Barbara J. King

Friday Animal Blog

See You in 2011

December 24, 2010

The Friday Animal Blog is taking a Christmas and New Year's break. See you on Friday, January 7th!

Our Twenty-Seven Christmas Cats

December 17, 2010

Only one of our cats, the jet-black Nicholas Longtail, is named for Christmas- he showed up, abandoned but people-friendly, at the feral colony my husband manages, a few Christmases ago. So we named him in a Beatrix Potter-ish way (remember Mr. Jeremy Fisher, Jemima Puddleduck, et. al?) after St. Nick (more…)

The Cognitive Watershed and Nut-Cracking Monkey Pushback

December 10, 2010

Take any of my classes in biological anthropology, and you figure it out right quick. I find all nonhuman primates fascinating, but not equally so. Great apes—the orangutans of Asia, and the chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas of Africa—are the spice of my anthropological life. To my great good fortune, I’ve spent (more…)

Animal Books for the Holidays

December 3, 2010

As we enter into holiday gift-buying time, like most writers (and readers!) I’m having fun recommending my favorite books to others—animal books, of course.

To start off, here (in italics) are excerpts from three published reviews I've written about volumes in the fantastic Animal Series (Reaktion Books). Each single- word title in (more…)

Selected Works

Nonfiction
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.