BN.com Gift Guide

The Better to Eat You With: Fear in the Animal World

Overview

At dawn on a brutally cold January morning, Joel Berger crouched in the icy grandeur of the Teton Range.  It had been three years since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone after a sixty-year absence, and members of a wolf pack were approaching a herd of elk. To Berger’s utter shock, the elk ignored the wolves as they went in for the kill. The brutal attack that followed—swift and bloody—led Berger to hypothesize that after only six decades, the elk had forgotten to fear a species that had survived by ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (22) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $17.19   
  • Used (14) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

At dawn on a brutally cold January morning, Joel Berger crouched in the icy grandeur of the Teton Range.  It had been three years since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone after a sixty-year absence, and members of a wolf pack were approaching a herd of elk. To Berger’s utter shock, the elk ignored the wolves as they went in for the kill. The brutal attack that followed—swift and bloody—led Berger to hypothesize that after only six decades, the elk had forgotten to fear a species that had survived by eating them for hundreds of millennia.
            Berger’s fieldwork that frigid day raised important questions that would require years of travel and research to answer: Can naive animals avoid extinction when they encounter reintroduced carnivores? To what extent is fear culturally transmitted? And how can a better understanding of current predator-prey behavior help demystify past extinctions and inform future conservation?
The Better to Eat You With is the chronicle of Berger’s search for answers.  From Yellowstone’s elk and wolves to rhinos living with African lions and moose coexisting with tigers and bears in Asia, Berger tracks cultures of fear in animals across continents and climates, engaging readers with a stimulating combination of natural history, personal experience, and conservation. Whether battling bureaucracy in the statehouse or fighting subzero wind chills in the field, Berger puts himself in the middle of the action.  The Better to Eat You With invites readers to join him there. The thrilling tales he tells reveal a great deal not only about survival in the animal kingdom but also the process of doing science in foreboding conditions and hostile environments.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
"When ecologist Berger noticed that elk in Yellowstone were no longer afraid of wolves, who had been absent from the ecosystem for 60 years, it sparked a quest to answer three major questions: Can naive prey avoid extinction when their predators are reintroduced? To what extent can animals learn fear? And what can current behavior teach us about past extinctions and future conservation efforts? We follow Berger as he attempts to answer these questions by radio-collaring moose in below-zero temperatures in Grand Teton National Park and comparing how bison mothers in areas with wolves, areas without wolves, and areas with new wolf packs react to wolf calls. . . .The excitement and drudgery of fieldwork, combined with the author’s discoveries on how fear of predators changes the behavior of their prey, make for a book that teaches and thrills equally."—Booklist
Times (UK)
"Berger's research involved majestic hardships and eccentric practices that included pitching carnivore dung baseball-style at browsing moose to see if they responded to the scent. He is the hairy-arsed action-man academic whose experience comes not from the lab but from the wild world. Culture is not something that divides us from the animal world: it is one more thing that links us."-Simon Barnes, Times (UK)

— Simon Barnes

Jackson Hole News & Guide
"The Better to Eat You With builds upon the canon of important natural history literature that includes the writings of Leopold, the Muries, the Craigheads, George Shaller, E. O. Wilson, and Jacques Cousteau. . . . The book is that fine a read."-Tom Wilkinson, Jackson Hole News & Guide

— Tom Wilkinson

BBC Focus
"[The] extraordinary first-hand accounts of elk standing placidly as wolves approach in full view and promptly slaughter them make for gripping reading. They also have profound implications for programmes seeking to reintroduce top carnivores to habitats where they have long been absent. . . . A refreshing change from the dry and preachy tone often found in conservation books."-Luis Villazon, BBC Focus

— Luis Villazon

Choice
"An informative, fun read."—Choice
Times Literary Supplement
"Berger reports solid scientific information then goes beyond it in an extraordinary effort to understand animal fear and its role in survival and reproduction. The result is a luminous account of animal individuality and emtion."

— Barbara J. King

Metapsychology

"Every once in a while, one encounters a book that does not simply drive the scholar to meditation upon diverse philosophical theories, but speaks to her very mode of being-in-the-world, her practice of being human. Every once in a long while, one reads a book that changes how we see the world. This is one of those rare books. As Berger so eloquently phrases his core message, 'the question is not about wild or captive, animal or human. It is about all of us--living beings together in one place, on a single planet.'"—Wendy C. Hamblet, Metapsychology

