Barbara J. King

Friday Animal Blog

Heat-intoxicating cats, on this winterís day

January 28, 2011

Zapped! Thatís what 2011 has done to me so far. The new year gifted me with a stubborn upper-respiratory virus, followed in short order by a sequence of energy-draining (though not serious) family calamities, imminent writing deadlines, and of course the new teaching semester.

Plus, itís (more…)

Zebra Finch Pairs with Matched Personalities Make Better Parents

January 21, 2011

Normally, my beat is mammals: primates, elephants, cetaceans and others who share humansí taxonomic order. Doing research for a new book, though, I find myself reading more and more about the complex emotional lives of birds. This week I stumbled upon a new article by Wiebke Schuett, Sasha R.X. Dall, and Nick J. (more…)

What do Wild Vervet Monkeys Learn by Living near Humans?

January 14, 2011

Close encounters with vervet monkeys are a staple experience of tourists who stay at the grand lodges in African nature parks. These small, handsome green monkeys have a habit of darting up to poolside-dining tables and thieving food.

When I was monkey-watching in Kenya, my own experience in this regard was limited (after all, (more…)

On Pig Welfare, and Petsí Effects on our Health: The Role of Science

January 7, 2011

A while ago, I decided I would start Friday Animal Blogís New Year with a focus on scientists who study domestic pigsí physiological responses to an enriched environment. The idea is to see if pigs who are offered cognitive challenges experience more positive emotions.

I really like the bringing together of scientific experiment and (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.