Top 2016 Zoology Books

These are my picks for the top five zoology books published in 2016. They cover such topics as animal behaviour, deep sea biodiversity, sociality, and more. YMMV, and they are not ranked in any way. Included are the text blurbs; personal reviews available on request!

Want more book recommendations? Check out the other top 2016 book lists: Invertebrates; Arthropods; Vertebrates; Humans and Primates; Phylogenetics; Evolution; Ecology; Geology; Historical Geology; Palaeontology; Botany; Environmental; Climate Change; History; Philosophy.


  • With more than 200 mesmerizing color photographs, Life in the Dark unveils bizarre creatures like the firefly squid, the giant Amazonian catfish, the Chinese cavefish, and even the human bot fly, which lives in the darkness beneath its host’s skin. Fenolio’s rich and vibrant images shed new light on the world’s fascinating creatures of darkness.


  • In Tense Bees and Shell-Shocked Crabs, Michael Tye offers answers to some of today’s most pressing questions about nonhuman consciousness. Blending the latest research about animal sensation with theories about the nature of consciousness, Tye develops a methodology for addressing the mysteries of the animal mind. Without endorsing any specific theory on the nature of consciousness, Tye tackles issues such as the animal experience of pain and fear, and the role of brain anatomy in determining consciousness. He then turns his attention to the artificial realm, considering whether complex robots could ever be considered conscious. Tye concludes with a discussion of how, if we consider animals conscious, this might impact our ethical obligations to them.


  • The last decade has seen a surge of interest among biologists in a range of social animal phenomena, including collective behaviour and social networks. In Animal Social Behaviour, authors Ashley Ward and Michael Webster integrate the most up-to-date empirical and theoretical research to provide a new synthesis of the field, which is aimed at fellow researchers and postgraduate students on the topic. ​


  • With fascinating, spectacularly beautiful images, the book piques readers’ curiosity about the diversity of visual organs. This book is the result of a dual approach – scientific as well as aesthetic. The compelling images are accompanied by an easy-to-read, understandable text, aimed at both scientists and the educated public, and generally anyone interested in the beauty of nature. Thanks to this combination, The Evolution of the Eye presents the staggering diversity of eyes in the animal kingdom and provides countless insights into the intriguing mechanisms at work – from simple pigment cups to independently flexible, telescopic, facet and lens eyes.


  • From simple reflexes to complex choreographies of movement, all animal behavior is governed by a nervous system. But what kind of government is it―a dictatorship or a democracy? Engaging and accessible, Governing Behavior explains the variety of structures and strategies that control behavior, while providing an overview of thought-provoking debates and cutting-edge research in neurobiology.


    Want more book recommendations? Check out the other top 2016 book lists: Invertebrates; Arthropods; Vertebrates; Humans and Primates; Phylogenetics; Evolution; Ecology; Geology; Historical Geology; Palaeontology; Botany; Environmental; Climate Change; History; Philosophy.

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