Learned attention to animals is far from new. The scientific study of animals stretches back at least to Aristotle. Livestock have attracted the interest of scholars with either a practical or theoretical interest in agriculture. Critics of art and literature have explicated animal symbols and animal themes. Historians have chronicled important animal-related institutions, from humane societies to zoos. People distinguished in their association with animals, whether as breeders or hunters or scientists, have had their biographers–as have some animals distinguished in their own right, from Jumbo to Seabiscuit. . . .