"Richard Connor is the Jane Goodall of the dolphins. His enthralling tale is a classic of scientific discovery and a masterpiece of natural history"

Richard Wrangham, Professor of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University and author of Demonic Males: Apes and the origins of human violence (with Dale Peterson) and Catching Fire: How cooking made us human


"Dolphins entrance us. But, the real nature of these beguiling creatures has been largely hidden under the waves. Richard Connor, with 30 years of extraordinary insight, reaches deep into the minds of the dolphins, and their ever-shifting societies.  They are individuals with strong and contrasting personalities. He shows us their world, and their nature"

Hal Whitehead, Professor of Biology, Dalhousie University and author of The Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins (with Luke Rendell)


"One can’t get any closer to dolphins than Richard Connor did for 30 years in Western Australia. A lively book full of encounters and the discovery of politics, tool use, grief, flirtations, and fallings out. The book reads like a soap opera of both dolphin and human characters, and will bring a new appreciation of the complexity of the dolphin mind.”

Frans de Waal, C.H. Candler Professor of Psychology, Emory University, author of “Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?” (Norton, 2016).


"If you've ever watched dolphins riding a ship's bow wave or frolicking at sea, you've probably wondered: "What is it like to be a dolphin?" Connor's engaging and insightful book answers this question--and more. His heartfelt account of the 30 years he's spent watching and studying the dolphins who live in the crystal clear waters of Shark Bay, western Australia, tells the tales of the individual dolphins he came to know as his friends. By watching them daily, Connor has unraveled their societies and discovered they are as complicated--and politically driven--as our own. He argues that, as in humans, the need for demanding social skills drove the evolution of dolphins' large brains and intelligence. In his book, he describes the surprise of discovering that dolphins live in groups similar to the gangs of "West Side Story," with complex friendships, consortships, alliances and betrayals. And it is those social skills that have led them to be the brainiacs of the sea. An entertaining, moving and compelling read." 

Virginia Morell, author of the New York Times' Bestseller, Animal Wise: How We Know Animals Think and Feel.

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