By Konrad Z. Lorenz
Solomon, the legend is going, had a magic ring which enabled him to talk to the animals of their personal language. Konrad Lorenz was once talented with the same strength of figuring out the animal international. He was once that infrequent beast, an excellent scientist who may well write (and certainly draw) fantastically. He did greater than the other individual to set up and popularize the learn of ways animals behave, receiving a Nobel Prize for his paintings. King Solomon's Ring, the booklet which introduced him all over the world attractiveness, is a pleasant treasury of observations and insights into the lives of all types of creatures, from jackdaws and water-shrews to canine, cats or even wolves. Charmingly illustrated by means of Lorenz himself, this publication is a perfectly written advent to the area of our furred and feathered acquaintances, a global which regularly presents an uncanny resemblance to our personal. A needs to for any animal-lover!
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Extra info for King Solomon's Ring
Suppose that one establishes, at the same time, and with the same inorganic material, three containers which one places close together on the same stand and plants all three with water thyme (Elodea canadensis) and water milfoil (Myriophyllum verticillatum): in the first, a dense jungle of Elodea may soon be flourishing which more or less eliminates the Myriophyllum, in the second the opposite may take place and, in the third, the plants may harmonize, and apparently from nothing there may spring a delightful vegetation of Nitella flexilis, a decorative green alga, branched like a chandelier.
But, by knowing the “vocabulary” of some highly social species of beast or bird it is often possible to attain to an astonishing intimacy and mutual understanding. In the day’s work of a scientist investigating animal behaviour this becomes a matter of course and ceases to be a source of wonder, but I still retain the clear-cut memory of a very funny episode, which, with all the suddenness of philosophical realization brought to my full consciousness what an astounding and unique thing the close social relation between a human and a wild animal really is.
The other kind is a “cage”, an artificially cleaned container which is not an end in itself, but purely a means of keeping certain animals. It is a real art to determine in advance the type of animal and plant community which one wants to develop in an aquarium, and to do this requires much experience and biological tact in choosing the right materials for the bottom, the situation of the tank, the heat and light conditions, and finally the plant and animal inmates themselves. A past master of this art was my tragically deceased friend Bernhard Hellman who was able to copy, at will, any given type of pond or lake, brook or river.