2016, Sat, Apr 09

What the Animals Say

With Cord Riechelmann and Frank D. Steinheimer

Dogs, cats, and birds may not beequipped with a language in the human sense, however, their forms of communication are so diverse that research into them invariably leads to reflections on human language.

The renowned crow connoisseur Cord Riechelmann and the ornithologist Frank D. Steinheimer discuss animal behavior, which, beyond courtship and territorial defense, provide fascinating insights: What do they do with each other? What do they do with us such that they view humans as part of their environment? And in turn, what do we do to them by describing them, systematically classifying them, and giving them names?

Cord Riechelmann is a publicist and author living in Berlin. His main interest is in the living conditions of nature in the culture of urban habitats. After studying biology and philosophy at the Freie Universität Berlin he was lecturer for the social behavior of primates and for the history of biological research. He also worked as a columnist and urban nature reporter for the Berlin pages of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Recent publications include the monograph Krähen (2013) and the collection Zu einer Ästhetikdes Lebendigen (2015).

The biologist and ecologist Frank D. Steinheimer heads the Natural History University Museum project and the Central Magazine of Natural Science Collections of Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg. He is a member of two nomenclature committees. He worked in the ornithological departments of the Natural History Museum in London/Tring, the Berlin Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, worked for Bird Life International in Myanmar and for Lynx Edicions Barcelona for the Handbook of the Birds of the World. In 2005 he received his doctorate from the University of Rostock.