The Secret Language and Remarkable Behavior of Animals

Overview


Unlock the mysteries of the fascinating world of animal behavior and body language on a guided tour of the most interesting species on the planet.

Animals constantly give each other signals through a complex array of movements and facial expressions. By learning to interpret this communication, you can predict behavior and gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the creatures around us.

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Barberis, Juan Carlos 1998 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. DJ and pages in mint condition, gift quality! Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 464 p. Contains: Illustrations. ... Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview


Unlock the mysteries of the fascinating world of animal behavior and body language on a guided tour of the most interesting species on the planet.

Animals constantly give each other signals through a complex array of movements and facial expressions. By learning to interpret this communication, you can predict behavior and gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the creatures around us.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579120368
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/10/1998
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 1.62 (d)

Meet the Author


Juan Carlos Barberis was the staff artist/illustrator for the Museum of Natural History in New York for twenty years.

Janine M. Benyus is the author of A Field Guide to Wildlife: Habitats of the Eastern United States and A Field Guide to Wildlife: Habitats of the Western United States as well as Northwoods Wildlife: A Watcher's Guide to Habitats. An educator at heart, she believes that the better people understand the genius of the natural world, the more likely they are to love and protect it.

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Read an Excerpt


SEXUAL BEHAVIOR

When a females comes into heat (every 3 to 4 weeks on the average), the first male that finds her becomes temporary consort. The other males in the pride usually respect his right and wait their turn without challenging him. Besides draining their precious energy, a fight at this point would be bad politics. Males need one another to fight off marauding gangs and are therefore hesitant to tarnish their esprit de corps or disable a team member. Besides, the male that is waiting his turn is usually related to the consort, so even though he's not the one mating, some of his genes are still being passed on.

The best reason for waiting without a fuss, however, is the opportunity eventually knocks for all the males. It would be impossible for a single male to keep up the sexual pace set by the estrous female. Once she comes into estrus and for the next several days, she will mate every 15 minutes on the average! At the same time, other females in the pride are coming into estrus, making even more matings with two females, copulating a total of 157 times in 55 hours. He mated every 21 minutes on the average, with a breathing space ranging form 60 seconds to as long as 110 minutes, leaving little time for normal pursuits, including eating.

Courtship

Courtship usually takes place in the open, sometimes away form the rest of the pride. The male and female circle each other restlessly, performing a typical sequence of displays. The male signals his intention with a mating grimace, a sneezelike snarl in which he wrinkles his nose, pulls by his lips to expose his teeth, opens his mouth slowly, and rolls his head from side to side without a sound. It is similar to the defensive snarl except he makes no sound and opens his mouth quite slowly. If the female doesn't immediately crouch in the mating posture, the male may move to her and begin to lick her fur, as if to groom her. If she still isn't ready, she may get up and move away a few steps, tail looped high, with the male following her in a tight mating chase. Eventually, the female turns her rump toward the male, lowers her forequarters, and elevate her hindquarters in a crouched presenting posture.

Females are by no means passive in the courtship sequence. In one study, they initiated courtship in 57% of the cases by circling the male, rubbing against him, curling themselves around him, or crouching in front of him. Females tend to solicit males in captivity even more frequently than they do in the wild. You'll see them presenting repeatedly, often treading with their forepaws as they do. Zookeepers have also noted that estrous females often roll on their back, grabbing their own hind paws and biting them. If you see a female doing this, you may want to stick around to see what happens.

Excerpted from The Secret Language & Remarkable Behavior of Animals. Copyright (c) 1998 by Janine M. Benyus. Reprinted by permission of BD&L.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgements

There's No Place Like Home

What's New With Zoos?

How Animals Behave: A Primer

African Jungles, Plains, And Waterways

Gorilla

Lion

African Elephant

Plains Zebra

Black Rhinoceros

Giraffe

Ostrich

Greater Flamingo

Nile Crocodile

Asian Forests

Giant Panda

Peacock

Komodo Monitor

Warm Oceans

Bottlenose Dolphin

Caifornia Sea Lion

North America

Gray Wolf

Bald Eagle

Sandhill Crane

The Poles

Beluga Whale

Polar Bear

Adelie Penguin

Zoo Critique

Further Reading

IndeX

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