383 pages, 88 halftones, figs, tabs
Elephants have fascinated humans for millennia. Aristotle wrote of them with awe; Hannibal used them in warfare; and John Donne called the elephant 'Nature's greatest masterpiece...The only harmless great thing'. Their ivory has been sought after and treasured in most cultures, and they have delighted zoo and circus audiences worldwide for centuries. But it wasn't until the second half of the twentieth century that people started to take an interest in elephants in the wild, and some of the most important studies of these intelligent giants have been conducted at Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
"The Amboseli Elephants" is the long-awaited summation of what's been learned from the Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP) - the longest continuously running elephant research project in the world. Cynthia J. Moss and Harvey Croze, the founders of the AERP, and Phyllis C. Lee, who has been closely involved with the project since 1982, compile more than three decades of uninterrupted study of over 2,500 individual elephants, from newborn calves to adult bulls to old matriarchs in their sixties. Chapters explore such topics as elephant ecosystems, genetics, communication, social behavior, and reproduction, as well as exciting new developments from the study of elephant minds and cognition. The book closes with a view to the future, making important arguments for the ethical treatment of elephants and suggestions to aid in their conservation.
The Amboseli Elephants is the most outstanding book ever published on these magnificent animals. This unique and most welcome collection of essays is a must read for anyone who cares about the future of animals and of humans and will serve as a model of what is needed for many other species in peril or rapidly heading there. Read it and share widely. -Marc Bekoff, author of Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals"
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Cynthia J. Moss is the director of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants and the author of Elephant Memories: Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family. Harvey Croze is a trustee for the Amboseli Trust for Elephants and coauthor of Pyramids of Life: An Investigation of Nature's Fearful Symmetry. Phyllis C. Lee is professor of psychology at the University of Stirling. She is the author or editor of several books, including Threatened Primates of Africa and Comparative Primate Socioecology.