King Solomon's Ring (book)

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First edition
(publ. Verlag Dr. G. Borotha-Schoeler)

King Solomon's Ring is a general-audience zoological book, written by Austrian scientist Konrad Lorenz in 1949. The first English-language edition was published in 1952.

The book's title refers to the legendary Seal of Solomon, a ring that supposedly gave King Solomon the power to speak to animals. Lorenz claimed to have achieved this feat of communication with several species, by raising them in and around his home and observing their behavior. King Solomon's Ring describes the methods of his investigation, and his resulting conclusions about animal psychology.


Lorenz's studies include the refined social system of the common Eurasian jackdaw, the behavior and bodily features of the water shrew, and the complex interactions of seemingly unintelligent aquarium fish. He intersperses his narrative with anecdotes based on his unusual methods.

King Solomon's Ring challenges several common misconceptions about animals' intelligence, while at the same time highlighting many of their similarities with humans, although some of these similarities are based on speculative extrapolations, and Lorenz has been criticized for excessive anthropomorphism.[citation needed] King Solomon's Ring also addresses the issue of keeping pets. Lorenz praises the benefits that a pet owner derives from their pet, but also describes the hazards that an animal can pose to the inhabitants and material contents of a house, and the ways in which a pet's captivity can make it miserable, offering some ways to avoid these eventualities.

Some of Lorenz's conclusions have found their way into common knowledge since its publication,[citation needed] such as the phenomenon of imprinting. As of 2005, the book has been printed at least six times in English.


  • Konrad Lorenz (1961) King Solomon's Ring Translated by Marjorie Kerr Wilson. Methuen, London. 202 pages. ISBN 0-416-53860-6