Apes—to look at them is to see a mirror of ourselves. Our close genetic relatives fascinate and unnerve us with their similar behavior and social personality. Here, John Sorenson delves into our conflicted relationship to the great apes, which often reveals as much about us as humans as it does about the apes themselves.
From bonobos and chimpanzees to gibbons, gorillas, and orangutans, Ape examines the many ways these remarkable animals often serve as models for humans. Anthropologists use their behavior to help explain our fundamental human nature; scientists utilize them as subjects in biomedical research; and behavioral researchers experiment with ways apes emulate us. Sorenson explores the challenges to the complex division between apes and ourselves, describing language experiments, efforts to cross-foster apes by raising them as human children, and the ethical challenges posed by the Great Ape Project. As well, Ape investigates representations of apes in popular culture, particularly films and advertising in which apes are often portrayed as human caricatures, monsters, and clowns.
Containing nearly one hundred illustrations of apes in nature and culture, Ape will appeal to readers interested in animal-human relationships and anyone curious to know more about our closest animal cousins, many of whom teeter on the brink of extinction.
Apes and Human Evolution
Russell H. Tuttle Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress QL737.P9T86 2014 | Dewey Decimal 599.938
In this masterwork, Russell H. Tuttle synthesizes a vast research literature in primate evolution and behavior to explain how apes and humans evolved in relation to one another, and why humans became a bipedal, tool-making, culture-inventing species distinct from other hominoids. Along the way, he refutes the theory that men are essentially killer apes--sophisticated but instinctively aggressive, destructive beings.
Situating humans in a broad context, Tuttle musters evidence from morphology and recent fossil discoveries to reveal what early primates ate, where they slept, how they learned to walk upright, how brain and hand anatomy evolved simultaneously, and what else happened evolutionarily to cause humans to diverge from their closest relatives. Despite our genomic similarities with bonobos, chimpanzees, and gorillas, humans are unique among primates in occupying a symbolic niche of values and beliefs based on symbolically mediated cognitive processes. Although apes exhibit behaviors that strongly suggest they can think, salient elements of human culture--speech, mating proscriptions, kinship structures, and moral codes--are symbolic systems that are not manifest among apes. This encylopedic volume is both a milestone in primatological research and a critique of what is known and yet to be discovered about human and ape potential.
Knowledge of wild chimpanzees has expanded dramatically. This volume, edited by Martin Muller, Richard Wrangham, and David Pilbeam, brings together scientists who are leading a revolution to discover and explain human uniqueness, by studying our closest living relatives. Their conclusions may transform our understanding of human evolution.
In Decolonizing Extinction Juno Salazar Parreñas ethnographically traces the ways in which colonialism, decolonization, and indigeneity shape relations that form more-than-human worlds at orangutan rehabilitation centers on Borneo. Parreñas tells the interweaving stories of wildlife workers and the centers' endangered animals while demonstrating the inseparability of risk and futurity from orangutan care. Drawing on anthropology, primatology, Southeast Asian history, gender studies, queer theory, and science and technology studies, Parreñas suggests that examining workers’ care for these semi-wild apes can serve as a basis for cultivating mutual but unequal vulnerability in an era of annihilation. Only by considering rehabilitation from perspectives thus far ignored, Parreñas contends, could conservation biology turn away from ultimately violent investments in population growth and embrace a feminist sense of welfare, even if it means experiencing loss and pain.
The Dynamic Dance
Barbara J. KING Harvard University Press, 2004 Library of Congress QL737.P96K56 2004 | Dewey Decimal 599.88159096
Mother and infant negotiate over food; two high-status males jockey for power; female kin band together to get their way. It happens among humans and it happens among our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom, the great apes of Africa. In this eye-opening book, we see precisely how such events unfold in chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas: through a spontaneous, mutually choreographed dance of actions, gestures, and vocalizations in which social partners create meaning and come to understand each other.
Using dynamic systems theory, an approach employed to study human communication, Barbara King is able to demonstrate the genuine complexity of apes' social communication, and the extent to which their interactions generate meaning. As King describes, apes create meaning primarily through their body movements--and go well beyond conveying messages about food, mating, or predators. Readers come to know the captive apes she has observed, and others across Africa as well, and to understand "the process of creating social meaning."
