Man and other animals

Danilo Mainardi

€ 15,00
Publisher: Cairo Editore
Collection: Saggi
Pages: 180
ISBN/EAN: 978-88-6052-602-1

Unexpected affinities and fundamental differences between nature and culture, between the actions of man and that of the other animals compose an unusual biological story. Danilo Mainardi proposes this idea with an efficacious cognitive tool, analogy, in order to bring to the fore resemblances produced in parallel evolutionary histories. Affinities, not relationships, of the species that are called to live in similar environments, equally using the same resources and thus having an analogous anatomy and, analogous behaviours to carry out common functions. Analogies between biological and cultural evolution, both subjected to the same fundamental laws that govern, at the same time, the life of organisms and ideas. From an often ironic and always disenchanted viewpoint, Mainardi narrates the biological wisdom of animal behaviour: precisely what our species is losing day after day. That is why chickens, cats and scorpions always know how to be perfect parents while human beings don’t always manage. Because only we humans can become violent fanatics. Because wolves or lynxes take their prey without ever impoverishing their hunting territory, while we are destroying the planet. But, at the same time, however, this fascinating comparison also includes curious parallels like the self-sacrificing ants and the kamikaze, the common group rites of chimpanzees and soccer players; the aggressiveness of hermit crabs and of soldiers; the altruism of blue-jays and voluntary workers. Stories that draw heavily from the roots of biology, as a cultural appeal indispensable for today’s young people, who face evolutionary scenarios that were unthinkable just yesterday. An artificial biodiversity increasingly crowding our world, just as the artificial intelligence that humanity can perhaps benefit from. Scenarios that are both fascinating and alarming that will require new generations that are culturally equipped, not just with a quick technological culture, but also with the awareness that the basis and the slowness of biology are the beginning of everything.

The author
Danilo Mainardi ethologist, ecologist and an expert in popularizing science, is professor emeritus of Behavioural Ecology at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and head of the International School of Ethology in Erice. He is honorary president of the LIPU (Italian League for Protection of Birds), member of various academies and societies like the National Academy of Sciences (dei Quaranta) and the International Ethological Society of which he was president. He writes for Corriere della Sera and is a regular guest on Piero Angela’s TV programme Superquark. Cairo Editore has published his non-fiction works Nella mente degli animali (2006), La bella zoologia (2008), L’intelligenza degli animali,(2009), Il cane secondo me (2010), Noi e loro (2013) and the crime noverls L’acchiappacolombi (2008),Un innocente vampiro (2020) and Le corna del Cesare (2012)

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