Barbara J. King

Friday Animal Blog

Big-Cat Love in San Francisco

July 29, 2011

This week, I want to share a photographic collage, made into a mini-video, of two lions at the San Francisco Zoo. Itís short, and I hope youíll watch it twice. Let us dive right in to an initial viewing:

Beautiful, yes? Tunya and Sukari are keenly (more…)

Drumming Apes and Piano-playing Cats: Animal Music

July 22, 2011

Tinky at the piano, at home in Gloucester County VA. Photo courtesy of David L. Justis
---This post is dedicated to the memory of Carolyn May Greenwood, who loved music, and to Sarah Elizabeth Hogg, and Nancy and Skip Koonce, who sang for her.

In the mid- 2000ís, the archaeologist Steven Mithen published a book called The Singing Neanderthals, about the evolutionary origins of music. We (more…)

Miami-Bound and Monkey-Boggled

July 15, 2011

For a full year, since my husband and I returned with incredible photographs, my daughter Sarah has had sights set on visiting the Monkey Jungle in Miami. She wants to see up-close the charming, inquisitive squirrel monkeys, the intensely beautiful, eye-enlarged and almost otherworldly owl monkeys, and all the other primate denizens of this (more…)

Oscar the Catís Crossover

July 8, 2011

You know how sometimes TV characters are made to cross over from one show to another? Characters crossed over in the late Ď90s, for instance, within a pair of David E. Kelley programs, Ally McBeal and The Practice. Or stretching further back in TV-land time, Happy Days folks (more…)

Nature Books at the Half-Year

July 1, 2011

At the half-year mark for the year 2011, Iíve read 34 books. List-making makes me happy. I list almost anything- exceptional places to visit in European capitals; types of chocolate one can purchase in that amazing chocolate store on Cary Street in Richmond; things my daughter said as a child (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.