This new perspective not only acquaints us with our closest living relatives, but informs us about a possible pathway for the evolution of language in our own species. King's theory challenges the popular idea that human language is instinctive, with rules and abilities hardwired into our brains. Rather, The Dynamic Dance suggests, language has its roots in the gestural "building up of meaning" that was present in the ancestor we shared with the great apes, and that we continue to practice to this day.
The Evolution of Primate Societies
Edited by John C. Mitani, Josep Call, Peter M. Kappeler, Ryne A. Palombit, and Joan B. Silk University of Chicago Press, 2012 Library of Congress QL737.P9E965 2012 | Dewey Decimal 599.8
In 1987, the University of Chicago Press published Primate Societies, the standard reference in the field of primate behavior for an entire generation of students and scientists. But in the twenty-five years since its publication, new theories and research techniques for studying the Primate order have been developed, debated, and tested, forcing scientists to revise their understanding of our closest living relatives.
Intended as a sequel to Primate Societies, The Evolution of Primate Societies compiles thirty-one chapters that review the current state of knowledge regarding the behavior of nonhuman primates. Chapters are written by the leading authorities in the field and organized around four major adaptive problems primates face as they strive to grow, maintain themselves, and reproduce in the wild. The inclusion of chapters on the behavior of humans at the end of each major section represents one particularly novel aspect of the book, and it will remind readers what we can learn about ourselves through research on nonhuman primates. The final section highlights some of the innovative and cutting-edge research designed to reveal the similarities and differences between nonhuman and human primate cognition. The Evolution of Primate Societies will be every bit the landmark publication its predecessor has been.
The worldwide prominence of snakes in religion, myth, and folklore underscores our deep connection to the serpent - but why, when so few of us have firsthand experience? The surprising answer, this book suggests, lies in the singular impact of snakes on primate evolution. Predation pressure from snakes, Lynne Isbell tells us, is ultimately responsible for the superior vision and large brains of primates - and for a critical aspect of human evolution.
Ted Gott and Kathryn Weir Reaktion Books, 2013
Since coming to international prominence in the mid-nineteenth century when English, French, and American scientists first encountered them, the gorilla’s physical resemblance to humans has struck a deep chord. Gorillas quickly came to dominate evolutionary debates and grew prevalent in literature, art, film, and popular culture—they are the focus of movies such as Congo and the inspiration for the video game character Donkey Kong and DC Comics super villain Gorilla Grodd. In Gorilla, Ted Grott and Kathryn Weir provide a compelling and unsettling account of our relationship with these highly intelligent animals as they fight extinction due to habitat destruction, commercial hunting, and disease.
Gott and Weir describe how early European observations of gorillas in their native Africa were the genesis of literary and artistic representations such as King Kong. At the same time, gorillas became symbolic of sexuality and subconscious, uncontrolled urges, and influenced theories of criminality. It was not until Dian Fossey’s research in the 1960s and 1970s that many misconceptions about the gorilla—especially their violence—were dispelled. A notable history of the gorilla’s influence on our culture and its plight at the hands of humans, Gorilla will appeal to any animal lover wanting to learn more about this noble creature and its uncertain future.
Are humans by nature hierarchical or egalitarian? Hierarchy in the Forest addresses this question by examining the evolutionary origins of social and political behavior. Christopher Boehm, an anthropologist whose fieldwork has focused on the political arrangements of human and nonhuman primate groups, postulates that egalitarianism is in effect a hierarchy in which the weak combine forces to dominate the strong.
The political flexibility of our species is formidable: we can be quite egalitarian, we can be quite despotic. Hierarchy in the Forest traces the roots of these contradictory traits in chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, and early human societies. Boehm looks at the loose group structures of hunter-gatherers, then at tribal segmentation, and finally at present-day governments to see how these conflicting tendencies are reflected.
Hierarchy in the Forest claims new territory for biological anthropology and evolutionary biology by extending the domain of these sciences into a crucial aspect of human political and social behavior. This book will be a key document in the study of the evolutionary basis of genuine altruism.
