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A wildlife expert explores what science tells us about animals as unique individuals and why animal personality matters for the human-animal bond and for adaptation in nature.Why are some cats cuddly and others standoffish? Why are some dogs adventuresome, others homebodies? As any pet owner can attest, we feel that the animals we've formed bonds with are unique, as particular (and peculiar) as any human friend or loved one.Recent years have brought an increased understanding of animal intelligence and emotion. But is there a scientific basis for animal personality and individuality, or is this notion purely sentimental? It turns out that science has been reluctant to even broach the subject of individuality until recently. But now, a fundamental shift in scientific understanding is underway, as mainstream scientists begin to accept the idea that animals of all kinds - from beloved beasts like apes and birds to decidedly less cuddly creatures like crabs and spiders - do indeed have individual personalities.

About the Author

John Shivik

John Shivik is a leader in the development, testing, and application of non-lethal techniques for predation management. Having served as a federal researcher and state predator biologist, he has developed a unique and pragmatic understanding of both the human and animal sides of human-wildlife conflicts. The goal of his research has been to produce advanced methods for reducing predation and to adapt new and existing technologies into improved techniques for wildlife capture and management. He has overseen field studies on wolves, bears, coyotes, and cougars across North America and has been called to assist with carnivore management in Europe. His numerous scientific works have been published in The Journal of Wildlife Management, Conservation Biology, and BioScience among many others. He is most know publicly for his book, The Predator Paradox: Ending the war with wolves, bears, cougars and coyotes, published in 2014. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Utah State University and lives in Logan, Utah.

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