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Meerkat Manor: Flower of the Kalahari by Tim…

Meerkat Manor: Flower of the Kalahari (2007)

by Tim Clutton-Brock

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This is a lavishly illustrated account of the life of meerkats in the Kalahari Desert, focusing on one particular individual, Flower, dominant female of the Whiskers group for seven years. The book includes a chronology of her life and a listing of her offspring. This is a popular account, but Clutton-Brock does not get bogged down in the cuteness of meerkats, but lets us know that their lives can be short and violent, even though they are a relatively cooperative social species. He also discusses somewhat dryly why meerkats are a great choice to study: not too much obscuring vegetation, they are active during the day, they don't live underground, etc. He discusses the behavior of other social species from insects to humans, and speculates on the evolutionary bases and ramifications of their different behaviors. A truly fascinating book. There is a list of scientific papers produced out of the project for those who want more academic information. Recommended for anyone interested in the scientific study of animals, especially meerkats. ( )
2 vote juglicerr | Oct 19, 2008 |
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This is the story of a meerkat.
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Written by the Cambridge professor who made them stars, Meerkat Manor is an exclusive, detailed look inside the lives of the Whiskers, the meerkat clan featured on the hit Animal Planet show. Behind-the-scenes detail provided by expert author Tim Clutton-Brock sheds light on Flower's early years, her fight to rule the Whiskers, and her struggle to stay on top. With beautiful illustrations and a meerkat's-eye view of life in the Kalahari, Meerkat Manor also contains an easy-to-understand introduction to animal societies, meerkats, their predators and prey. Like humans, meerkats can be cute, cuddly, affectionate, fearless, and amazingly unselfish: also like us they can become vicious, vindictive, and even murderous within a split second. By explaining the lives of Whiskers, Clutton-Brock shares his perspective on how the lives of all animals (including humans) are structured by the need both to compete and to cooperate. (from the cover)
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'Meerkat Manor' is the true-life story of Flower, the heroine of the successful television series, and the dominant female of Whiskers group. Through words and photographs, the reader becomes closely involved in the life-or-death struggles, just like a soap opera, of this curiously attractive tribe.… (more)

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