An award-winning science writer tours the globe to reveal what makes birds capable of such extraordinary feats of mental prowess Birds are astonishingly intelligent creatures. According to revolutionary new research, some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence. In The Genius of Birds, acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores their newly discovered brilliance and how it came about. As she travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research, Ackerman not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are shifting our view of what it means to be intelligent. At once personal yet scientific, richly informative and beautifully written, The Genius of Birds celebrates the triumphs of these surprising and fiercely intelligent creatures. Ackerman is also the author of Birds by the Shore: Observing the Natural Life of the Atlantic Coast.
Birds are astonishingly intelligent creatures. In fact, according to revolutionary new research, some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence. Like humans, many birds have enormous brains relative to their size. Although small, bird brains are packed with neurons that allow them to punch well above their weight. In The Genius of Birds, acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores the newly discovered brilliance of birds and how it came about. As she travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research - the distant laboratories of Barbados and New Caledonia, the great tit communities of the United Kingdom and the bowerbird habitats of Australia, the ravaged mid-Atlantic coast after Hurricane Sandy and the warming mountains of central Virginia and the western states - Ackerman not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are revolutionizing our view of what it means to be intelligent. Consider, as Ackerman does, the Clark's nutcracker, a bird that can hide as many as 30,000 seeds over dozens of square miles and remember where it put them several months later; the mockingbirds and thrashers, species that can store 200 to 2,000 different songs in a brain a thousand times smaller than ours; the well-known pigeon, which knows where it's going, even thousands of miles from familiar territory; and the New Caledonian crow, an impressive bird that makes its own tools. But beyond highlighting how birds use their unique genius in technical ways, Ackerman points out the impressive social smarts of birds. They deceive and manipulate. They eavesdrop. They display a strong sense of fairness. They give gifts. They play keep-away and tug-of-war. They tease. They share. They cultivate social networks. They vie for status. They kiss to console one another. They teach their young. They blackmail their parents. They alert one another to danger. They summon witnesses to the death of a peer. They may even grieve. This elegant scientific investigation and travelogue weaves personal anecdotes with fascinating science. Ackerman delivers an extraordinary story that will both give readers a new appreciation for the exceptional talents of birds and let them discover what birds can reveal about our changing world.
A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think
Author: Jennifer Ackerman
Pubpsher: Hachette UK
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Genius of Birds, a radical investigation into the bird way of being, and the recent scientific research that is dramatically shifting our understanding of birds. 'There is the mammal way and there is the bird way.' This is one scientist's pithy distinction between mammal brains and bird brains: two ways to make a highly intelligent mind. But lately, scientists have taken a new look at bird behaviours they've previously dismissed as anomalies. What they're finding is upending the traditional view of how birds live, how they communicate, forage, court, survive. They're also revealing the remarkable intelligence underlying these activities, abilities we once considered uniquely our own - deception, manipulation, kidnapping, infanticide, but also, ingenious communication between species, collaboration, altruism and play. Some of these behaviours are biological conundrums that seem to push the edges of - well - birdness: A mother bird that kills her own infant sons, and another that selflessly tends to the young of other birds. Young birds that devote themselves to feeding their siblings and others so competitive they'll stab their nestmates to death. Birds that give gifts and birds that steal, birds that dance or drum, that paint their creations or paint themselves, and birds that summon playmates with a special call - and may hold the secret to our own penchant for playfulness and the evolution of laughter. Drawing on personal observations, the latest science, and her bird-related travel around the world, Ackerman shows there is clearly no single bird way of being. In every respect, in plumage, form, song, flight, lifestyle, niche, and behaviour, birds vary. It's what we love about them.
From the bestselling author of The Genius of Birds, the revised and reissued edition of her beloved book of essays describing her forays along the Delaware shore For three years, Jennifer Ackerman lived in the small coastal town of Lewes, Delaware, in the sort of blue-water, white-sand landscape that draws summer crowds up and down the eastern seaboard. Birds by the Shore is a book about discovering the natural life at the ocean's edge: the habits of shorebirds and seabirds, the movement of sand and water, the wealth of creatures that survive amid storm and surf. Against this landscape's rhythms, Ackerman revisits her own history--her mother's death, her father's illness and her hopes to have children of her own. This portrait of life at the ocean's edge will be relished by anyone who has walked a beach at sunset, or watched a hawk hover over a winter marsh, and felt part of the natural world. With a quiet passion and friendly, generous intelligence, it explores the way that landscape shapes our thoughts and perceptions and shows that home ground is often where we feel the deepest response to the planet.
The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, Modern Utopia, A Short History of the World, What Is Coming, The Story of the Last Trump…
Author: H. G. Wells
This carefully edited collection has been designed and formatted to the highest digital standards and adjusted for readability on all devices. H. G. Wells (1866-1946) was a prolific English writer of fiction works, history and politics. Wells is called a father of science fiction. Table of Contents: A Modern Utopia Ann Veronica Bealby In the Days of the Comet The Chronic Argonauts The First Men in the Moon The Invisible Man The Island of Dr Moreau The New Machiavelli The Passionate Friends The Prophetic Trilogy The Research Magnificent The Sea Lady The Secret Places of the Heart The Soul of a Bishop The Time Machine The Undying Fire The War in the Air The War of the Worlds The World Set Free Tono-bungay When the Sleeper Wakes Collections of Short Stories Short Stories: A Catastrophe A Deal in Ostriches A Dream of Armageddon A Slip Under the Microscope A Story of the Days to Come A Story of the Stone Age A Tale of the Twentieth Century A Talk with Gryllotalpa How Gabriel Became Thompson How Pingwill Was Routed In the Abyss Le Mari Terrible Miss Winchelsea's Heart Mr. Brisher's Treasure Mr. Ledbetter's Vacation Mr. Marshall's Doppelganger Mr. Skelmersdale in Fairyland My First Aeroplane Our Little Neighbour Perfect Gentleman on Wheels Pollock and the Porroh Man The Empire of the Ants The Flying Man The Grisly Folk The Inexperienced Ghost The Land Ironclads The Lord of the Dynamos The Loyalty of Esau Common The Magic Shop The Man Who Could Work Miracles The Man with a Nose The Moth The New Accelerator The New Faust The Obliterated Man The Pearl of Love The Presence by the Fire The Purple Pileus The Rajah's Treasure The Reconciliation The Red Room The Sea Raiders The Star The Stolen Body The Story of the Last Trump The Story of the Stone Age The Temptation of Harringay The Thing in No. 7...
A call to agricultural revolution from a locavore and author who is one of “the most prominent and effective advocates of American environmental thought” (Prairie Fire Newspaper). For years, Wes Jackson has made it his mission to raise Americans’ awareness about where their food comes from. Focusing on locally grown and produced food, the locavore movement—joined by food experts and enthusiasts including Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, and Barbara Kingsolver—strives to return agriculture to a more community-based endeavor. This would not only improve the quality of the meals we eat, but protect the land from agricultural processes we’ve grown too dependent on. In this volume, ranging in topic from the history of the earth to the use of modern chemicals and pesticides to the effects of global warming, Jackson outlines a plan that highlights natural ecosystems in the future of farming and food production. An eloquent manifesto for our age, Jackson’s analysis explores the way our agricultural methods have affected everything from the soil to the health of the US population to the danger of monoculture grains. Join the author in a look at how we can change not only the food we eat, but the future of our land.