spectator

"In 'Animal Architects', James R Gould and Carol Grant Gould beautifully describe some of the architectural wonders of the animal kingdom...there is no doubt that the Goulds succeed in... captivating the reader with their enthusiasm and encyclopaedic knowledge of the biology of building."
- Times Literary Supplement

"The story of this amazing and beautifully written little book is one of humans very gradually, and only through gritted teeth, admitting that other animals, down to the apparently humblest insects, are more intelligent than was ever suspected."
- Guardian

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James L. Gould is Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University and one of the world's leading experts in animal behavior. His books include "Ethology: The Mechanisms and Evolution of Behavior", the leading textbook on its subject; and the last three editions of William T. Keeton's "Biological Science", one of the leading introductory textbooks of biology for undergraduates. With Carol Grant Gould he was written "The Animal Mind" and "The Honey Bee", both considered classic books on animal behavior for lay audiences. They live in Princeton, New Jersey.

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