on 26 February 2014
1000+ pages of essays and definitions by an army of the most respected researchers in animal behaviour. This unmissable encyclopaedia is now used in many universities as the reference of choice for standardized animal behaviour definitions.
Daniel Mills, the Chief Editor, is a leading researcher in animal behaviour. Under his supervision, his department at the University of Lincoln has produced the most influential papers on companion animal behaviour of recent years. Mills led a nine-page-long list of experts into writing this gargantuan work. The team includes giants like Juliet Clutton-Brock, John Bradshaw, Frans de Waal, Katherine Houpt, and Paul McGreevy.
The book’s scope is incredibly broad, from modern research design to historical classic concepts in ethology/behaviourism/phylogeny. It also covers specialist animal husbandry terms, welfare regulations (at the time of writing), species definitions and much more.
I also loved the definition/positioning of the overlapping fields of behaviour research (e.g. cognition research, behaviourism, ethology, neuroscience, etc.). This goes a long way in organizing the multi-disciplinary quagmire of this field.
The Encyclopedia . . . presents controversial topics like normality, distress, and welfare in an academic, unbiased, and balanced way. It also helps you disambiguate multi-definitional concepts like imitation, conflict, etc.
Allow me a couple of points of criticism, for good measure: 1/ It could do with more illustrations. But then again, it’s hard enough to fit in a suitcase as it is. 2/ Retailing at near 200 dollars, its retail price is near-unaffordable for the common mortal.
So, here’s my parting thought to help you decide if you’re going to fork out the big bucks: “If you can’t find it in Mills, you can’t find it anywhere.”