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Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot…
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Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Uncovered a Hidden World of Animal… (2008)

by Irene M. Pepperberg

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7025413,505 (3.89)42
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Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
My son saw this on my pile and fussed at the title Alex & I!" But it depends on the rest of 'understood' sentence, doesn't it? Are we referencing a subject or an object? "This book is about Alex & me" would be correct, would it not?

Well anyway, I finally read it. Quick & engaging, but not nearly enough science for me. I want to know more about more recent work on the cognitive abilities of birds." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
This book absolutely captivated me from start to finish. There were times when I felt it was a bit repetitive and others where I wished Pepperberg had gone into more detail, but overall this was a lovely read that I will be suggesting to absolutely everyone. ( )
  Kristin_Curdie_Cook | Apr 29, 2016 |
This was a book that I could not put down once I started it. Because I knew from the beginning that Alex, the African Grey parrot who helped Dr. Irene M. Pepperberg with her research, was no longer alive, I wanted to find out what happened to him.

Along the way, I was introduced to two separate worlds. One was world of the investigator and how Dr. Pepperberg had to cope with the difficulties of obtaining research funding to carry on what was deemed as "off-the-beaten-track" research. The other was the world of the intellectual capabilities the African Grey parrot. Dr. Pepperberg had several of these, but Alex was the one with which she began her research and who became best-known of all her birds.

Dr. Pepperberg describes the intertwining of these two worlds in a way that is captivating, humorous, and surprising. She ends her story with a beautiful note of how all nature is connected and Homo Sapiens are really not as supreme as we would like to think. ( )
  SqueakyChu | Apr 28, 2016 |
A wonderful account of Irene Pepperberg and her amazing African Grey parrot, Alex. Alex was well known for disproving many theories about animal cognition, and his death was a shock and sadness to so many people. In this book, Pepperberg talks about her life with Alex, and other birds, and the discoveries they made. There were many problems, such as finding funding, figuring out the right training methods, and just dealing with the stubborness of Alex who did his best to get what he wanted, when he wanted it. The book also has some cute anecdotes about Alex.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. As someone in the science field, I had heard many things about Alex and his accomplishments and was very saddened to hear of his death. It was nice to see a bit of insight to his daily life and the efforts that went into discovering just how smart he really was. ( )
  Tanya-D | Jan 15, 2016 |
Simply one of the greatest books ever written in the field of ethology, because it is not so much about ethology as about the extraordinary relationship between one person and a parrot. Pepperberg's reluctance to step outside an objective approach to her work with Alex makes this more than a good or interesting book, because in the end it is her transcending objectivity (but blink and you'll miss it) that takes this story into exceptional territory. ( )
  nandadevi | Jul 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
This ornery reviewer tried to resist Alex’s charms on principle (the principle that says any author who keeps telling us how remarkable her subject is cannot possibly be right). But his achievements got the better of me.
 
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To Alex
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How much impact can a one-pound ball of feathers have on the world?
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Amazon had one of their listings for this title mis-titled with the word 'discovered'. The correct word is 'Uncovered'.
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Book description
On September 6, 2007, an African Grey parrot named Alex died prematurely at age thirty-one. What would normally be a quiet, very private event was, in Alex's case, headline news. Over the thirty years they had worked together, Alex and Irene had become famous--two pioneers who opened an unprecedented windo into the hidden yet vast world of animal minds. Alex's brain was the size of a shelled walnut, and when Irene and Alex first met, bird were not believed to possess any potential for language, consciousness, or anything remotely comparable to human intelligence. Yet over the years, Alex proved many things. He could add. He could sound out words. He understood concepts like bigger, smaller, more, fewer, and none. He was capable of thought and intention. Together, Alex and Irene uncovered a startling reality. We live in a world populated by thinking, conscious creatures. Yet there was a side to their relationship that never made the papers. They were emotionally connected to one another. Alex and Irene stayed together through thick and thin--despite sneers from experts, extraordinary financial sacrifices, and a nomadic existence from one university to another. The sotry of their thirty-year adventure is equally a landmark of scientific achievement and of an unforgettable human-animal bond. [adapted from book jacket]
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This story of Alex, a famous African Grey parrot, documents his thirty-year relationship with his trainer and the ways in which his life has changed scientific understanding about language and thought.

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