During their 30 years together, psychology professor Irene Pepperberg and Alex, her African gray parrot, said "I love you" to each other nearly every day. Pepperberg writes about the extraordinary abilities of her pet in the memoir Alex & Me.
Although his brain was no bigger than a walnut, Alex the African gray parrot could do more than speak and understand — he could also count, identify colors and, according to his owner Irene Pepperberg, develop an emotional relationship.
Dorothy's Toto and Elle's Bruiser have a friend in common: animal trainer Bill Berloni. Berloni has been training stage animals for over 30 years. His new book is Broadway Tails: Heartfelt Stories of Rescued Dogs Who Became Showbiz Superstars.
Humans aren't the only ones smarting from the economy's downturn: Animals are also feeling the sting. Stephanie Shain, director of outreach for companion animals at the Humane Society of the United States, explains.
Primatologist duo Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth discuss their new book, Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind. The husband-and-wife team spent years studying a group of baboons in Botswana, observing their behavior, vocalizations — and even their feces — to better understand the primates' complex social structure.
Documentary producer Huw Cordey helped create the staggeringly ambitious BBC series Planet Earth. The series was five years in the making and was shot in 62 countries on every continent. It was broadcast in the United States on The Discovery Channel, and is now available on DVD.
Wondering what your pet is trying to tell you with that bizarre habit or that pleading look? Dodman is the best-selling author of The Dog Who Loved Too Much and The Cat Who Cried for Help. His latest is Puppy's First Steps: The Whole-Dog Approach to Raising a Happy Healthy, Well-Behaved Puppy.
Melinda Merck literally wrote the book on investigating animal cruelty — a crime that's increasingly understood to be linked to domestic violence. Merck is co-author of Forensic Investigation of Animal Cruelty: A Guide for Veterinarians and Law Enforcement, and in June she will publish a textbook, Veterinary Forensics: Animal Cruelty Investigations. (A warning: Parts of this interview are disturbing).
Writer Jon Mooallem wrote "Designer-Dog Fights," a story in the New York Times Magazine about the breeders who breed dogs to create a canine with a particular mix of behavioral and physical characteristics.