Ethologist dr. Jonathan Balcombe recently published the New York Times best-seller What a Fish Knows. In this dynamic, at times provocative presentation he takes us through streams and estuaries, under the sea, and to the other side of the aquarium glass to reveal the surprising capabilities of fish.
Although they exceed thirty thousand species―more than all mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians combined―fish are rarely considered to be individuals with thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Dr. Balcombe upends typical biases toward fish as unfeeling, dead-eyed feeding machines, presenting them instead as individuals, sentient, aware, social and even Machiavellian. Highlighting breakthrough discoveries from fish scientists and enthusiasts around the world, and pondering his own encounters with fish, Balcombe presents a fresh look at these remarkable creatures in all their breathtaking diversity and beauty.
Jonathan Balcombe, PhD, is a biologist, author, and a life-long animal advocate. His 2006 book Pleasurable Kingdom is the first in-depth examination of animals’ capacity to enjoy life. His subsequent books Second Nature, and The Exultant Ark also present animals in a new light and presage a revolution in the human-animal relationship. His new book, the New York Times best-seller What a Fish Knows, explores the private lives of the planet’s most misunderstood and maligned vertebrates. Balcombe is Director for Animal Sentience with The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy, and Associate Editor for Animal Sentience, the first scholarly journal of animal feeling. He recently moved to Florida, where in his spare time he enjoys swimming, snorkeling, biking, baking, birding, Bach, and trying to understand the lizards on his patio.