Book: The Exultant Ark

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About The Book:

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Nature documentaries often depict animal life as a grim struggle for survival, but this visually stunning book opens our eyes to a different, more scientifically up-to-date way of looking at the animal kingdom.

In more than one hundred thirty striking images, The Exultant Ark celebrates the full range of animal experience with dramatic portraits of animal pleasure ranging from the charismatic and familiar to the obscure and bizarre.

These photographs, windows onto the inner lives of pleasure seekers, show two polar bears engaged in a bout of wrestling, hoary marmots taking time for a friendly chase, Japanese macaques enjoying a soak in a hot spring, a young bull elk sticking out his tongue to catch snowflakes, and many other rewarding moments.

Biologist and best-selling author Jonathan Balcombe is our guide, interpreting the images within the scientific context of what is known about animal behavior.

In the end, old attitudes fall away as we gain a heightened sense of animal individuality and of the pleasures that make life worth living for all sentient beings.

(Meerkat image photo credit)

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An exuberant look at animal pleasure.

New York Times

An irresistible new photo book.

New York Post

Intersperses glorious images of animals preening, grooming and gallivanting with snippets of studies suggesting such behaviours belie an overly utilitarian interpretation.

New Scientist

Here is a book to put a spring into anyone’s step. The Exultant Ark is a celebration of animal behaviour at its most uplifting.

BBC Wildlife Magazine

All readers of this column must immediately purchase Jonathan Balcombe’s fabulous book.

The Australian