Aesop?s Animals: The Science Behind the Fables

Aesop?s Animals

The Science Behind the Fables
 
Publisher: Bloomsbury Sigma
Date of Publication:
Number of Volumes: Paperback
 
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Product details:

ISBN13:9781472966926
ISBN10:1472966929
Binding:Paperback
No. of pages:368 pages
Size:216x135 mm
Language:English
767
Category:
Long description:
Turns a critical eye on Aesop's Fables to ask whether there is any scientific truth to Aesop's portrayal of his animals.

Despite originating more than two-and-a-half thousand years ago, Aesop's Fables are still passed on from parent to child, and are embedded in our collective consciousness. The morals we have learned from these tales continue to inform our judgements, but have the stories also informed how we regard their animal protagonists? If so, is there any truth behind the stereotypes? Are wolves deceptive villains? Are crows insightful geniuses? And could a tortoise really beat a hare in a race?

In Aesop's Animals, zoologist Jo Wimpenny turns a critical eye to the fables to discover whether there is any scientific truth to Aesop's portrayal of the animal kingdom. She brings the tales into the twenty-first century, introducing the latest findings on some of the most fascinating branches of ethological research - the study of why animals do the things they do. In each chapter she interrogates a classic fable and a different topic - future planning, tool use, self-recognition, cooperation and deception - concluding with a verdict on the veracity of each fable's portrayal from a scientific perspective.

By sifting fact from fiction in one of the most beloved texts of our culture, Aesop's Animals explores and challenges our preconceived notions about animals, the way they behave, and the roles we both play in our shared world.

Turns a critical eye on Aesop's Fables to ask whether there is any scientific truth to Aesop's portrayal of his animals.

Despite originating more than two-and-a-half thousand years ago, Aesop's Fables are still passed on from parent to child, and are embedded in our collective consciousness. The morals we have learned from these tales continue to inform our judgements, but have the stories also informed how we regard their animal protagonists? If so, is there any truth behind the stereotypes? Are wolves deceptive villains? Are crows insightful geniuses? And could a tortoise really beat a hare in a race?

In Aesop's Animals, zoologist Jo Wimpenny turns a critical eye to the fables to discover whether there is any scientific truth to Aesop's portrayal of the animal kingdom. She brings the tales into the twenty-first century, introducing the latest findings on some of the most fascinating branches of ethological research - the study of why animals do the things they do. In each chapter she interrogates a classic fable and a different topic - future planning, tool use, self-recognition, cooperation and deception - concluding with a verdict on the veracity of each fable's portrayal from a scientific perspective.

By sifting fact from fiction in one of the most beloved texts of our culture, Aesop's Animals explores and challenges our preconceived notions about animals, the way they behave, and the roles we both play in our shared world.
Table of Contents:
Preface

1: The Crow and the Pitcher
2: The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
3: The Dog and its Shadow
4: The Ass Carrying the Image
5: The Fox and the Crow
6: The Lion and the Shepherd
7: The Monkey and the Fisherman
8: The Ants and the Grasshopper
9: The Hare and the Tortoise

Epilogue
Selected Bibliography
Acknowledgements
Index