Table of Contents:
The Question of Egalitarian Society Hierarchy and Equality Putting Down Aggressors Equality and Its Causes A Wider View of Egalitarianism The Hominoid Political Spectrum Ancestral Politics The Evolution of Egalitarian Society Paleolithic Politics and Natural Selection Ambivalence and Compromise in Human Nature
Reviews of this book: This well-written book, geared toward an audience with background in the behavioral and evolutionary sciences but accessible to a broad readership, raises two general questions: 'What is an egalitarian society?' and 'How have these societies evolved?'...[Christopher Boehm] takes the reader on a journey from the Arctic to the Americas, from Australia to Africa, in search of hunter-gatherer and tribal societies that emanate the egalitarian ethos--one that promotes generosity, altruism and sharing but forbids upstartism, aggression and egoism. Throughout this journey, Boehm tantalizes the reader with vivid anthropological accounts of ridicule, criticism, ostracism and even execution--prevalent tactics used by subordinates in egalitarian societies to level the social playing field...Hierarchy in the Forest is an interesting and thought-provoking book that is surely an important contribution to perspectives on human sociality and politics. --Ryan Earley, American Scientist
Reviews of this book: Combing an exhaustive ethnographic survey of human societies from groups of hunter-gatherers to contemporary residents of the Balkans with a detailed analysis of the behavioral attributes of non-human primates (chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos), Boehm focuses on whether humans are hierarchical or egalitarian by nature...[Boehm's hypotheses] are invariably intriguing and well documented...He raises topics of wide interest and his book should get attention. --Publishers Weekly
Boehm has been the first to look at egalitarianism with a cold, unromantic eye. He sees it as a victory over hierarchical tendencies, which are equally marked in our species. I would predict that his insightful examination will reverberate within anthropology and the social sciences as well as among biologists interested in the evolution of social systems. --Frans de Waal, Emory University
Hierarchy in the Forest is an original and stimulating contribution to thinking about the origins of egalitarianism. I personally find Boehm's ideas convincing, but whether one agrees with him or not, he has formulated his hypotheses in such a way that this book is likely to set the terms of the discussion for the forseeable future. --Barbara Smuts, University of Michigan
The most unique and interesting feature of this clear, well written book is the way Boehm links the study of nonhuman primates (particularly chimpanzees) to traditional concepts of political anthropology. As a political scientist, I was intrigued by Boehm's suggestion that democracy, both ancient and modern, could be understood as the expression of the same natural dispositions that support the egalitarianism of nomadic bands and sedentary tribes. I expect that many scholars in biology, anthropology, and the social sciences would learn from this stimulating book. Even those who disagree with Boehm's arguments are likely to be provoked in instructive ways. --Larry Arnhart, Northern Illinois University
Chris Boehm boldly and cogently attacks a whole orthodoxy in anthropology which sees hunter-gatherer 'egalitarianism' as somehow the basic form of human society. No praise can be too high for Boehm's brilliant and courageous book. --Robin Fox, Rutgers University
Cheney and Seyfarth enter the minds of vervet monkeys and other primates to explore the nature of primate intelligence and the evolution of cognition.
"This reviewer had to be restrained from stopping people in the street to urge them to read it: They would learn something of the way science is done, something about how monkeys see their world, and something about themselves, the mental models they inhabit."—Roger Lewin, Washington Post Book World
"A fascinating intellectual odyssey and a superb summary of where science stands."—Geoffrey Cowley, Newsweek
"A once-in-the-history-of-science enterprise."—Duane M. Rumbaugh, Quarterly Review of Biology
Amanda Rees and Charlotte Sleigh Reaktion Books, 2020
What does it mean to be human? And what, if anything, does it have to do with being a member of the animal species Homo sapiens? This dazzling book gets to the very heart of our rather unscientific motivations and prejudices, showing how they are of great use in resolving the world’s biggest problems. From beasts to aliens, this book explores widely discussed but often problematic links between humans and six other beings, tackling deep philosophical questions including humanity’s common purpose, life’s meaning, and what it means to be accepted as part of a community. Global in its outlook and illustrated with stunning pictures, Human is a powerful, funny, and iconoclastic antidote to post-humanism.
Infanticide in the natural world might be a relatively rare event, but as Amanda Rees shows, it has enormously significant consequences. Identified in the 1960s as a phenomenon worthy of investigation, infanticide had, by the 1970s, become the focus of serious controversy. The suggestion, by Sarah Hrdy, that it might be the outcome of an evolved strategy intended to maximize an individual’s reproductive success sparked furious disputes between scientists, disagreements that have continued down to the present day.
Meticulously tracing the history of the infanticide debates, and drawing on extensive interviews with field scientists, Rees investigates key theoretical and methodological themes that have characterized field studies of apes and monkeys in the twentieth century. As a detailed study of the scientific method and its application to field research, The Infanticide Controversy sheds new light on our understanding of scientific practice, focusing in particular on the challenges of working in “natural” environments, the relationship between objectivity and interpretation in an observational science, and the impact of the public profile of primatology on the development of primatological research. Most importantly, it also considers the wider significance that the study of field science has in a period when the ecological results of uncontrolled human interventions in natural systems are becoming ever more evident.
