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Ornithology Exchange

In the Company of Crows and Ravens


Melanie Colón
  • John M. Marzluff, Tony Angell, Paul R. Ehrlich Yale University Press 2007 http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/reviews.asp?isbn=9780300100761 English , Crows, Jays (Corvidae), 06/05/2007 0300122551 9780300122558 No value No value

From the cave walls at Lascaux to the last painting by Van Gogh, from the works of Shakespeare to those of Mark Twain, there is clear evidence that crows and ravens influence human culture. Yet this influence is not unidirectional, say the authors of this fascinating book: people profoundly influence crow culture, ecology, and evolution as well. Examining the often surprising ways that crows and humans interact, John Marzluff and Tony Angell contend that those interactions reflect a process of “cultural coevolution.” They offer a challenging new view of the human-crow dynamic—a view that may change our thinking not only about crows but also about ourselves.

 

Featuring more than 100 original drawings, the book takes a close look at the influences people have had on the lives of crows throughout history and at the significant ways crows have altered human lives. In the Company of Crows and Ravens illuminates the entwined histories of crows and people and concludes with an intriguing discussion of the crow-human relationship and how our attitudes toward crows may affect our cultural trajectory. As the authors state in their preface: “Crows and people share similar traits and social strategies. To a surprising extent, to know the crow is to know ourselves."




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