Barbara J. King

Friday Animal Blog

On Animals and “Time Off”

April 29, 2011

This week, I taught my last Primate Behavior class of the semester on Wednesday, and the last Biological Anthropology & Society seminar just yesterday. Yes, research papers and final exams still loom as a black hole to gobble my time over the next ten days. Further, I thrive on teaching William & Mary undergraduates (the majority (more…)

Chimpanzee Conformists

April 22, 2011

Earlier this week, my husband and I drove our daughter up past the wine country of Charlottesville, over fog-bound Afton Mountain and west on into Harrisonburg to attend the admitted students’ day at James Madison University. Our Sarah (and forgive me, but what use a blog if not to house the occasional maternal brag (more…)

The Swimming Pool Rescue: Chickens Save One of their Own

April 15, 2011

Turns out I was wrong, wrong, wrong in last week’s post to predict a “TV minute” for my interview segment on animal odd-couple friendships. I haven’t had the heart to take a stopwatch to the situation, but my on-air time at CBS Sunday Morning on the 10th surely amounted to less than 30 (more…)

Minute TV, or, Doing Public Anthropology

April 8, 2011

This week I’m in waiting mode. Nervous a little, I won’t know until Sunday, April 10, what the producers of the CBS Sunday Morning show have edited me to say during their segment about animal friendships. I interviewed with on-air correspondent Steve Hartman on the topic for almost an hour, but if you’ (more…)


April 1, 2011

The Friday Animal Blog is delayed at LaGuardia Airport, please check back next week.

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.