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The Secret Language of Life: How Animals and Plants Feel and Communicate F First Edition Thus Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0880642545
ISBN-10: 0880642548
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This study of the abilities of all sorts of creatures to sense and interact with the world will leave many readers impressed and at least buffeted, if not convinced, by the author's passionate approach. Cambridge University scientist Ford (Images of Science; Microbe Power) has in effect written two books at once. The first surveys many species' social, cognitive and sensory powers. The second is a call for eco-awareness and for animalAand plant and microbeArights: "All animals and plants sense their surroundings, and thus they all have feelings." A chapter on mammals' mental processes explains how mole rats search and socialize underground, how primates learn to use medicinal plants and how prairie dog colonies learn from experience. Turning to avians, Ford covers birdsong, echolocation and gulls' mating postures. Later chapters deal with reactive abilities among flora and protozoa. A fertilized ovum, like any single-celled organism, Ford suggests, has "its own sense"; as to whether the cell is self-aware, "we know too little... to decide." Ford's practical suggestions for reducing cruelty (e.g., vets should use soft tables) are useful. Most lay readers will admire his fascinating survey of creaturely powers and may be sympathetic to his call to "value the global network of all plants and animals, and react to their presence with respect." But though it trails a dazzling set of facts, Ford's call for "a new vitalism" seems less scientific (or philosophical) than quasi-religiousAand it's unevenly argued, though deeply felt. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

"How poorly we appreciate the finely tuned senses of the other organisms who share the planet." With these words, Ford, the author of many books of popular science, sets out to demonstrate that a belief in the sensory behavior and lives of "lower" (read: not human) forms of life is necessary to a full understanding of those lives. Eschewing the mechanistic approach that he sees in the emphasis on molecular biology in today's science, the author feels that only the holistic view of organismal biology will help us to understand the interactions that produce life on a global scale. By examining the senses and behavior of life-forms ranging from Volvax (an alga) to bower birds and such interconnections as how the welfare of farm animals can directly influence the outbreak of new diseases among humans, the author lends credence to his contention that we are surrounded by animals and plants reacting to and making sense of the world. Ford argues his thesis well in a book that is recommended for large natural-history collections. Nancy Bent
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Fromm Intl; F First Edition Thus edition (October 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880642548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880642545
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,357,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

How do animals and plants feel and communicate their feelings? This presents a growing body of research which demonstrates that animals - and plants - have emotions and responses just as valid as human feelings. From birds and how they see to homing frogs and their shared communities, this packs in a range of insights on wildlife communications processes.
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An insightfull and entertaining book that touches on a subject rarely spoken of, but often thought about: do other life forms think, feel and communicate as we do? In fact they do. All lifeforms can communicate with one another, the only problem is we can't always understand the other lifeforms language, and if we all took the time to learn one anothers language, all life would live in harmony.
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An insightfull and entertaining book that touches on a subject rarely spoken of, but often thought about: do other life forms think, feel and communicate as we do? In fact they do. All lifeforms can communicate with one another, the only problem is we can't always understand the other lifeforms language, and if we all took the time to learn one anothers language, all life would live in harmony.
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Beautiful book, amazing facts.
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