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Title Details
Mousy Cats and Sheepish Coyotes by Shivik, John
Mousy Cats and Sheepish Coyotes: The Science of Animal Personalities
by Shivik, John
A wildlife expert explores what science tells us about animals as unique individuals and why animal personality matters for the human-animal bond and for adaptation in nature.

Why are some cats cuddly and others standoffish? Why are some dogs adventuresome, others homebodies? As any pet owner can attest, we feel that the animals we’ve formed bonds with are unique, as particular (and peculiar) as any friend or loved one. But is there a scientific basis for this notion, or are we just projecting our feelings onto the animal world? Objective evidence exists, as it turns out, but science has been reluctant to acknowledge it until recently. For more than a hundred years, scientists have neglected the study of animal personality due to an unwillingness to anthropomorphize. Now, however, mainstream scientists are beginning to accept the idea that animals of all kinds—from apes and birds to crabs and spiders—do indeed have individual personalities.

In Mousy Cats and Sheepish Coyotes, veteran wildlife expert Dr. John Shivik brings us stories from the front lines of this exciting new discipline. Drawing on his scientific training, as well as his storytelling gifts, Shivik serves as an accessible, humorous guide to the emerging body of research on animal personalities. Researchers are finding that each wolf, bear, and coyote has an inherent tendency to favor either its aggressive nature or to shyly avoid conflicts. Some bluebirds are lovers, others are fighters. Some water striders are passive, others bellicose. Unique personalities can be discovered in every corner of the animal kingdom. Even microscopic organisms can exhibit varying tendencies. The array of personality types among all species is only beginning to be described and understood. As Shivik argues, individuality in animals is important not only for the human-animal bond but also for evolution, adaption, and species diversity in the wild.
Published November, 2017 by Beacon Press, Hardcover, 216 Pages, ISBN: 9780807071519, ISBN-10: 080707151X, List Price $26.95.

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