The Vintage Podcast

Do bees plan for the future? Peter Wohlleben and Stephen Moss on animals

Authors Stephen Moss and Peter Wohlleben discuss the strange and wonderful inner life of robins, crows and horses we might not be able to see from a glance in this episode of The Vintage Podcast...

Author of the international bestseller The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben has been celebrated for his distinctive approach to writing about nature. In his new book he turns his attention to the inner life of animals, and we quiz him on horses who train their masters, flies who dream and much more. 

Television producer and author Stephen Moss, whose credits include BBC Springwatch, Birds Britannia and The Nature of Britain, talks to us about his new book The Robin - a facinating look at this familiar yet often misunderstood festive bird.

.

The Inner Life of Animals

Peter Wohlleben

FROM THE AUTHOR OF INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES

Mother deer that grieve?
Horses that feel shame?
Squirrels that adopt their grandchildren?

We humans tend to assume that we are the only living things able to experience feelings intensely and consciously. But have you ever wondered what’s going on in an animal’s head?

From the leafy forest floor to the inside of a bee hive, The Inner Life of Animals takes us microscopic levels of observation to the big philosophical, ethical and scientific questions. We hear the stories of a grateful humpback whale, of a hedgehog who has nightmares, and of a magpie who commits adultery; we meet bees that plan for the future, pigs who learn their own names and crows that go tobogganing for fun. And at last we find out why wasps exist.

As more and more researchers are discovering, animals experience a rich emotional life that is ready to be explored. The Inner Life of Animals will show you these living things in a new light and will open up the animal kingdom like never before.

The Robin

Stephen Moss


'There is no doubt that Moss’s book, with its charming cover and quaint illustrations, will make it into many a stocking this year' The Times

No other bird is quite so ever-present and familiar, so embedded in our culture, as the robin. With more than six million breeding pairs, the robin is second only to the wren as Britain’s most common bird. It seems to live its life alongside us, in every month and season of the year. But how much do we really know about this bird?

In The Robin Stephen Moss records a year of observing the robin both close to home and in the field to shed light on the hidden life of this apparently familiar bird. We follow its lifecycle from the time it enters the world as an egg, through its time as a nestling and juvenile, to the adult bird; via courtship, song, breeding, feeding, migration – and ultimately, death. At the same time we trace the robin's relationship with us: how did this particular bird – one of more than 300 species in its huge and diverse family – find its way so deeply and permanently into our nation’s heart and its social and cultural history? It’s a story that tells us as much about ourselves as it does about the robin itself.

More about the authors

Related features