For readers of Entangled Life and The Hidden Life of Trees, a fascinating journey into the world of plants and animals, and the ways they communicate with each other.
In forests, fields, and even gardens, there is a constant exchange of information going on. Animals and plants must communicate with one another to survive, but they also tell lies, set traps, talk to themselves, and speak to each other in a variety of unexpected ways.
Here, behavioral biologist Madlen Ziege reveals the fascinating world of nonhuman communication. In charming, humorous, and accessible prose, she reveals the hidden world of nature’s language, and how it can help us to understand our own place in the natural world.
Every living organism communicates
Why do we need this book?
Life’s to-do list
A world of information
How is information exchanged?
- Life is live
Everything is so nice and colorful here
The world of smells
- Life is on stand-by
No information without receptors
Here’s looking at you, kid
Listen and be amazed
Follow your sense of smell
Who exchanges information with whom and why?
- Unicellular organisms—communication in the smallest spaces
Eating and being eaten
Says one bacterium to another
- Multicellular organisms—the language of fungi and plants
Order a bite!
Plants à la carte
Sex or no sex
- Multicellular organisms—communication is animal magic
A matter of life and death
Coming, ready or not
Let’s get it on?
Two, three, many—communication in groups
What if everything changes?
- When animals leave the forest
Rabbits at home in the city
And the moral of the story?
“It's always amazing how talkative nature is—very enlightening and entertaining!”
—Peter Wohlleben, author of The Hidden Life of Trees
“In accessible language [Ziege] reports on fascinatingly clever chemical communication among bacteria; tells how wild rabbits coordinate and how badgers warn their enemies… Mushrooms set traps, fish lie, and fox and fir tree say goodnight. Illuminating brain food.”
“Communication between animals and plants takes on a whole new dimension.”
“In the forest and in your own garden, things are… anything but quiet and calm, as Madlen Ziege, in a light and entertaining way, and using astonishing scientific knowledge, shows us.”