The Epic Journey from Adolescence to Adulthood in Humans and Other Animals

Coming off of a five year study of wild animal adolescents, Wildhood: The Epic Journey from Adolescence to Adulthood in Humans and Other Animals presents an entirely new way of understanding human teenagers—looking across species and evolutionary time to understand rising levels of social anxiety, risky behavior, peer influence and social media obsession.

Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers' decade-long study of wild animal adolescence revealed strikingly similar behavior and biology propelling young hyenas out of dens, bald eagles out of nests, and children into high schools, colleges, work, and service. Like their human counterparts, animal adolescents must learn to deal with bullies and exploiters. They’re endlessly judged on their social skills, have mood swings, and prefer the company of peers to parents. They may not take SATs, but animal adolescents regularly confront high-stakes tests of cognition and decision-making.

Tackling some of the most important issues of our times—teen risk-taking, adolescent anxiety and depression, sexual consent and coercion, and how to live independently—WILDHOOD shows how to better parent, teach, guide—or just exist as/survive as—a human teen.

On September 17th, join Future Tense and New America NYC on an expedition into the wild world of adolescence’s four skills, guided by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers, in conversation with Orrin Devinsky. This special book launch at the Central Park Zoo (in association with the Wildlife Conservation Society) will feature surprise special guests from the Zoo’s animal ambassador program! After the conversation, guests will have the opportunity to continue the conversation with refreshments and participate in a special sea lion feeding.

Follow the conversation online using #Wildhood and following @FutureTenseNow and @NewAmericaNYC.

Copies of Wildhood will be available for purchase.


Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D., @BNatterson
Co-Author of Zoobiquity
Visiting Professor, Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, UCLA

Kathryn Bowers, @kathrynsbowers
Co-Author of Zoobiquity
2019 Future Tense Fellow

Orrin Devinsky, M.D.
Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine
Director, Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, NYU Langone Health