Barbara Natterson-Horowitz & Kathryn Bowers, authors of “Wildhood: The Epic Journey from Adolescence To Adulthood in Humans and Other Animals”

by | Oct 16, 2019

Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers–New York Times bestselling authors of “Zoobiquity,” whose new book is “Wildhood: The Epic Journey from Adolescence to Adulthood in Humans and Other Animals”—in recalling that they both were raising adolescents while working on “Wildhood,” address how much those adolescents shaped the direction of the book and its core concept. Noting their books involve scientific exploration of the intersection of animals and humans—medically, behaviorally, otherwise—and coining a term for the focus of that work, they explain the meaning of “wildhood.” Natterson-Horowitz and Bowers discuss the way they frame the book, in part, by suggesting that the voyage through adolescence hinges—across species—on mastering four fundamental skills: to stay safe (from predators, etc.), to negotiate social status, to navigate sexuality, to live as adults; they note that there were other fundamental skills that nearly made the final four, and that there’s some fluidity amongst those that did. The pair also talk about another element that lends structure and depth to the book: focusing, somewhat episodically, on four animals—Ursula, a king penguin; Shrink, a spotted hyena; Salt, a humpback whale, and Slavc, a wolf—tracking their treks through adolescence to adulthood, and what they learned from those case studies of sorts. Natterson-Horowitz and Bowers reflect on the most significant changes they each made in parenting as a result of the research they conducted. (

ALSO: I spoke with the show’s Greyhound Correspondent, Don Goldstein, about a lawsuit filed by a group of greyhound kennel owners and breeders—called “Support Working Animals”—against the state of Florida, seeking to block the enforcement of Amendment 13, the ban on commercial dog racing passed last Fall. Goldstein characterized it as a desperate move by a contingent of the racing industry that continues to be angry about the amendment passing (and decisively). But he observed that prospects of a federal court overturning a state amendment are slim, and the suit won’t be heard in court until June of 2020, a mere six months before, under the dictates of the Amendment, the phasing out of dog racing will be complete.


COMEDY CORNER: Maria Bamford’s “Racoon, Horseback Riding“ (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: We didn’t play “Name That Animal Tune” today


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