23 April 2020
My thanks to Midas PR for the opportunity to listen to this audio book
Taking listeners on a journey from Aysgarth Falls to the Great Barrier Reef, Animal Societies explores the intimate worlds of social animals, demonstrating how studying their social behaviour provides insights to the development of such things as empathy, altruism, leadership and language. It’s clear that animals are not so far removed from us as we might imagine
In a time where humans are struggling to navigate cityscapes, isolation and a loneliness epidemic, Ward shows us that studying the social behaviour of animals offers a window into the evolutionary basis of our own species.
What did I think about it..
Animal Societies is a well described journey through the animal kingdom which is brought to life by the skill and passion of the author, who, by narrating his own work, brings his specific expertise in the study of animal behaviour to enhance the overall effect of the book. Whilst the narration is about the partnership of animals with nature, and their reliance on the natural world for survival and social grouping, it's also about the simple joy of enjoying the natural world in all its glorious splendour.
This detailed look at how all the different groups of animals go about their complex lives is thoroughly explained by an expert which brings a specific authenticity to the narration, and everything is explained in an easy to understand manner. The book is stacked full of facts, with much to consider and learn about animal behaviour, however, I never had the feeling that I was sitting in a lecture, rather more that I was listening to an interesting talk with the author. I especially enjoyed the occasional sound effects which added a nice touch and broke up the narration in a good way.
I've enjoyed listening to Animal Societies and thanks to the interesting topic and the skill of the narrator the 13 hours and 36 minutes of the book passed by very quickly.
About the Author
Ashley Ward is Professor of Animal Behaviour at the University of Sydney and has travelled extensively for his research all over the world – studying lions and elephants in Kenya, whales in the Azores and Tonga, crows in Iceland and Nevada, and fish in Lincolnshire.