Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--And Formed a Deep Bond in the Process

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Hardcover, Collins, 2008, ISBN13 9780061672477, ISBN10 0061672475

About this item

On September 6, 2007, an African Grey parrot named Alex died prematurely at age thirty-one. His last words to his owner, Irene Pepperberg, were "You be good. I love you".

What would normally be a quiet, very private event was, in Alex's case, headline news. Over the thirty years they had worked together, Alex and Irene had become famoustwo pioneers who opened an unprecedented window into the hidden yet vast world of animal minds. Alex's brain was the size of a shelled walnut, and when Irene and Alex first met, birds were not believed to possess any potential for language, consciousness, or anything remotely comparable to human intelligence.

Yet, over the years, Alex proved many things. He could add. He could sound out words. He understood concepts like bigger, smaller, more, fewer, and none. He was capable of thought and intention. Together, Alex and Irene uncovered a startling reality: We live in a world populated by thinking, conscious creatures.

The fame that resulted was extraordinary. Yet there was a side to their relationship that never made the papers. They were emotionally connected to one another. They shared a deep bond far beyond science. Alex missed Irene when she was away. He was jealous when she paid attention to other parrots, or even people. He liked to show her who was boss. He loved to dance. He sometimes became bored by the repetition of his tests, and played jokes on her. Sometimes they sniped at each other. Yet nearly every day, they each said, "I love you".

Alex and Irene stayed together through thick and thindespite sneers from experts, extraordinary financial sacrifices, and a nomadic existence from one university to another. The story of their thirty-year adventure is equally a landmark of scientific achievement and of an unforgettable human-animal bond.

Specifications

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publish Date: Oct 28, 2008
ISBN-13: 9780061672477
ISBN-10: 0061672475
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 256
Written in: ENG
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.75
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9
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Customer Reviews | 2 reviews | 5 out of 5

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A lovely story.
11/22/2008

Customer review by DaveMc

5.0 stars by DaveMc

A lovely and well written real life story. How sweet.

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DaveMc
Lake Orion, Mi
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Ownership:1 week or less
Gender:Male
Age:45 - 54
A great book
12/29/2008

Customer review by silkytouch

5.0 stars by silkytouch

I bought this wonderful book as a christmas present for my friend and because we have 2 parrots of our own. We both found that her parrot and our 2 parrots where very much alike. The book is well written and very interesting. You really do have a bonding with parrots. My two are 25 years old and 30 years old. Read the book and you will be fascinated.

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silkytouch
Arkansas
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Ownership:1 week or less
Gender:Female
Age:55 - 64

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