308 pages, no illustrations
Groundbreaking research has been done teaching animals human language, but what about the other way around?
Studies have shown that lizards, squid, monkeys, and birds are talking to each other, communicating information about food, predators, squabbles, and petty jealousies. These animal languages are unique and highly adaptive. By exploring them, we come to appreciate the basis of our own languages; understanding or even "speaking" them allows us to get closer to the other species who inhabit this planet with us. The implications of animals having language are enormous. It has been one of the last bastions separating "us" from "them." In Chasing Doctor Dolittle, he posits that the difference is one of degree, not the vast intellectual chasm that philosophers have talked about for millennia.
Filled with meticulous research, vivid examples and daring conclusions, Chasing Doctor Dolittle will challenge the reader's assumptions and open up new possibilities of understanding our fellow creatures.
"Con Slobodchikoff has done some fantastic work on animal communication. His research on prairie dog language is mind-blowing."
– Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation
"Con Slobodchikoff is a highly respected scientist who is able to translate the results of groundbreaking scientific studies into a popular format that is easy for anyone without a scientific background to understand.Chasing Doctor Dolittleis written with clarity, persuasion, and singular authority. It is a wonderful, deeply insightful book."
– Jeffrey Masson, author of When Elephants Weep and Dogs Never Lie About Love
"Con Slobodchikoff has been studying the social behavior and language of prairie dogs for many years and and has shown clearly that these social, family-oriented rodents have one of the most complex communication systems among nonhuman animals who have been studied in detail. His popular writings call upon his vast research experience and they have an entertaining and easy-to-read style. Con is also able to simplify complicated ideas for non-scientists without losing their scientific validity. Chasing Doctor Dolittle will appeal to anyone who wants to learn more about the fascinating lives of many of the animals with whom we share our planet."
– Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals, Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals, and The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons For Expanding Our Compassion Footprint
"This is a revolutionary book. Con Slobodchikoff's well-reasoned arguments that animals have language are a breath of fresh air."
– Jonathan Balcombe, author of Pleasurable Kingdom and Second Nature
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Con Slobodchikoff is a professor of biology at Northern Arizona University and director of the Animal Language Institute.