edited by Frans B. M. de Waal and Peter L. Tyack
contributions by Stephanie Pandolfi, Hans Kummer, Tetsuro Matsuzawa, W. C. McGrew, Sarah L. Mesnick, Toshisada Nishida, Charles L. Nunn, Eduardo B. Ottoni, Lisa A. Parr, Katherine B. Payne, Susan Perry, Ronald Schusterman, Robert Seyfarth, Jan A.R.A.M. van Hooff, Carel van Schaik, Bernhard Voelkl, Sofia Wahaj, Randall S. Wells, Meredith West, Hal Whitehead, Christophe Boesch, Gerald S. Wilkinson, Harald Yurk, Klaus Zuberbuehler, Jack W. Bradbury, Richard Connor, Christine Drea, Anne Engh, Laurence Frank and Karen I. Hallberg
Harvard University Press, 2003
Cloth: 978-0-674-00929-5 | Paper: 978-0-674-01823-5
Library of Congress Classification QL739.3.A56 2003
Dewey Decimal Classification 599.156


For over 25 years, primatologists have speculated that intelligence, at least in monkeys and apes, evolved as an adaptation to the complicated social milieu of hard-won friendships and bitterly contested rivalries. Yet the Balkanization of animal research has prevented us from studying the same problem in other large-brained, long-lived animals, such as hyenas and elephants, bats and sperm whales. Social complexity turns out to be widespread indeed. For example, in many animal societies one individual's innovation, such as tool use or a hunting technique, may spread within the group, thus creating a distinct culture. As this collection of studies on a wide range of species shows, animals develop a great variety of traditions, which in turn affect fitness and survival.

The editors argue that future research into complex animal societies and intelligence will change the perception of animals as gene machines, programmed to act in particular ways and perhaps elevate them to a status much closer to our own. At a time when humans are perceived more biologically than ever before, and animals as more cultural, are we about to witness the dawn of a truly unified social science, one with a distinctly cross-specific perspective?

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