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Inside Animal Hearts and Minds

Author: Belinda Recio


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Inside Animal Hearts and Minds
by Belinda Recio. Read by Hayden Panetteire

Hayden Panettiere’s engaging narration combined with these fascinating and heart-warming accounts of animal emotion and cognition by Belinda Recio is a delight. 

In a world where a growing body of scientific research is closing the gap between the human and non-human, Inside Animal Hearts and Minds, read by Hayden Panettiere, invites us to change the way we view animals, the world, and our place in it. With the skill of a seasoned storyteller, Hayden captures the wonder and empathy for which the author, Belinda Recio, recipient of the Humane Society’s Award for Innovation in the Study of Animals and Society, is known.

Charles Darwin suggested more than a century ago that the differences between animals and humans are “of degree and not of kind.” How right he was! Scientists once denied that animals have emotions or true intelligence. But now, we know better. Rats laugh when tickled, magpies mourn, female whales travel thousands of miles for annual reunions, seals navigate by the stars, bears hum when happy, and crows slide down snowy rooftops for fun.

Learn about an orangutan who does “macramé,” monkeys that understand the concept of money, and rats that choose friendship over food. Even language, math, and logic are no longer exclusive to humans. Prairie dogs have complex vocabularies, parrots name their chicks, sea lions appear capable of deductive thinking, and bears, lemurs, parrots, and other animals can count.


A Few NetGalley Reviews:

Delightful! I mean that in every sense of the word. If you’re one of those people who can’t resist those “unlikely animal friends” videos but also like science, you’ll love “Inside Animal Hearts and Minds.”
From giggling rats to crows who bring presents to people, you won’t be surprised by some of these stories, but others are really enlightening. Dolphins that get high, spiders that play, monkeys that throw a fit when their friends are undercompensated, parrots with a dark sense of humor, chimps that play with baby dolls, eavesdropping owls that can understand prairie dog language – it’s all there.

If you prefer to read academic texts, you’ll probably be bored by these short summaries. But if you’re just looking for a dose of dopamine and a heartstring-tugging collection of research findings told by a great narrator, this soul balm is for you. It’s not saccharine — it’s just science that will make you smile.


This was a very interesting audiobook and I really enjoyed it. My only fault is that I wish it was longer.


A fascinating account of social behaviors both within and cross species from several different species of animals. Clearly narrated and eloquently written. A great listen for anyone upper elementary and above. Easy to understand for the layman. A heart-warming listen for anyone needing a dose of positivity with their learning.




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Hayden Panettiere


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