The first and still the only book focused exclusively on juvenile primates, this collection presents original research covering all the major divisions of primates, from prosimians to humans. Contributors explore the evolutionary history of the juvenile stage in primates, differences in behavior between juvenile males and females, how juvenile behaviors act both to prepare juveniles for adulthood and to help them survive the juvenile stage, how juveniles learn about and participate in social conflict and dominance relationships, and the similarities and differences between development of juvenile human and nonhuman primates. This edition includes a new foreword and bibliography prepared by the editors.
Filippo Aureli, Bernard Chapais, Marina Cords, Carolyn M. Crockett, Frans B. M. de Waal, Carolyn Pope Edwards, Robert Fagen, Carole Gauthier, Paul H. Harvey, Charlotte K. Hemelrijk, Loek A. M. Herremans, Julia A. Horrocks, Wayne Hunte, Charles H. Janson, Nicholas Blurton Jones, Katharine Milton, Leanne T. Nash, Timothy G. O'Brien, Mark D. Pagel, Theresa R. Pope, Anne E. Pusey, Lal Singh Rajpurohit, John G. Robinson, Thelma Rowell, Daniel I. Rubenstein, Volker Sommer, Elisabeth H. M. Sterck, Karen B. Strier, Carel P. van Schaik, Maria A. van Noordwijk, David P. Watts, and Carol M. Worthman.
In this long-awaited work, Philip Hershkovitz provides the most thorough and comprehensive treatise ever published on New World monkeys. The volume gives a detailed account of the origin, evolution, dispersal, and behavior of platyrrhines and a systematic arrangement of all known forms, living and extinct. During an eleven-year period, Hershkovitz examined more than 3,100 museum-preserved specimens and relevant primate fossils and observed hundreds of animals in captivity and thousands in the wild state. He presents his results in an elegant and encyclopedic text, lavishly illustrated with 520 figures and 7 color plates.
Hershkovitz opens the study with a brief history and a definition, characterization, and comparison of primates as a taxonomic unit. Basing his work on nearly all known genera of living primates, the author deals with New World monkeys from comparative anatomical and evolutionary points of view. He examines display characters, pelage, the evolution of color patterns, primate locomotion, cranial and dental morphology, and the central nervous system.
The final and most extensive part of the volume is devoted to the taxonomy and biology of the family Callitrichidae, comprising marmosets and tamarins, and the family Callimiconidae, represented by the callimico alone. Hershkovitz concludes with an exhaustive bibliography of more than 2,500 published works and a gazetteer of essential geographic data.
Susan PERRY Harvard University Press, 2008 Library of Congress QL737.P925P47 2008 | Dewey Decimal 599.85
This book takes us into a Costa Rican forest teeming with simian drama, where since 1990 primatologists Perry and Manson have followed four generations of capuchins. The authors describe behavior as entertaining--and occasionally as alarming--as it is recognizable: competition and cooperation, jockeying for position and status, peaceful years under an alpha male devolving into bloody chaos, and complex traditions passed from one generation to the next. Interspersed with their observations are the authors' colorful tales of the challenges of tropical fieldwork.
Understanding the chimpanzee mind is akin to opening a window onto human consciousness. Many of our complex cognitive processes have origins that can be seen in the way that chimpanzees think, learn, and behave. The Mind of the Chimpanzee brings together scores of prominent scientists from around the world to share the most recent research into what goes on inside the mind of our closest living relative.
Intertwining a range of topics—including imitation, tool use, face recognition, culture, cooperation, and reconciliation—with critical commentaries on conservation and welfare, the collection aims to understand how chimpanzees learn, think, and feel, so that researchers can not only gain insight into the origins of human cognition, but also crystallize collective efforts to protect wild chimpanzee populations and ensure appropriate care in captive settings. With a breadth of material on cognition and culture from the lab and the field, The Mind of the Chimpanzee is a first-rate synthesis of contemporary studies of these fascinating mammals that will appeal to all those interested in animal minds and what we can learn from them.
Monkeys populate our culture, from the adorable hijinks of Curious George and the loyal friendship between Aladdin and Abu to the menacing gait of the winged ones in The Wizard of Oz. We visit them in zoos and even sometimes keep them as pets à la Catherine de Medici and Michael Jackson. As renowned zoologist Desmond Morris shows, it is not surprising that we are so attracted to them. While we sometimes view monkeys as trivial or comic, their mischievousness is delightful, and their urge to explore and love of activity fascinate us.
Monkey unpacks human attitudes toward these animals, tracing our connection with them throughout history. Morris reveals that our fascination with monkeys extends through many cultures and eras—ancient Egyptians revered baboons, monkey deities featured prominently in ancient Chinese and Japanese religions, and sacred status was given to the langur monkey by some groups in India. He also describes how our relationship with monkeys has changed since Darwin, and even become more troubled—this in-depth knowledge of our own origins amplifies our identification with and concern for the idea of monkeys’ primitivism and destructive behaviors. Drawing a vibrant picture of these beguiling animals and their continued popularity with humans, Monkey brings a new understanding to our complicated relationship with the ever-curious George.
Monkey see, monkey do—or does she? Can the behavior of non-human primates—their sociality, their intelligence, their communication—really be chalked up to simple mimicry? Emphatically, absolutely: no. And as famed primatologist Julia Fischer reveals, the human bias inherent in this oft-uttered adage is our loss, for it is only through the study of our primate brethren that we may begin to understand ourselves.
An eye-opening blend of storytelling, memoir, and science, Monkeytalk takes us into the field and the world’s primate labs to investigate the intricacies of primate social mores through the lens of communication. After first detailing the social interactions of key species from her fieldwork—from baby-wielding male Barbary macaques, who use infants as social accessories in a variety of interactions, to aggression among the chacma baboons of southern Africa and male-male tolerance among the Guinea baboons of Senegal—Fischer explores the role of social living in the rise of primate intelligence and communication, ultimately asking what the ways in which other primates communicate can teach us about the evolution of human language.
Funny and fascinating, Fischer’s tale roams from a dinner in the field shared with lionesses to insights gleaned from Rico, a border collie with an astonishing vocabulary, but its message is clear: it is humans who are the evolutionary mimics. The primate heritage visible in our species is far more striking than the reverse, and it is the monkeys who deserve to be seen. “The social life of macaques and baboons is a magnificent opera,” Fischer writes. “Permit me now to raise the curtain on it.”
Recent discoveries about wild chimpanzees have dramatically reshaped our understanding of these great apes and their kinship with humans. We now know that chimpanzees not only have genomes similar to our own but also plot political coups, wage wars over territory, pass on cultural traditions to younger generations, and ruthlessly strategize for resources, including sexual partners. In The New Chimpanzee, Craig Stanford challenges us to let apes guide our inquiry into what it means to be human.
With wit and lucidity, Stanford explains what the past two decades of chimpanzee field research has taught us about the origins of human social behavior, the nature of aggression and communication, and the divergence of humans and apes from a common ancestor. Drawing on his extensive observations of chimpanzee behavior and social dynamics, Stanford adds to our knowledge of chimpanzees’ political intelligence, sexual power plays, violent ambition, cultural diversity, and adaptability.
The New Chimpanzee portrays a complex and even more humanlike ape than the one Jane Goodall popularized more than a half century ago. It also sounds an urgent call for the protection of our nearest relatives at a moment when their survival is at risk.
Getting from here to there may be simple for one individual. But as any parent, scout leader, or CEO knows, herding a whole troop in one direction is a lot more complicated. Who leads the group? Who decides where the group will travel, and using what information? How do they accomplish these tasks?
On the Move addresses these questions, examining the social, cognitive, and ecological processes that underlie patterns and strategies of group travel. Chapters discuss how factors such as group size, resource distribution and availability, the costs of travel, predation, social cohesion, and cognitive skills affect how individuals as well as social groups exploit their environment. Most chapters focus on field studies of a wide range of human and nonhuman primate groups, from squirrel monkeys to Turkana pastoralists, but chapters covering group travel in hyenas, birds, dolphins, and bees provide a broad taxonomic perspective and offer new insights into comparative questions, such as whether primates are unique in their ability to coordinate group-level activities.
Parenting for Primates
Harriet J Smith Harvard University Press, 2005 Library of Congress HQ755.8.S6328 2005 | Dewey Decimal 306.874
In this natural history of primate parenting, Smith compares parenting by nonhuman and human primates. In a narrative rich with vivid anecdotes derived from interviews with primatologists, from her own experience breeding cottontop tamarin monkeys for over thirty years, and from her clinical psychology practice, Smith describes the ways that primates care for their offspring, from infancy through young adulthood.
