Cover image for The Hidden Life of Life: A Walk through the Reaches of Time By Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

The Hidden Life of Life

A Walk through the Reaches of Time

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

PRE-ORDER, Ships March 5

216 pages
5.5" × 8.5"
1 b&w illustration
2018

Animalibus: Of Animals and Cultures

The Hidden Life of Life

A Walk through the Reaches of Time

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

“A skillfully written, well-informed, and accessible reverie on the nature of life on Earth, both fascinating and highly recommended.”

 

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An iconoclast and best-selling author of both nonfiction and fiction, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas has spent a lifetime observing, thinking, and writing about the cultures of animals such as lions, wolves, dogs, deer, and humans. In this compulsively readable book, she provides a plainspoken, big-picture look at the commonality of life on our planet, from the littlest microbes to the largest lizards.

Inspired by the idea of symbiosis in evolution—that all living things evolve in a series of cooperative relationships—Thomas takes readers on a journey through the progression of life. Along the way she shares the universal likenesses, experiences, and environments of “Gaia’s creatures,” from amoebas in plant soil to the pets we love, from proud primates to Homo sapiens hunter-gatherers on the African savanna. Fervently rejecting “anthropodenial,” the notion that nonhuman life does not share characteristics with humans, Thomas instead shows that paramecia can learn, plants can communicate, humans aren’t really as special as we think we are—and that it doesn’t take a scientist to marvel at the smallest inhabitants of the natural world and their connections to all living things.

A unique voice on anthropology and animal behavior, Thomas challenges scientific convention and the jargon that prevents us all from understanding all living things better. This joyfully written book is a fascinating look at the challenges and behaviors shared by creatures from bacteria to larvae to parasitic fungi, a potted hyacinth to the author herself, and all those in between.

“A skillfully written, well-informed, and accessible reverie on the nature of life on Earth, both fascinating and highly recommended.”
“Life comes in countless variations, yet all are based on the same biological principles. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas loves them all—from lichens to fungi and from crocodiles to primates—and puts us on a time machine to go back to the turns evolution has taken, many of them surprising, and one of them leading to us.”

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, an anthropologist and animal behaviorist, has published thirteen previous books, including the New York Times best seller The Hidden Life of Dogs, Dreaming of Lions, The Tribe of Tiger, The Old Way, and The Hidden Life of Deer. Her most recent book is Tamed and Untamed: Close Encounters of the Animal Kind, coauthored with Sy Montgomery. She lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire.