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Animal Experiences

Colin Tudge: At the zoo, 21 June 2001

A Different Nature: The Paradoxical World of Zoos and Their Uncertain Future 
by David Hancocks.
California, 280 pp., £19.95, May 2001, 0 520 21879 5
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... In his parks in 16th-century India, Akbar the Great employed personal doctors to look after his tigers, cheetahs, deer and five thousand elephants, and invited the populace at large to visit the animals: ‘Meet your brothers, take them to your hearts and respect them.’ But as David Hancocks colourfully describes, most precursors of the modern zoo have been the opposite of this, from the circuses of Rome to the travelling menageries of the 18th and 19th centuries, shuttered in so that passers-by got no free view; and as he says (and I saw for myself last year in Yunnan), in China and many emerging economies such horrors are still standard ...

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Peter Campbell: Why Trees Matter, 1 December 2005

The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter 
by Colin Tudge.
Allen Lane, 452 pp., £20, November 2005, 0 7139 9698 6
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... as is the Cerrado of Brazil or the eucalyptus forests in Australia; and the central theme of Colin Tudge’s The Secret Life of Trees is variety and the evolution of variety: variety in form, in adaptation, in kinds of dependence – most trees need to cohabit with soil fungi, some need insects, birds or fruit bats to pollinate them and ...
African Exodus: The Origins of Modern Humanity 
by Chris Stringer and Robin McKie.
Cape, 267 pp., £18.99, March 1996, 0 224 03771 4
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Humans before Humanity 
by Robert Foley.
Blackwell, 238 pp., £25, December 1995, 0 631 17087 1
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The Day before Yesterday: Five Million Years of Human History 
by Colin Tudge.
Cape, 390 pp., £18.99, January 1996, 0 224 03772 2
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The Wisdom of Bones: In Search of Human Origins 
by Alan Walker and Pat Shipman.
Weidenfeld, 270 pp., £18.99, April 1996, 0 297 81670 5
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The Neanderthal Enigma: Solving the Mystery of Modern Human Origins 
by James Shreeve.
Viking, 369 pp., £20, May 1996, 0 670 86638 5
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... are often first seen as minuscule figures set against a vast backdrop of space and time. Colin Tudge follows this line in The Day before Yesterday, but his message, unlike Hardy’s, is that there is no destiny: humanity was not fated to happen as an inevitable link in the chain between apes and angels. Evolution is often seen as ...

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