Winner of the 2023 Nautilus Book Award in the category of Animals & Nature
The surprising, fascinating, and remarkable ways that animals use creativity to thrive in their habitats
Most of us view animals through a very narrow lens, seeing only bits and pieces of beings that seem mostly peripheral to our lives. However, whether animals are building a shelter, seducing a mate, or inventing a new game, animals' creative choices affect their social, cultural, and environmental worlds. The Creative Lives of Animals
offers readers intimate glimpses of creativity in the lives of animals, from elephants to alligators to ants. Drawing on a growing body of scientific research, Carol Gigliotti unpacks examples of creativity demonstrated by animals through the lens of the creative process, an important component of creative behavior, and offers new thinking on animal intelligence, emotion, and self-awareness. With examples of the elaborate dams built by beavers or the lavishly decorated bowers of bowerbirds, Gigliotti provides a new perspective on animals as agents in their own lives, as valuable contributors to their world and ours, and as guides in understanding how creativity may contribute to conserving the natural world. Presenting a powerful argument for the importance of recognizing animals as individuals and as creators of a healthy, biodiverse world, this book offers insights into both the established and emerging questions about the creativity of animals.
Carol Gigliotti is Professor Emerita of Dynamic Media and Critical and Cultural Studies at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. She is the editor of Leonardo's Choice: Genetic Technologies and Animals.