The Astonishing Elephant

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Random House, 2000 - Nature - 300 pages
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"Physiologically, elephants are unique - entirely different from all other mammals. Yet, since antiquity, observers have agreed that the elephant is the animal most akin to man." "Today both species of elephant - Africans and Asians - stand on the brink of extinction. Hope is arising, however, from a new generation of young American scientists, many of them women. Female zoologists and biologists have led the field in new findings about elephant ecology, family and sexual patterns, and the animals' continual communication by ultrasound, inaudible to human ears." "The Astonishing Elephant also reveals, for the first time, a hair-raising story of elephant "genocide": in the years between the Civil War and World War I, all male elephants in U. S. circuses were stealthily killed - shot, poisoned, drowned, and even hanged. The reason was musth, a periodic condition of mature males that renders them uncontrollable. So, gradually, only female elephants - now with masculine names - were put on parade, with none the wiser." "Most important, The Astonishing Elephant details a decade of heartbreaking trial and error and eventual triumph as scientists have tried to learn how to breed elephants via artificial insemination."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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THE ASTONISHING ELEPHANT: An Ardent Appreciation of an Astonishing Animal

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An entertaining albeit at times overengrossed portrait—cultural, physiological, historical—of the elephant. Since she can remember, Alexander (Happy Days, 1995) has been hooked on elephants. This ... Read full review

The astonishing elephant

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

How does a woman born in the 1930s become a champion for a species facing extinction? Journalist Alexander (Very Much a Lady) grew up in Manhattan, where her only exposure to animals was through zoos ... Read full review



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About the author (2000)

SHANA ALEXANDER is the author of numerous books, including the bestsellers Nutcracker and Anyone's Daughter, about Patty Hearst. Her other stories of true crime detail the lives of Jean Harris and Bess Meyerson. Her book about her own family, Happy Days, was published in 1995. She lives on Long Island.

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