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Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Animals and Psychedelics , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Animals and Psychedelics. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Its a short read, but there is very enjoyable and novel information here, information that makes a very strong argument. It is not 'the human-drug-problem'. It is more like 'the animal-drug-phenomenon'. Did you know even insects seek intoxication? May 01, Max Renn rated it liked it.
Nov 14, Janis rated it liked it Shelves: I started reading the book five times before I finally decided to just sit down and finish it in one setting.
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The field of animal driving themselves is obviously new and facing obstacles in finding funding and locating clear evidences, as the author clearly acknowledged. However, as a scientist, it is appalling to see a book throwing out folk stories as scientific evidence without citing many known collaborators. There are also formatting errors in the book. It's a good introduction to a new vot I started reading the book five times before I finally decided to just sit down and finish it in one setting. It's a good introduction to a new vote to this major drug problem our culture imposes on us, but I would really like to see more than anecdotes in a book.
Sep 20, Alissa Thorne rated it liked it Shelves: genre-nonfiction , about-drugs. This book--almost more of a pamphlet at a mere pages--is an easy and amusing read. It tells of naturally occurring intentional use of mind altering substances by animals. It is light reading that can open your eyes to a different perspective on how psychoactive chemicals fit into the world.
But be warned--it has an agenda, which is laid on pretty heavily. Personally, I find this to be a bit of a turn off, even when I agree with the agenda.
Animals and Psychedelics: The Natural World and the Instinct to Alter Consciousness
Still, drunk-elephant stories are great to tell at pa This book--almost more of a pamphlet at a mere pages--is an easy and amusing read. Still, drunk-elephant stories are great to tell at parties.
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Jan 20, Brett Amy rated it did not like it Shelves: natural-history. I was hoping for a thorough, well-cited scientific take on the phenomenon of animal intoxication, but this book did not deliver. The author's conclusions about the motivations behind animal behavior were unfounded and far-fetched, and he didn't cite any sources. It read like a book of tall tales -- and not a non-fiction account of actual happenings in the natural world -- to me. Nov 29, Marco rated it really liked it.
Very interesting book on the relationship between animals and the use of plants. Aryeh Levine rated it really liked it Feb 03, Roanie Pantalones rated it it was amazing Jul 21, Daniela rated it it was amazing Jan 26, Foreword by Rob Montgomery. Trade Paperback. Price may vary by retailer. Add to Cart Add to Cart. Table of Contents Excerpt Rave and Reviews. About The Book.
From Chapter Six The most famous example of "collective drunkenness" in birds is that of American robins during their annual February migration to California, and in particular to the small town of Pleasant Hill. The amazing behavior of these birds on their arrival first made news in the s. Once they reach California, flocks of thousands of robins the species Turdus migratorius perch on small ornamental trees popularly known as California holly, though the Native Americans of the region call this scarlet fruit toyon. At this time of year the trees are laden with scarlet fruits called Christmas or holly berries.
The robins, and other kinds of birds as well, gorge themselves on these fruits, bingeing until they are blatantly drunk. For about three weeks this region unintentionally hosts what can only be called a drunken orgy on the part of the birds, who become disoriented and confused, engaging in silly games with each other and fluttering wildly into cars and houses.
Ronald K. Siegel, who has studied this phenomenon with great attention, notes that although four or five holly berries would suffice to make a full meal, a single robin will gobble down as many as thirty at a time. Clearly the purpose of such gorging transcends simple nutrition; it would seem conclusive that the birds recognize and remember the fruit and seek out the intoxication induced by eating massive doses of it.
In his book Intoxication: Life in Pursuit of Artificial Paradise , Siegel describes the behavior of a flock of about three thousand American robins after their arrival in Pleasant Hill. Excerpts from his observations follow. As the branches wobble, so do the birds and they [the birds] start falling.
Four birds are staggering on the ground, unable to fly. Several are still grasping berries in their beaks. A lone starling pilfers a berry right out of the locked beak of a robin. A group of birds on the start of another feeding frenzy flies directly into my head and body.
I am driving in low gear to the edge of the field. There are thumps against the roof, then a robin smashes into the windshield. Several birds are stunned momentarily when they fly into the windows and sides of houses. On the side of the road I find four more birds that have been killed in collisions with cars.
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I performed autopsies on the dead birds. Neither the stomach contents nor the berries themselves showed evidence of fermentation or alcohol. Death was caused by a massive trauma inflicted by the collisions, secondary to an unknown intoxication" Siegel , Apparently, then, there have been no true cases of overdose in the robins and other birds who get high on the holly berries, and the only fatalities?
The local press, which almost every year dedicates a paragraph or two to the bizarre behavior of the migrating robins, frequently refers to the deaths of birds who have flown into cars or houses as "suicides," a misnomer and completely erroneous interpretation of the facts.
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During the same time period and in the same region of California, birds become intoxicated on the fruits of yet another shrub, Pyracantha , a member of the rose family popularly known as firethorn. In this case, the birds act "like winged clowns: flying, falling, and hopping about in the most erratic, albeit entertaining, ways.
Some were found fluttering in the dirt with wings awry, teasing backyard cats. Others teetered on window ledges and pecked at their reflections. Because firethorns were often planted near homes and roads, collisions with windows and cars were reported more frequently than with toyon" Siegel , The bark of the toyon tree was used by the Native tribes of California for tanning, while its fruits were roasted and eaten or brewed to make an intoxicating cider.