Barbara J. King

Friday Animal Blog

Co-Sleeping: Monkeys Do It, Apes Do It; Should We Do it Too?

November 26, 2010

Co-Sleeping: Monkeys Do It, Apes Do It; Should We Do it Too?

To most of us, itís a behavior that comes as naturally as breathing: When itís a babyís bedtime, we put carry her to her room, give her a kiss, and turn on the infant monitor. Through the evening weí (more…)

Rhesus Monkeys Watch Moviesóand Learn about Dominance

November 19, 2010

Look at any kidsí playground Ė or adultsí corporate boardroom-- and the fact becomes obvious: Hierarchy and status-striving are part of primate living.

Not all primate species are arranged into hierarchies of dominance, but most are. High-status individuals may have great access to resources such as nutrient-rich food items and choice mates. Itís fascinating (more…)

One Wild Snail, or, How A Curmudgeonly Gust of Wind Was Tamed

November 12, 2010

On my twitter-feed recently, this message appeared: Miracles and wonders happen everyday...hope you find and enjoy them.

Immediately, a curmudgeonly gust filled my lungs and out came a groan. Any reader of this blog knows Iím an animal lover; the natural world does bring me joy. But honestly, could a message be (more…)

Orangutans: Thinkers of the Forest

November 5, 2010

Open Thinkers of the Forest to the oversized color photograph opposite page 60, and a striking sight materializes. In a dense emerald forest with no person in sight, eight orangutans of various shapes and sizes feed in the trees. Studded at various heights in the canopy, limbs splayed at sharp angles, the apes (more…)

Selected Works

Why are animals so irresistible to us? Why do we live with and care so deeply about them? From the famous "art caves" of ice-age Europe, to the ancient villages where animals were first domesticated, to stories of apes, whales, dogs, and cats doing fascinating things today, King weaves together a scenario about the animal-human bond that encompasses our past, present and future.
Can scientists discover a prehistory of religion just as they have traced the evolution of technology, language, and art? What does compassion in chimpanzees, or burial patterns in our human ancestors and Neanderthals, tell us about the origins of religion? In Evolving God, named a Top Ten Religion Book for 2007 by the American Library Association, Barbara King explores these questions.
How do chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas-- the African apes -- communicate using body postures and gestures? Using her many years of experience studying these apes, Barbara King answers this question in a book that offers a new perspective on the evolution of language.