Lion

Reaktion Books
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Although the lion is not the largest, fastest or most lethal animal, its position as king of beasts has rarely been challenged. Since Palaeolithic times, lions have fascinated people, and due to its gallant mane, knowing eyes, and distinctive roar, the animal continues to beguile us today. In Lion, Deirdre Jackson paints a fresh portrait of this regal beast, drawing on folktales, the latest scientific research, and even lion-tamers’ memoirs, as well as other little-known sources to tell the story of lions famous and anonymous, familiar and surprising.

Majestic, noble, brave—the lion is an animal that has occupied a great place in the human imagination, inspiring countless myths, lore and legends. As well, this creative relationship has abounded in visual culture—painted on wood and canvas, chiseled in stone, hammered in metal, and tucked between the pages of medieval manuscripts, lions have often represented divinity, dignity, and danger.

In Lion Jackson summarizes the latest findings of field biologists and offers in-depth analyses of works of art, literature, oral traditions, plays, and films. She is a peerless guide on a memorable visual and cultural safari.

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About the author

Deirdre Jackson is a project officer in the catalogue of illuminated manuscripts in the British Library and a former research associate at the University of Oxford. She is also the author of Marvellous to Behold: Miracles in Medieval Manuscripts.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Reaktion Books
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Published on
May 15, 2010
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Pages
236
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ISBN
9781861897350
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / General
Science / Life Sciences / Zoology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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If you are a morani (warrior), you have your spear at the ready—you could be the hero, but you will have to wait until the morning light before you can go out and prove yourself. If it is a lion, you want to be the first to spear it—and if the lion turns on you, make sure it mauls you on your chest or stomach, on your face, shins, or throat. Any place where you can show your scars with pride, show the incontrovertible evidence of courage. A scar on your back would be a permanent reminder of cowardice, an ineradicable trace of shame.

Monsters take many forms: from man-eating lions to the people who hunt them, from armed robbers to that midnight knock at the door of a cheap hotel room in Dar es Salaam. And celebrated biologist Craig Packer has faced them all. Head on.

With Lions in the Balance, Packer takes us back into the complex, tooth-and-claw world of the African lion, offering revealing insights into both the lives of one of the most iconic and dangerous animals on earth and the very real risks of protecting them. A sequel to his prize-winning Into Africa—which gave many readers their first experience of fieldwork in Africa, of cooperative lions on dusty savannas, and political kidnappings on the shores of Lake Tanganyika—this new diary-based chronicle of cutting-edge research and heartbreaking corruption will both alarm and entertain. Packer’s story offers a look into the future of the lion, one in which the politics of conservation will require survival strategies far more creative and powerful than those practiced anywhere in the world today.

Packer is sure to infuriate millionaires, politicians, aid agencies, and conservationists alike as he minces no words about the problems he encounters. But with a narrative stretching from far flung parts of Africa to the corridors of power in Washington, DC, and marked by Packer’s signature humor and incredible candor, Lions in the Balance is a tale of courage against impossible odds, a masterly blend of science, adventure, and storytelling, and an urgent call to action that will captivate a new generation of readers.
There is nowhere on Earth like Africa for observing wild cats. A week spent in the superb national parks and game reserves produces almost guaranteed sightings of the three most spectacular and sought-after species - lions, cheetahs and leopards. Yet, alongside the big three, Africa is home to a further seven species of cat far less conspicuous than their larger cousins. Of these, the caracal, serval and African wildcat are marginally better known, while few people have seen the remaining four - the black-footed cat, African golden cat, jungle cat and sand cat. Rarely observed and little understood, most have never been the focus of dedicated scientific research. This book covers all 10 species. Inevitably, the bias is towards the large, well-studied cats but it includes all that is known about the smaller species, including observations and data from their Asian range or from captivity to fill in some gaps. Chapters deal with evolution and anatomy, predation, social systems, reproduction and survival, competition and conflict, and conservation, and include the most current research findings from around the continent. Supported by a wealth of dramatic and beautiful images, this is a comprehensive overview of the cat family in Africa - from the famous and popular African parks with their celebrated, safari-friendly felids, to the few remaining places on the continent uninhabited by people, where a wild cat may spend its entire life without feeling the effects of the human presence. Unfortunately, such untrammelled freedom is rare. The challenges facing cats in Africa are profound. Only one, the ubiquitous domestic cat, does not require dedicated conservation activity to ensure its survival for the next century. More than at any time in history, the fate of Africa's wild cats is in our hands.
“Until the lion has its own storyteller, tales of the lion hunt will always glorify the hunter.” —Zimbabwean proverb

In 2015, an American hunter named Walter Palmer shot and killed a lion named Cecil. The lion was one of dozens slain each year in Zimbabwe, which legally licenses the hunting of big cats. But Cecil’s death sparked unprecedented global outrage, igniting thousands of media reports about the peculiar circumstances surrounding this hunt. At the center of the controversy was Dr. Andrew Loveridge, the zoologist who had studied Cecil for eight years. In Lion Hearted, Loveridge pieces together, for the first time, the fascinating life and murky details of this beloved lion’s slaying.

