Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures
by Virginia Morell
Crown, 2013 ($26)
For much of the 20th century the study of animal minds was off-limits to researchers. Endowing nonhumans with psychological or emotional traits was considered unscientific, an attitude that dates back nearly 400 years ago to René Descartes, who believed animals were lesser beings with no capacity for reason. Morell, a correspondent for Science, argues that biologists are finally breaking this taboo. Each chapter takes readers on an adventure alongside researchers as they probe the minds of such disparate creatures as ants, trout, dolphins, elephants and chimpanzees.