Who are we? What do we value? How do we live here?
Guided by parents, carers, teachers and siblings, we learn to answer these questions as we grow up. But it's not just us. Many animals must learn to answer them too.
In Becoming Wild, Carl Safina reveals that culture, long thought exclusive to humankind, is abundant in the animal kingdom. Sperm whales in the Caribbean communicate through a system of clicks akin to Morse code, announcing which clan they belong to, which family and who they are individually. Among chimpanzees the obsession with male status may guarantee violence, even war, but they also have many ways to quell tensions.
As Safina shows, the better we understand the animals with whom we share this planet, the less different from us they seem.
Carl Safina is an award-winning science writer whose previous books include Song for the Blue Ocean and Beyond Words. He has written for the Guardian, New York Times, TIME and National Geographic, among others. He is the first Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University, and founding president of the not-for-profit Safina Center. He lives on Long Island, New York, with his wife Patricia and their dogs and feathered friends.
"'Eloquent [...] This revelatory work sheds as much light on what it means to be human as it does on the nature of other species."
– Publishers Weekly
"Dr. Safina is a terrific writer, majestic and puckish in equal measure."
– New York Times
"[Safina] is a font of research, his wonder contagious."