[Zuk] watches and writes with a sense of wonder, curiosity, and the abiding recognition that our own human lives only make sense in light of the behavior of other species…Zuk’s lovely book feels like a cabinet of curiosities whose details remind us to pay attention to the behaviors around us every day.—Rob Dunn, Science
Zuk has a knack for weaving in complex scientific theories without ever slowing down the pace, and her vivid descriptions render her wonder contagious…This one’s full of fun.—Publishers Weekly
Consistently entertaining…Fascinating stories from a knowledgeable, humorous guide. Another winner from Zuk.—Kirkus Reviews
This book is a joy—a provocative, highly entertaining exploration of the roots of our behavior. Marlene Zuk dispels the murk and misconceptions about how our sex roles, language, intelligence, even our mental illness came to be, offering a fresh and invigorating view of animal behavior illuminated by her deep knowledge and warm humor.—Jennifer Ackerman, New York Times best-selling author of The Genius of Birds
With Dancing Cockatoos and the Dead Man Test, Marlene Zuk, a master of scientific storytelling, presents the natural world as a source of powerful insights for understanding behavior across animal species, including our own. With authority, clarity, and wit, the author guides readers on a revelatory journey into the connected nature of behavior across the tree of life.
—Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, coauthor of Zoobiquity and Wildhood
In Dancing Cockatoos and the Dead Man Test, Marlene Zuk uses a light touch to probe heavy questions: What is behavior? How is it related to intelligence? Does domestication make one dumb? Over the course of her investigation, she introduces readers to Lesser Black-backed Gulls that lie in wait to steal student sandwiches, crayfish that experience anxiety, and sea slugs that decapitate themselves (all the better to grow a new parasite-free body). The book, sparkling with humor and curiosity, is a pleasure from start to finish.
—Kim Todd, author of Sparrow