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Parrot's Lament, The and Other True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligen

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2001

    Laura B. Hour 04

    The Parrot¿s Lament, by Eugene Linden, is the perfect book choice for anyone interested in animal behavior. This book is 190 pages in length and was published in October, 1999 by Penguin Putnam Inc.. In a book written for young biology lovers to senior citizens, Linden¿s explorations try to explain why animals behave the way they do. Mentioned several places in the book was the possibility of animals having higher intelligence levels than humans. Any person who would be interested in such material should read the book, The Parrot¿s Lament. The Parrot¿s Lament:a tale of animal intrigue, intelligence, and ingenuity. A pig who saves a drowning kid, a gorilla trading a Frisbee for a grape. An orangutan who plays ¿Simon says¿ for cash, life-saving cats, or pigs with jobs. What are these animals thinking? What are they trying to do? In short:Can animals think as humans do? This is the basis for the book, The Parrot¿s Lament. It biologically describes animal behavior and relates it to their survival techniques. For instance, while in captivity animals will imitate procedures normally done in the wild. For example, the polar bears who pretended to capture seals, or the Timber Wolf who chased his goat friends just for the sake of feeling like a real wolf, minus the meal. Linden gathers anecdotes from zoo keepers, pet owners, primate researchers, and game preserve employees to create a book compiled of over a hundred stories. He suggests the range and depth of an animal¿s ability to plan, reason, invent and form relationships with unfamiliar and even traditionally hostile species. Linden doesn¿t try to be too scientific, but rather provides real life stories about animal behavior to let the reader decide for themselves how close animals are to humans, or vice versa. I can relate to some of the human and animal interactions displayed in the book because I have had numerous pets. Before I read this book I thought that when my dog, Candy barked, it was because she needed something. Therefore, I would ask her, ¿Do you have to go out?¿, ¿Bring me your toy. Do you want to play?¿. But now I realize that this might be her own higher level of thinking, not a natural response. The Parrot¿s Lament explores the fact that Candy might know that by barking, she will get attention, therefore, she barks at me. Linden gives reasonable evidence to show that not all of animal¿s reactions are based on natural instinct. I look at my dog differently now. Besides, how do I know what she thinks of me?

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