Penn State

Mary J. Kennett - professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences, Penn State University Park

Book Title: King Solomon's Ring: New Light on Animals' Ways

Author: Konrad Lorenz

Book Description:

I began my research career doing field studies on the evolution of altruistic behaviors in Glaucous-winged gulls on an island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. These studies laid my foundation in evolutionary biology, ethology, and the scientific method, and I am grateful for such an interesting and exciting introduction to research. Nikolaas Tinbergen and Konrad Lorenz are two fathers of the field of ethology to which I am most indebted, and King Solomon’s Ring is one of the best and most enjoyable books about this field. Konrad Lorenz was a brilliant scientist and a colleague of Tinbergen’s; He, Tinbergen, and Karl von Frisch shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine “for their discoveries concerning organization and elicitation of individual and social behaviour patterns.” Lorenz understood the importance of comparative methods in science and was a keen observer of nature and animal behavior. In addition, he wrote with a sense of humor and an obvious enthusiasm for the animals he studied. Here he clearly communicates to all that science can be fun and rewarding, and that careful observations and experimentation are vital to understanding. This book certainly influenced my views on science and nature, and I hope others who read it will be equally inspired.

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