Naturalist and bioacoustics researcher Katy Payne stood near an elephant cage at a zoo and felt a strange "throb and flutter" in the air. When she later realized that the feeling was very like that caused by the lowest notes of a pipe organ, she embarked on a journey of scientific and personal discovery that took her to Africa to study how the huge mammals communicate. For years, she lived close to the elephants she loved, getting to know individuals and describing their long-distance infrasound "conversations." After her fifth such expedition, one third of the elephant population she was studying was killed in a planned cull by the Zimbabwean government. Whether or not you accept Payne's hypothesis that elephants are extraordinarily intelligent and capable of communicating with each other and with other species (including humans), you will find her descriptions of the animals compelling and compassionate. Her grief at the loss of her elephant friends is palpable, and she uses it to utmost effect in decrying not only the ivory trade, but the way in which humans have decided to live on the planet. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"I was hearing faint sounds that might have been overtones of stronger sounds that the elephants, but not I, could hear." In a chronicle that effectively blends memoir with the drama of scientific discovery, Payne (Elephants Calling), an acoustic biologist at Cornell, describes her role in the discovery of infrasonic communication between elephants. As she does so, she recounts her 13 years' study of African elephants?observing their social and family structures and behaviors, including the digging of wells. A scientist's respect for the elephants, "my gray friends," and for the native scouts informs her work. Payne writes, "You appreciate the value of silence when you watch elephants at night.... Every animal in the herd listens when the herd is listening. To use silence so well: if I could choose for people one attribute of elephants, I'd choose this." Payne can be passionate, especially regarding the issues of poaching and the harvesting of ivory, and she is convinced that any decision about ivory harvesting must take into account both the experience of elephants themselves as well as the historic relations between indigenous peoples and wild animals. Payne believes that "[i]n such a world animals reveal things to each other, and even occasionally to people like me: their attention to us is commensurate with ours to them." This book will make a wonderful addition to the library of any animal lover or of anyone fascinated by intra- and interspecies communication. Maps and drawing by Laura Payne.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
What a brilliant book. I loved reading about Katy Payne's experiences. I feel deeply moved by her point of view. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Chetchat
Poorly written and confusing. Too much personal information is included. I was expecting a book about elephants.Published 10 months ago by Caniehaus
Awesome book! I recommend it to anyone who loves animals and cares about preserving wildlife. The author's experiences are a fascinating read (including a hair-raising stare-down... Read morePublished on August 8, 2013 by Eva Johnston
Who knew that elephants are so sensitive to sound frequencies far below what our ears can detect? Not only that, they have some kind of telepathic connection as well. Read morePublished on June 28, 2013 by Pianomama
Elephants sense so much of the world that's below our hearing, and their understanding must form the basis for their family and social lives. Read morePublished on June 2, 2013 by Norma B. Webb
I chose this because I love elephants and am deeply concerned they will not be on this earth much longer. Read morePublished on April 25, 2013 by FlorenceWhite
This is a very interesting book, and I am fascinated by the author's research. Anyone who thinks that animals are just "dumb animals" is really the dumb one.Published on February 13, 2012 by WriteStuff
I read this book before departing for Thailand to study elephants. It is a disturbing book, but I recommend it. Read morePublished on December 17, 2011 by Quinbould