Dancing Cockatoos and the Dead Man Test

How Behavior Evolves and Why It Matters

Dancing Cockatoos and the Dead Man Test
Marlene Zuk
RRP:
NZ$ 54.99
Our Price:
NZ$ 46.74
Hardback
h244 x 165mm - 352pg
9 Sep 2022 US
International import eta 10-30 days
9781324007227
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For centuries, people have been returning to the same tired nature-versus-nurture debate, trying to determine what we learn and what we inherit. In Dancing Cockatoos and the Dead Man Test, biologist Marlene Zuk goes beyond the binary and instead focuses on interaction, or the way that genes and environment work together. Driving her investigation is a simple but essential question: How does behavior evolve? Drawing from a wealth of research, including her own on insects, Zuk answers this question by turning to a wide range of animals and animal behavior. There are stories of cockatoos that dance to rock music, ants that heal their injured companions, dogs that exhibit signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and so much more. For insights into animal intelligence, mating behavior, and an organism' s ability to fight disease, she explores the behavior of smart spiders, silent crickets, and crafty crows. In each example, she clearly demonstrates how these traits were produced by the complex and diverse interactions of genes and the environment and urges us to consider how that same process evolves behavior in us humans. Filled with delightful anecdotes and fresh insights, Dancing Cockatoos and the Dead Man Test helps us see both other animals and ourselves more clearly, demonstrating that animal behavior can be remarkably similar to human behavior, and wonderfully complicated in its own right.
"This book is a joy-a provocative, highly entertaining exploration of the roots of our behavior. Zuk dispels the murk and misconceptions about how our sex roles, language, intelligence, even our mental illness came to be, offering a fresh and invigorating view of animal behavior. . . " -- Jennifer Ackerman, The New York Times bestselling author of The Genius of Birds "With authority, clarity, and wit, the author guides readers on a revelatory journey into the connected nature of behavior across the tree of life. " -- Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, coauthor of Zoobiquity and Wildhood ". . . Marlene Zuk uses a light touch to probe heavy questions: What is behavior? How is it related to intelligence? Does domestication make one dumb? The book, sparkling with humor and curiosity, is a pleasure from start to finish. " -- Kim Todd, author of Sparrow
Marlene Zuk is a professor of ecology, evolution, and behavior at the University of Minnesota who studies animal sexual behavior and communication. The author of Dancing Cockatoos and the Dead Man Test, Paleofantasy, and Sex on Six Legs, among other works, she lives in St. Paul.

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