Barbara J. King

Friday Animal Blog

The ABC’s Revisited

June 24, 2011

My typical routine is to veer from blog topic to blog topic by the week, never alighting in the same place twice in close succession. Right now, that’s not something I can manage, so, this week’s topic follows on from last’s.

My mother continues (see last Friday’s post) to struggle (more…)

A Feral Cat’s Lesson

June 17, 2011

This past Sunday, I touched our cat Marble – more than touched her, I stroked her back five times in quick but calm succession. This cat-petting event may sound pretty routine, but it wasn’t.

My husband and I first met Marble, a long-haired tortie type, six years ago at what was soon to become (more…)

Seeing Bears

June 10, 2011

Yellowstone, September ’11! My husband and I have arranged a visit to my favorite national park to experience it once summer crowds thin and the season turns to chilly. Our daughter will just have started college; an immersion-in-nature trip strikes us as an excellent antidote to the strange emptiness we’ll feel in (more…)

The Gobekli Tepe Animal Images: Are They Religious Symbols?

June 3, 2011

The National Geographic Magazine’s June issue blares this headline for its cover story: “The Birth of Religion: The World’s First Temple.” The article, written by Charles C. Mann with photographs by Vincent J. Musi, focuses on the hilltop site of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, where ancient people built an elaborate (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.