One of the biggest differences between humans and animals is the ability to understand the idea of “If I do X, Y might happen.” New Caledonian crows seem to possess the intelligence to understand this “causal” concept. Why do crows have this ability? What does the crow know and what does it tell us about brain size, the evolution of intelligence, and just who is the smartest creature on the planet? In the latest addition to the Scientists in the Field series, the creators of The Frog Scientist take us to a beautiful Pacific island, where a lively cast of both crows and scientists is waiting to amuse and enlighten us.
Imagine walking to the same place every day, to meet your best friend. Imagine watching hundreds of people pass by every morning and every afternoon. Imagine waiting, and waiting, and waiting. For ten years. This is what Hachiko did. Hachiko was a real dog who lived in Tokyo, a dog who faithfully waited for his owner at the Shibuya train station long after his owner could not come to meet him. He became famous for his loyalty and was adored by scores of people who passed through the station every day. This is Hachiko’s story through the eyes of Kentaro, a young boy whose life is changed forever by his friendship with this very special dog. Simply told, and illustrated with Yan Nascimbene’s lush watercolors, the legend of Hachiko will touch your heart and inspire you as it has inspired thousands all over the world.
Mountain gorillas are playful, curious, and protective of their families. They are also one of the most endangered species in the world. For years, mountain gorillas have faced the threat of death by poachers. Funds raised by “gorilla tourism”—bringing people into the forest to see gorillas—have helped protect them. This tourism is vital, but contact between gorillas and people brought a new threat to the gorillas: human disease. The Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project is a group of scientists working to save the mountain gorilla population in Rwanda and Uganda. The gorilla doctors study the effects of human exposure, provide emergency care, and act as foster parents to an orphaned gorilla.