A Shadow Above
The Fall and Rise of the Raven
At a time when many British species are being threatened and marginalized by human activity, ravens are returning, after centuries of exile, to their former habitats in the countryside and scavenging city streets. This reflection on the striking and distinctive birds examines their nature and behaviour, considers their significance in our culture as a symbol of evil omen and investigates what lies behind their recent return to former hunting grounds.
A Biosocial Perspective
Homosexuality is an evolutionary paradox that occurs in various social, sexually reproducing species. This study examines evolutionary, biological, psychological and sociological aspects of homosexual behaviour and concludes that it can be understood in the context of adaptive evolution and is not a malfunction of sexuality.
My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London
Legend has it that without its ravens the Tower of London would crumble into dust and the kingdom would fall, so there are always at least six ravens living at the Tower. Another resident, Yeoman Warder Chris Skaife, is the Ravenmaster, responsible for the birds’ safety and welfare. Chris’s love for his charges is obvious from his light-hearted account of their work together and his character sketches of the seven ravens: Munin, Merlina, Erin, Rocky, Jubilee II, Gripp II and Harris.
A Natural History
Far from being ‘bird brains’, chickens demonstrate a range of unique abilities that have made them an integral part of humans’ lives for thousands of years. This science-based exploration compiles the characteristics of forty popular breeds and explains how their anatomy and physiology inform their behaviour. It also presents insights into their intelligence and thought processes and includes practical ‘theory into practice’ panels designed to help keepers better understand their poultry. Off-mint.
The Physics of Animal Life
An intriguing and amusing insight into the animal world, this Popular Science title explains how 30 species have evolved to exploit the laws of physics, from how wet dogs shake themselves dry to how peacocks generate inaudible (to the human ear) sounds to attract a mate.
What a Fish Knows
The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins
Do goldfish really have a three-second memory? How does an archerfish hone its hunting skills? Can fish recognize human faces, appreciate music or feel pain? By presenting the fascinating findings of scientific research into their cognitive and sensory worlds, their sex lives and social structures, Balcombe prompts us to reconsider the intellectual abilities of our aquatic cousins so that we can more easily feel compassion towards them.
The Science Behind Mating in the Animal Kingdom
Birds do it, bees do it – and so does every member of the animal kingdom, from fruit flies to blue whales. This engaging and entertainingly frank guide to the mating game explains the evolution of sexual organs, the tactics of seduction, and the mechanics of sex. Among the strange facts and exotic creatures are carnal cannibalism, animal chastity belts, transvestite damselflies, and a sea-slug that sheds its penis after sex, and then grows a new one.
The Secret Language of Animals
Primates, carnivores and hoofed animals share basic expressive similarities such as the use of ears and eyes to show excitement, alarm or aggression. This book explains how such actions can be interpreted and reveals how an understanding of environment can make sense of behaviour. Starting with a primer on how such core motivations as feeding, breeding and avoiding predators influence conduct and demeanour, the book is in sections dealing with animals in different regions, and is illustrated with detailed line drawings.