In the tradition of Born Free and Gorillas in the Mist, Lion Hearted chronicles Loveridge’s long acquaintance with a host of charismatic lions that his team has tracked, often from birth to death. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Loveridge learned to love predators at the knee of his father, an eminent herpetologist who stored baby crocodiles in the family bathtub. After earning his doctorate at Oxford, he seized an invitation to study the lions of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. There he meets Stumpy Tail, who, despite her name, has the dignity of the Queen of the Animal Kingdom; Dynamite, a venerable coalition leader who, muscled out by younger males, sets off on an incredible thirty-seven-day, 137-mile journey to find a new home; and Kataza, who escapes another lion’s claws, and whom Loveridge twice saves from death at the hands of humans. And, of course, there is Cecil. Dethroned in an epic battle, he forms an alliance with a former rival. He also becomes a favorite of photographers and tourists—until the fateful night when a Minnesota dentist and his hunting guide entice the trusting cat with a free meal.

Loveridge unravels the complexities of lion society and the dangers the cats face both within their ranks and from the outside world. Despite their ruthless reputation, lions can form deep emotional bonds—females live in prides, a sisterhood of mothers, daughters, sisters, and aunts that can exhibit military precision when hunting in formation; males band together in coalitions to vie for control of territory and the female prides. They also display a wide range of emotional behavior, including mourning the loss of their mates, partners, and cubs.

Africa’s lion population is estimated to have shrunk by 43 percent in the last twenty years. There may now be as few as 20,000 wild lions across the entire continent—far fewer than the number of elephants. While deploring the killing of lions for sport, Loveridge does not believe that banning trophy hunting, by itself, will halt the decline of Africa’s lion populations. He sees greater threats in human population growth, the loss of habitat to agriculture, and the illegal trade in lion body parts for use in traditional medicines. And he offers concrete proposals for averting the lion’s extinction.

More than a gripping detective story, Lion Hearted is an exploration of humanity’s relationship with the natural world and an attempt to keep this majestic species from disappearing. “Lions are one of the most beloved animals on the planet,” Loveridge observes. “They are the national symbol of no fewer than fifteen countries. . . . Surely, we can think of a better way to save the wild animals we love besides killing them.”
The bestselling book that asks what dogs know and how they think. The answers will surprise and delight you as Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist, explains how dogs perceive their daily worlds, each other, and that other quirky animal, the human.

Horowitz introduces the reader to dogs’ perceptual and cognitive abilities and then draws a picture of what it might be like to be a dog. What’s it like to be able to smell not just every bit of open food in the house but also to smell sadness in humans, or even the passage of time? How does a tiny dog manage to play successfully with a Great Dane? What is it like to hear the bodily vibrations of insects or the hum of a fluorescent light? Why must a person on a bicycle be chased? What’s it like to use your mouth as a hand? In short, what is it like for a dog to experience life from two feet off the ground, amidst the smells of the sidewalk, gazing at our ankles or knees?

Inside of a Dog explains these things and much more. The answers can be surprising—once we set aside our natural inclination to anthropomorphize dogs. Inside of a Dog also contains up-to-the-minute research—on dogs’ detection of disease, the secrets of their tails, and their skill at reading our attention—that Horowitz puts into useful context. Although not a formal training guide, Inside of a Dog has practical application for dog lovers interested in understanding why their dogs do what they do. With a light touch and the weight of science behind her, Alexandra Horowitz examines the animal we think we know best but may actually understand the least. This book is as close as you can get to knowing about dogs without being a dog yourself.
For more than a quarter century, How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend has been the standard against which all other dog-training books have been measured. This expanded edition preserves the best features of the original classic while bringing the book fully up-to-date. The result: the ultimate training manual for a new generation of dog owners--and, of course, for their canine best friends.

The Monks of New Skete have achieved international renown as breeders of German shepherds and as outstanding trainers of dogs of all breeds. Their unique approach to canine training, developed and refined over four decades, is based on the philosophy that "understanding is the key to communication, compassion, and communion" with your dog.

How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend covers virtually every aspect of living with and caring for your dog, including:
Selecting a dog (what breed? male? female? puppy or older dog?) to fit your lifestyle
Where to get--and where not to get--a dog
Reading a pedigree
Training your dog or puppy--when, where, and how
The proper use of praise and discipline
Feeding, grooming, and ensuring your dog's physical fitness
Recognizing and correcting canine behavioral problems
The particular challenges of raising a dog where you live - in the city, country, or suburb
The proper techniques for complete care of your pet at every stage of his or her lifeIn its scope, its clarity, and its authority, How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend remains unrivaled as a basic training guide for dog owners. Like no other book, this guide can help you understand and appreciate your dog's nature as well as his or her distinct personality--and in so doing, it can significantly enrich the life you share with your dog.
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