Elizabeth Marshall Thomas’s most recent books are The Hidden Life of Dogs, Certain Poor Shepherds, and The Tribe of Tiger: Cats and Their Culture.

Nature & the Art of Running

Why We Run is so far from being an ordinary book on running that its scope and scientific excellence may be a disadvantage. The busy editor of at least one prestigious publication, under the impression that the book was a runner’s how-to manual, gave it for review to a sportswriter.

Horse Sense

Twelve hundred years ago, a Mongol chieftain wrote a poem to celebrate his war horse Dapple. Apparently he and the horse cared deeply for each other, reading each other’s minds in battle and, when not in action, sharing the chieftain’s tent. This is one of the oldest texts about horses.

First Fine Careless Raptor

One of the best and most responsible things a scientist can do is to write for the popular press. It takes a lot of valuable time and it doesn’t get one grants or tenure. It doesn’t necessarily win the author the approval of his peers, since many scientists believe that …

Man’s Next-Best Friend

Barring some competition from whales, wolves are probably America’s most popular wild animal. Wolves are also contenders for America’s most unpopular wild animal, with perhaps some competition from coyotes. Their supporters tend to be environmentalists, and their detractors tend to be ranchers and deer and caribou hunters who see wolves …

Of Ivory and the Survival of Elephants

In Communist China the ownership of dogs is illegal. Enforcing the law are the Dog Police who shoulder their way into homes where a dog is suspected, find the dog if one is present, cram it into a canvas bag which they have brought for the purpose, and in front …