— Wendy C. Hamblet

James A. Estes
“The complex and nuanced interplay between predator and prey is an essential thread in the fabric of nature. Joel Berger’s substantial contributions to this emerging world view have been rendered through simplicity and elegance—by observing prey and their predators across global landscapes in a purposeful way. This book, delivered in the personalized style of a life’s journey, tells an absorbing story of how big animals alter their behavior so as to manage the risk of being eaten.”
Marc Bekoff
The Better to Eat You With offers a very novel, important, and global view of the complex interrelationships between predators and prey. Science, culture, and practical issues meet head on, as they must, in a book that surely will change existing views about the role of fear in the evolution of behavior. Only world-renowned and indefatigable field biologist Joel Berger could pull off such a comprehensive analysis of how past and present must be studied as we try to figure out how all animals—nonhuman and human—will be able to share harmoniously our one and only planet in the future. Berger’s book is a landmark contribution to the study of behavior and conservation.”
Bill Weber
“Joel Berger is a world-class conservation scientist with a rare ability to transform knowledge into conservation action. In The Better to Eat You With he conveys the mysteries and wonder of wildlife behavior in a fast-paced narrative that both informs and inspires.”
Times (UK) - Simon Barnes
"Berger’s research involved majestic hardships and eccentric practices that included pitching carnivore dung baseball-style at browsing moose to see if they responded to the scent. He is the hairy-arsed action-man academic whose experience comes not from the lab but from the wild world. Culture is not something that divides us from the animal world: it is one more thing that links us."
Jackson Hole News & Guide - Tom Wilkinson
"The Better to Eat You With builds upon the canon of important natural history literature that includes the writings of Leopold, the Muries, the Craigheads, George Shaller, E. O. Wilson, and Jacques Cousteau. . . . The book is that fine a read."
BBC Focus - Luis Villazon
"[The] extraordinary first-hand accounts of elk standing placidly as wolves approach in full view and promptly slaughter them make for gripping reading. They also have profound implications for programmes seeking to reintroduce top carnivores to habitats where they have long been absent. . . . A refreshing change from the dry and preachy tone often found in conservation books."
Metapsychology - Wendy C. Hamblet
"Every once in a while, one encounters a book that does not simply drive the scholar to meditation upon diverse philosophical theories, but speaks to her very mode of being-in-the-world, her practice of being human. Every once in a long while, one reads a book that changes how we see the world. This is one of those rare books. As Berger so eloquently phrases his core message, 'the question is not about wild or captive, animal or human. It is about all of us—living beings together in one place, on a single planet.' "—Wendy C. Hamblet, Metapsychology
Times Literary Supplement - Barbara J. King
"Berger reports solid scientific information then goes beyond it in an extraordinary effort to understand animal fear and its role in survival and reproduction. The result is a luminous account of animal individuality and emotion."—Barbara J. King, Times Literary Supplement
Michael Soule
“How long do the ghosts of monsters linger before their misty essence evaporates?  And when the monster itself (wolf, tiger, men) returns with meat hunger, how long before prey rediscover terror? What created the singular fleetness and visual acuity of pronghorn antelope? How necessary are predators and the fear of them in maintaining the resilience of wild places? Joel Berger has written a stirring adventure of wildness, prey naiveté, animal culture, and science.”
Michael Soul�

“How long do the ghosts of monsters linger before their misty essence evaporates?  And when the monster itself (wolf, tiger, men) returns with meat hunger, how long before prey rediscover terror? What created the singular fleetness and visual acuity of pronghorn antelope? How necessary are predators and the fear of them in maintaining the resilience of wild places? Joel Berger has written a stirring adventure of wildness, prey naiveté, animal culture, and science.”
Choice
"An informative, fun read."-Choice
Booklist
"When ecologist Berger noticed that elk in Yellowstone were no longer afraid of wolves, who had been absent from the ecosystem for 60 years, it sparked a quest to answer three major questions: Can naive prey avoid extinction when their predators are reintroduced? To what extent can animals learn fear? And what can current behavior teach us about past extinctions and future conservation efforts? We follow Berger as he attempts to answer these questions by radio-collaring moose in below-zero temperatures in Grand Teton National Park and comparing how bison mothers in areas with wolves, areas without wolves, and areas with new wolf packs react to wolf calls. . . .The excitement and drudgery of fieldwork, combined with the author's discoveries on how fear of predators changes the behavior of their prey, make for a book that teaches and thrills equally."-Booklist
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226043630
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Joel Berger is John J. Craighead Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Montana and senior scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society. He is coauthor of Horn of Darkness and author of Wild Horses of the Great Basin, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword
Prologue

Part One
The Hunt for Eden
 
1. The Wolf is at the Door—Who’s Afraid?
2. The Shy Giant of the Forest
3. A Tropical Primate in Alaska
4. Emissaries of a Dying Epoch
 
Part Two
The Meek and the Bold
 
5. Subarctic Shadows
6. To Know Thy Enemy
7. Among the Naive
8. A Tiger East of the Sun
 
Part Three
A Search for Ice Age Relicts
 
9. A Continent of Virgins and Recent Ghosts
10. On Being Caribou and Musk Ox
11. Islands of Ice and Innocence
 
Part Four
The Predator’s Gaze

12. Changing the Rules of Engagement
13. Nomads of the Gobi
14. The Silent Cats of Patagonia
 
Part Five
Making the Beast More Savage, or Less?
 
15. A Credibility Conundrum
16. Different Sides of the Darwinian Divide
17. Of Fear and Culture
 
Epilogue
Acknowledgments
Readings of Interest and Exploration
Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)