SCIENCES

What Do Animals Think and Feel? An Investigation into Emotion and Behavior

Pegasus. Oct. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9781643135540. $27.95. NAT HIST
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Animals are sentient beings, as German biologist and behavioral scientist Brensing explains in this scholarly work. With this conscious state, we should treat all animals with respect and interest, maintains the author, be they ants, bonobos, crows, or dolphins. Offering plenty of comparisons of animals with humans, this book delves into topics such as sexual behavior, culture, and “sentimentality” (or biochemical reactions). Brensing casually illustrates each of his points with research from other experts, personal anecdotes, hoaxes, realistic examples (such as a meeting between Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin for behavioral biology), and historical and mythological stories. His pleasant, conversational tone wanders in and out of stories and species. If readers wish to follow a tangent or skip around, page numbers provided within the text serve as cross-references. The endnotes are ample, but readers might find themselves wishing for footnotes.
VERDICT Readers seeking an informal yet well-researched look at animal behavior will enjoy browsing through this guide.

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