Books  Mammals  Insectivores to Ungulates  Elephants 

Elephant Reflections

Art / Photobook

By: Karl Ammann(Illustrator), Dale Peterson(Author)

272 pages, colour photos

University of California Press

Hardback | Apr 2009 | #178084 | ISBN-13: 9780520253773
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £29.99 $39/€34 approx

About this book

Elephant Reflections brings award-winning wildlife photographer Karl Ammann's gorgeous images together with a revelatory text by writer Dale Peterson to illuminate one of nature's greatest and most original works of art: the elephant. The photographs move from the purely aesthetic to the informative, depicting animals who are at once enigmatic, individual, mysterious, elusive, and iconic.

In riveting prose, Peterson introduces the work of field scientists in Africa and explains their recent astonishing discoveries. He then explores the natural history and conservation status of African elephants and discusses the politics of ivory. Elephant Reflections is a book that could change the way the world thinks about elephants while we still have some measure of control over their fate.

"A revelatory collection of photos and text on elephants [...] Peterson's awe and affection for the creatures is contagious."
– Starred Review – Publishers Weekly

"Revelatory text [...] Photographs (that) move from purely aesthetic to informative, depicting animals that are at once enigmatic, individual and iconic."
Wildlife Conservation Magazine

"A bountiful pictorial feast for the eye."
Deseret News

"A thing of beauty. [...] High-quality photographs are joined with strong prose and a passion for the subject matter."

"Combines the extraordinary images of award-winning photographer Karl Ammann with the compelling writing of Dale Peterson."
National Wildlife

"This gorgeous book [...] will convince you that the elephant is one of nature's greatest and most original works."
Scientific American

"A vivid portrait of elephants in the wild."

"This is a stunning book, combining Dale Peterson's lucid, compelling writing with Karl Ammann's magnificent photographs. It is the best ever book about that most majestic of animals, highlighting the elephants' intelligence, love of family and delight in the good things of life. The ideal book for anyone who loves animals, nature, and the wonder of creation."
– Jane Goodall, Founder of The Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace

"Elephant Reflections is a seamless and breathtaking blend of mind-boggling photos and compelling prose. This book will make a significant difference in how these passionate beings are understood, appreciated, and treated in the future. Read it carefully with an open heart, share it widely, and most importantly, do something to improve the dismal plight of these sentient giants."
– Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals

"This book is beautifully written and illustrated; its prose colorful, precise, and hard-hitting; and its images spectacular. By portraying elephants as compassionate, socially conscious mammals with the social finesse to understand precisely what's happening when their immediate and/or extended family are killed, it challenges old notions. African elephants may well be experiencing their most imperiled time in history. This book goes a long way towards helping us appreciate the complex ramifications of that fate."
– Samuel K. Wasser, Director, University of Washington Center for Conservation Biology

"Peterson and Amman's intimate portrait beautifully captures elephant relationships with each other, with people, and with their sensuous tropical world. This graceful elegy shows why elephants have always inspired awe, and how much we have learned recently about their societies and their minds. It provides the kind of inspiration that might just keep them on the planet."
– Richard Wrangham, author of Primate Societies

"Nothing induces as much respect in us as an animal that is both many times larger than us, yet so incredibly gentle that its young safely run around between its legs. Elephants always amaze, and this book beautifully conveys in both text and photographs the awe we feel close to these intelligent creatures."
– Frans de Waal, author of Our Inner Ape


- beginnings
- texture
- colors
- perspectives
- fragments
- portraits
- behaviors
- associations
- passages
- Reflections on Elephants

Photographer’s Commentary
Notes on the Photographs

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this book. Be the first to review this book!


Karl Ammann has photographed wildlife throughout Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. His remarkable work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Outdoor Photography, Natural History, African Geographic, and elsewhere.

Dale Peterson is the author or editor of fifteen books, including the recent Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man.

Ammann and Peterson's previous collaboration, Eating Apes (UC Press), was named a Best Book of the Year by The Economist and the Globe and Mail, and a Top Science Book of the Year by Discover magazine.

Bestsellers in this subject

Elephant Sense and Sensibility

NHBS Price: £34.99 $46/€40 approx

Asian Elephant

NHBS Price: £18.95 $25/€22 approx

The Elephant's Secret Sense

NHBS Price: £9.99 $13/€11 approx

Elephant Don

NHBS Price: £11.99 $16/€14 approx

Giants of the Desert

NHBS Price: £18.95 $25/€22 approx

VAT: GB 407 4846 44
NHBS Ltd is registered in England and Wales: 1875194