Chasing Doctor Dolittle by Con Slobodchikoff
Learning the Language of Animals

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Synopsis

"Slobodchikoff's ground-breaking research" (Jonathan Balcombe) shows us that animals have much to teach us about language

Groundbreaking research has been done teaching animals human language, but what about the other way around? Studies have shown that lizards, squid, monkeys, and birds are talking to each other, communicating information about food, predators, squabbles, and petty jealousies. These animal languages are unique and highly adaptive. By exploring them, we come to appreciate the basis of our own languages; understanding or even "speaking" them allows us to get closer to the other species who inhabit this planet with us. The implications of animals having language are enormous. It has been one of the last bastions separating "us" from "them."

Slobodchikoff's studies of the communication system of prairie dogs over twenty-five years have attracted a considerable amount of attention from the media, including a one-hour documentary on his work produced by BBC and Animal Planet.
In Chasing Doctor Dolittle, he posits that the difference is one of degree, not the vast intellectual chasm that philosophers have talked about for millennia. Filled with meticulous research, vivid examples and daring conclusions, this book will challenge the reader's assumptions and open up new possibilities of understanding our fellow creatures.

 

About Con Slobodchikoff

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CON SLOBODCHIKOFF is a professor of biology at Northern Arizona University and director of the Animal Language Institute.
 
Published November 27, 2012 by St. Martin's Press. 319 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Chasing Doctor Dolittle

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Slobodchikoff argues that the sounds contain “as much information to prairie dogs as a long, drawn-out sentence would for us.” Along with several other experiments showing that chickens, monkeys and other animals routinely identify predators by different calls, this provides the basis for the aut...

Aug 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Lear...

Denver Post

His own work on prairie dogs takes center stage, as it should: In a fascinating series of experiments, Slobodchikoff and his team analyzed the warning calls made by prairie dogs in a colony they studied.

Jan 13 2013 | Read Full Review of Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Lear...

Bookmarks Magazine

It has been one of the last bastions separating “us” from “them.”Slobodchikoff's studies of the communication system of prairie dogs over twenty-five years have attracted a considerable amount of attention from the media, including a one-hour documentary on his work produced by BBC an...

Jan 07 2013 | Read Full Review of Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Lear...

CBC News

Con Slobodchikoff is a professor Emeritus at Northern Arizona University and author of the book Chasing Doctor Dolittle - Learning the Language of Animals.

Jun 21 2013 | Read Full Review of Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Lear...

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