The environments in which animals find themselves might at any time contain threats, potential meals, parenting challenges, or mating opportunities. This short but informative book is about how animals interact with those environments, to make the most of the opportunities presented, and to mitigate the threats posed.
Subjects covered include how animals sense and respond to opportunities or dangers, how they learn and pass on those lessons to others, how they hoodwink potential predators, how they communicate, how they make strategic or tactical decisions, and how they act collectively.
The book contains some nice examples of how natural selection has honed animal behaviour to make the most of life’s opportunities and challenges, be it determining how many eggs to lay in a clutch, employing countermeasures to escape predators, or using tools to obtain food.
An entertaining little book.
“…wonderfully droll, witty and entertaining… At their best Carter’s moorland walks and his meandering intellectual talk are part of a single, deeply coherent enterprise: a restless inquiry into the meaning of place and the nature of self.”
—Mark Cocker, author and naturalist
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