Barbara J. King

Friday Animal Blog

Bad Poetry for a Good Cat (and an Anniversary Wish)

February 25, 2011

All cats are special, I think. Some, though, just tunnel right into your heart and leave a deeper scar than most when they depart this world.

Gray & White, Gray for short, was one such cat. For years (we don’t know how long) he’d been feral, discovered by us when we stumbled upon (more…)

Why I Love Anthropology

February 18, 2011

Rex (Alex Golub) over at Savage Minds asked anthropology bloggers to consider posting this week about “Why I Love Anthropology.” Challenge accepted, though what I have space to say here is only the merest (and clichéd) iceberg-tip.

Twenty-six years ago, I arrived in Amboseli National Park, (more…)

Apes’ pointing

February 11, 2011

Last week, a book chapter published in 2009 migrated to the top of my stack and stopped me cold in my bipedal tracks. Brilliant isn’t a word I throw around lightly but I think it applies in this case.

The chapter, written by David A. Leavens, Timothy P. Racine, and William D. Hopkins and (more…)

Dogs and the Dreaded Sheldrake Question

February 4, 2011

Last week, I taped a radio show on animals and anthropology with Steve Paulson of Wisconsin Public Radio (I’ll post a link when it airs). A seasoned interviewer, Steve put me at ease in making my points….until he asked The Dreaded Sheldrake Question.

In my most (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.