The Better to Eat You With: Fear in the Animal World

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-11-01
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At dawn on a brutally cold January morning, Joel Berger crouched in the icy grandeur of the Teton Range. It had been three years since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone after a sixty-year absence, and members of a wolf pack were approaching a herd of elk. To Berger's utter shock, the elk ignored the wolves as they went in for the kill. The brutal attack that followedswift and bloodyled Berger to hypothesize that after only six decades, the elk had forgotten to fear a species that had survived by eating them for hundreds of millennia. Berger's fieldwork that frigid day raised important questions that would require years of travel and research to answer: Can naive animals avoid extinction when they encounter reintroduced carnivores? To what extent is fear culturally transmitted? And how can a better understanding of current predator-prey behavior help demystify past extinctions and inform future conservation? The Better to Eat You Withis the chronicle of Berger's search for answers. From Yellowstone's elk and wolves to rhinos living with African lions and moose coexisting with tigers and bears in Asia, Berger tracks cultures of fear in animals across continents and climates, engaging readers with a stimulating combination of natural history, personal experience, and conservation. Whether battling bureaucracy in the statehouse or fighting subzero wind chills in the field, Berger puts himself in the middle of the action. The Better to Eat You Withinvites readers to join him there. The thrilling tales he tells reveal a great deal not only about survival in the animal kingdom but also the process of doing science in foreboding conditions and hostile environments.

Author Biography

Joel Berger is John J. Craighead Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Montana and senior scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society. He is coauthor of Horn of Darkness and author of Wild Horses of the Great Basin, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. ix
Prologuep. 1
The Hunt for Eden
The Wolf is at the Door-Who's Afraid?p. 6
The Shy Giant of the Forestp. 20
A Tropical Primate in Alaskap. 42
Emissaries of a Dying Epochp. 68
The Meek and the Bold
Subarctic Shadowsp. 84
To Know Thy Enemyp. 94
Among the Naivep. 114
A Tiger East of the Sunp. 128
A Search for Ice Age Relicts
A Continent of Virgins and Recent Ghostsp. 150
On Being Caribou and Musk Oxp. 160
Islands of Ice and Innocencep. 174
The Predator's Gaze
Changing the Rules of Engagementp. 194
Nomads of the Gobip. 218
The Silent Cats of Patagoniap. 236
Making the Beast More Savage, or Less?
A Credibility Conundrump. 248
Different Sides of the Darwinian Dividep. 256
Of Fear and Culturep. 266
Epiloguep. 279
Acknowledgmentsp. 283
Readings of Interest and Explorationp. 287
Indexp. 293
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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