Many of our interviews recommending animal books touch on the complicated relationship between man and the rest of the animal kingdom. Choosing her best books on man and ape, Helene Guldberg looks at what is unique to humans and concludes that it is culture, not evolution, that has transformed us.
José Castello, recommending the best books on dogs, explores how man had created dogs from wolves through thousands of years of domestication. Jonathan Self continues with that theme with his best books on dog food, a genuinely fascinating subject. Helen Jukes chooses her best books on honeybees and Harriet Ritvo chooses her best books on the history of human interaction with animals.
Lawrence Bee recommends his best books on spiders. The entomologist May Berenbaum discusses how she fell in love with bugs and gives her top five books on insects. Phil Richardson offers his best books on bats and Jonathan Elphick his best books on birds. Jeremy Mynott recommends his best books on birdwatching.
In spite of the huge popularity of her work, Beatrix Potter has often been underappreciated as an artist and a writer, argues Libby Joy of the Beatrix Potter Society. Here she chooses five books to help you appreciate Potter’s life as an author, artist and pioneering conservationist.
The Call of the Wild and White Fang
by Jack London
The Killing of Wolf Number Ten: The True Story
by Thomas McNamee
The Secret World of Red Wolves: The Fight to Save North America's Other Wolf
by T DeLene Beeland
The Biology and Conservation of Wild Canids
David W. Macdonald and Claudio Sillero-Zubiri
Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History
Xiaoming Wang and Richard Tedford
Next time you look at your cute pooch, remember its DNA is the same as that of a wolf. José Castelló, author of the delightful field guide, Canids of the World: Wolves, Wild Dogs, Foxes, Jackals, Coyotes, and Their Relatives recommends some of the best books to read on dogs and other canids.
The predators that stalked our ancestors have been marginalised to the brink of extinction, but these animals still fill us with awe, says Nick Pyenson. They play a vital role in life on Earth, and we need to understand them if we are to survive.
Feathered, scaly or furry, children form powerful and enriching bonds with their pets. If you don’t have room in your house (or lifestyle) for a multitude of birds and beasts—you can always read about them in books! Catherine Rayner, one of the UK’s leading creators of children’s picture books and devoted animal lover, recommends her favourite illustrated picture books celebrating pets.
Humanity has a long history of keeping bees. But what do we really know about them? Beekeeping memoirist Helen Jukes selects five books that examine both the behaviour of bees as individuals and colonies as ‘superorganisms.’
The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals
by Charles Darwin
Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science
by Donna J Haraway
Savages and Beasts: The Birth of the Modern Zoo
by Nigel Rothfels
Dolly Mixtures: The Remaking of Genealogy
by Sarah Franklin
Beastly Natures: Animals, Humans, and the Study of History
by Dorothee Brantz
Animals have played a significant role in human history, and the manner by which we interpret their behaviour says a lot about our own culture and social mores. Harriet Ritvo, professor of history at MIT, selects five of the best books from the field of animal history.
You don’t have to be a professional arachnologist to study and get excited about spiders—nor do you need to travel away from home. The author of Britain’s Spiders, Lawrence Bee, recommends all the books you need to become an amateur arachnologist.
Dogs are like wolves and should be fed raw meat and bones, says the author and founder of Honey’s Real Dog Food company. He chooses the best books on dog food.
Evolutionary biologist Beth Shapiro tells us why it’s impossible to clone a mammoth, and why we might want to. She guides us through five inspiring books to get us thinking about extinction and the role genetics could potentially play in maintaining biodiversity.
It’s fashionable today to liken humans to animals but the developmental psychologist says it’s more interesting to study the ways in which we’re remarkably different from other creatures
Insects outnumber us, outweigh us, and without them ecosystems would collapse. In short, we live on their planet. The entomologist explains why we should value bugs more – even, or especially, the carrion beetles and dung feeders
The Natural History of Selborne
by Gilbert White
Mammals of the British Isles handbook, 4th Edition
by S Harris & D Yalden, eds.
Walker’s Bats of the World
by R M Nowak
Ecology and Conservation of Bats in Villages and Towns
by J Smit-Viergutz, M Simon & S Hüttenbügel
Mammals of the South-West Pacific and Moluccan Islands
by Tim Flannery
Phil Richardson, co-founder of the Bat Conservation Trust www.bats.org.uk, says bats are remarkably like us in many ways. They are social animals with complex lives
Birds are everywhere. They capture our imagination and make us wish that we, too, could soar away. Jonathan Elphick eloquently recommends the best books on the wonders of birds.
Palaeontologist and dinosaur specialist Paul Barrett says many of the 1,200 known species of dinosaur were far more complex than we once thought. Some were brightly feathered, many were at least partly warm-blooded
Palaeontologist Richard Fortey says it took tiny organisms two billion years of work to oxygenate the planet sufficiently for our kind of life, including trilobites, dinosaurs and ourselves, to evolve
What drives people’s passion for birds and birdwatching? For Jeremy Mynott, it’s as much about us as it is about them. He recommends the best books on birds and birdwatching.
Karen has been studying the hippos in Zimbabwe full-time since 1993. In this interview she talks sustainable conservation and selects five excellent books as further reading including Born Free and The Little Prince