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In this three-volume biography, we revisit the life and accomplishments of the revolutionary scientist, Donald R. Griffin. He encountered a lifetime of initial hostile resistance to his ideas and studies; now they are largely accepted. He and a colleague discovered the phenomenon of echolocation used by bats to navigate and capture insects, proposed that birds navigate guided by such cues as the sun and stars, and suggested that animals are likely aware, thinking and feeling beings. Forty interviews with his colleagues and friends help us understand the young emerging scientist and the mature researcher. We learn about his and others’ research up to the present times. We gain insights into his thinking and the rigors and delights of fieldwork. Efforts to promote animal well-being intrinsically depend upon the insights from his groundbreaking ideas.

In Volume two, Griffin leaves the hostile environment at Harvard to accept an invitation to establish a new institute of animal behavior studies at the Rockefeller University (RU), and helps establish a field station. He entices the ornithologist Peter Marler to join him. During his studies of puzzling fishing bats at the tropical research station in Trinidad, Griffin meets and later marries the noted marine scientist Jocelyn Crane, who manages the station with famed naturalist William Beebe. Griffin pursues ground-breaking research with bats and, using radar tracking, of migrating birds across the sea. Detailed descriptions are provided of the findings regarding bats and their use of echolocating signals. The innovative work of numerous RU animal behavior researchers is described as is the harsh and strenuous work of field research and the thrill and joy in the scientists’ discoveries.


Global-No Country - 1



Publication Date



WellBeing International


Chevy Chase


Rockefeller University, Trinidad, Simla, Jocelyn Crane, echolocation, bats, fishing bats, radar, William Beebe, bird migration, magnetic sensing


Animal Studies | Behavioral Neurobiology | Cognitive Neuroscience | Cognitive Science

Birds, Bats and Minds. Tales of a Revolutionary Scientist: Donald R. Griffin. Volume 2