A New York Times bestseller: "A passionate and convincing case for the sophistication of nonhuman minds." —Alison Gopnik, The Atlantic
Hailed as a classic, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? explores the oddities and complexities of animal cognition—in crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, chimpanzees, and bonobos—to reveal how smart animals really are, and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long. Did you know that octopuses use coconut shells as tools, that elephants classify humans by gender and language, and that there is a young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame? Fascinating, entertaining, and deeply informed, de Waal’s landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal—and human—intelligence.
About the Author
Frans de Waal, author of Mama's Last Hug, is C. H. Candler Professor Emeritus of Primate Behavior at Emory University and the former director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
The book is not only full of information and thought-provoking, it’s also a lot of fun to read.
— Nancy Szokan - Washington Post
Astonishing…has the makings of a classic—and is one fascinating read.
Walks us through research revealing what a wide range of animal species are actually capable of…[I]t all deals a pretty fierce wallop to our sense of specialness.
— Jon Mooallem - New York Times Book Review
A thoughtful and easy read, packed with information stemming from detailed empirical research, and one of de Waal’s most comparative works that goes well beyond the world of nonhuman primates with whom he’s most familiar.
— Marc Bekoff - Psychology Today
A beautifully written and delightfully conceived popular science book, written by an eminent researcher who has dedicated his career to making the general public aware of just how smart animals are.
— Nicola Clayton - Science
If you are at all interested in what it is to be an animal, human or otherwise, you should read this book.
— The Guardian
This is a remarkable book by a remarkable scientist. Drawing on a growing body of research including his own, de Waal shows that animals, from elephants and chimpanzees to the lowly invertebrates, are not only smarter than we thought, but also engaged in forms of thought we have only begun to understand.
— Edward O. Wilson, University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? will completely change your perceptions of the abilities of animals. This book takes the reader on a fascinating journey of discovery into the world of animal problem-solving.
— Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human
So, are we ‘smart enough to know how smart animals are’? The question will occur to you many times as you read Frans de Waal’s remarkable distillations of science in this astonishingly broad-spectrum book. I guarantee one thing: readers come away a lot smarter. As this book shows, we are here on Planet Earth with plenty of intelligent company.
— Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel