Wild Rituals explores how embracing the rituals of the animal kingdom can make us more connected to ourselves, nature, and others. Behavioral ecologist and world-renowned elephant scientist Caitlin O'Connell dives into the rituals of elephants, apes, zebras, rhinos, lions, whales, flamingos, and many more. This fascinating read helps us better understand how we are similar to wild animals, and encourages us to find healing, self-awareness, community, and self-reinvention.
- Filled with fascinating stories on 10 different animal rituals
- Features original full-color photos, from the Caribbean to the African savannah
- Demonstrates the profound way we are similar to the wild creatures who captivate us
Wild Rituals journeys into the desert, tundra, and rainforest to reveal the importance of rituals and how they can help us find a simpler, more meaningful way of living. In a culture of technology where we find ourselves living at a greater distance from nature and each other, this remarkable book taps into the unspoken languages of creatures around the world.
Caitlin O'Connell, PhD, is a world-renowned elephant scientist on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. She is also an associate of the Harvard University Center for the Environment. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed The Elephant's Secret Sense, among other award-winning books. Her book Elephant Don is the subject of the award-winning Smithsonian documentary, Elephant King. O'Connell is also the co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization, Utopia Scientific. She has taught science writing for Stanford University and the New York Times.
"In this beautiful, sweeping book that encompasses animals from insects to humans, Caitlin O'Connell not only affirms our profound connections to the rest of the natural world, she also, at a time of intense division and strife, importantly highlights how, through ritual, we can connect again with each other."
– Sy Montgomery, New York Times bestselling author of The Soul of an Octopus and How to Be a Good Creature
"Nature is heavily ritualized. Caitlin O'Connell provides a delightful tour of the animal kingdom to help us discover all of the rituals in fights, play, courtship, greetings, and mourning. As for us, rituals make social life more predictable and easier to manage."
– Frans De Waal, New York Times bestselling author of Mama's Last Hug and Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?
"Caitlin O'Connell takes a fascinating look at rituals, both human and non-human, and at the deep ties that link them."
– Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction
"Riveting, informative, and hopeful. Every page has some wondrous new insight that moves or astonishes. Caitlin O'Connell writes with such abundant curiosity and passion that her book leaves us transformed, with new hope for the way rituals might lead us to a deeper, more meaningful, and ultimately more humane way of being. A must-read, especially in these challenging times."
– Jennifer Ackerman, New York Times bestselling author of The Bird Way and The Genius of Birds
"Behavior expert and master storyteller Caitlin O'Connell illuminates the vast but little-known realm of rituals. And she does so beautifully in this solid and delightfully written book."
– Carl Safina, New York Times bestselling author of Beyond Words and Becoming Wild
"A colorful combination of scientific discovery, and storytelling, Wild Rituals shows us how an array of animal behaviors can de-escalate violence and make life run smoother and safer – and how nonhuman animal rituals resonate with our own."
– Jonathan Balcombe, New York Times bestselling author of Super Fly and What a Fish Knows