Peacemaking among Primates
Frans B. M. DE WAAL Harvard University Press, 1989 Library of Congress QL737.P9W28 1989 | Dewey Decimal 599.80451
Does biology condemn the human species to violence and war? Previous studies of animal behavior incline us to answer yes, but the message of this book is considerably more optimistic. Without denying our heritage of aggressive behavior, Frans de Waal describes powerful checks and balances in the makeup of our closest animal relatives, and in so doing he shows that to humans making peace is as natural as making war.
In this meticulously researched and absorbing account, we learn in detail how different types of simians cope with aggression, and how they make peace after fights. Chimpanzees, for instance, reconcile with a hug and a kiss, whereas rhesus monkeys groom the fur of former adversaries. By objectively examining the dynamics of primate social interactions, de Waal makes a convincing case that confrontation should not be viewed as a barrier to sociality but rather as an unavoidable element upon which social relationships can be built and strengthened through reconciliation.
The author examines five different species—chimpanzees, rhesus monkeys, stump-tailed monkeys, bonobos, and humans—and relates anecdotes, culled from exhaustive observations, that convey the intricacies and refinements of simian behavior. Each species utilizes its own unique peacemaking strategies. The bonobo, for example, is little known to science, and even less to the general public, but this rare ape maintains peace by means of sexual behavior divorced from reproductive functions; sex occurs in all possible combinations and positions whenever social tensions need to be resolved. “Make love, not war” could be the bonobo slogan.
De Waal’s demonstration of reconciliation in both monkeys and apes strongly supports his thesis that forgiveness and peacemaking are widespread among nonhuman primates—an aspect of primate societies that should stimulate much needed work on human conflict resolution.
Planet Without Apes
Craig B. Stanford Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress QL737.P96S733 2012 | Dewey Decimal 599.88
Can we live with the consequences of wiping our closest relatives off the face of the Earth, and all the biological knowledge about ourselves that would die along with them? Extinction of the great apes threatens to become a reality within a few human generations. Stanford tells us how we can redirect the course of an otherwise bleak future.
Primate Conservation Biology
Guy Cowlishaw and Robin I. M. Dunbar University of Chicago Press, 2000 Library of Congress QL737.P9C69 2000 | Dewey Decimal 333.959816
From the snub-nosed monkeys of China to the mountain gorillas of central Africa, our closest nonhuman relatives are in critical danger worldwide. A recent report, for example, warns that nearly 20 percent of the world's primates may go extinct within the next ten or twenty years. In this book Guy Cowlishaw and Robin Dunbar integrate cutting-edge theoretical advances with practical management priorities to give scientists and policymakers the tools they need to help keep these species from disappearing forever.
Primate Conservation Biology begins with detailed overviews of the diversity, life history, ecology, and behavior of primates and the ways these factors influence primate abundance and distribution. Cowlishaw and Dunbar then discuss the factors that put primates at the greatest risk of extinction, especially habitat disturbance and hunting. The remaining chapters present a comprehensive review of conservation strategies and management practices, highlighting the key issues that must be addressed to protect primates for the future.
A provocative collective reflection on primatology and its relations to broader cultural, historical, and social issues, Primate Encounters brings together both scientists and those who study them to investigate precisely what kind of science primatology is.
"[A] fascinating study . . . on how and why ideas about primate society have changed. The volume consists of dialogues among scientists from different disciplines, national traditions, scientific culture, generations, standpoints, and genders. . . . A wonderful reflection on the discipline of primatology and on science in general."—Science Books and Films
"Primate Encounters should be required reading for anyone about to embark on a career in the field. But it equally valuable for its miscellany of opinions, recollections and off-the-cuff remarks, as well as for its thoughtful observations, 'outrageous ravings' and humour (from the elders in the field). It gives us a glimpse of how scientists work together to understand their place in the world."—Deborah L. Mazolillo, Times Literary Supplement
We know a great deal about roles the environment plays in shaping survival, reproductive success, and even social systems among primates. But how do primate life histories affect social systems and vice versa? Do baboons' patterns of growth, for example, help to structure their societies? Does fission-fusion sociality interact with predator pressure to influence the timing of maturation in chimpanzees?
Exploring these issues and many others, the contributors to Primate Life Histories and Socioecology provide the first systematic attempt to understand relationships among primate life histories, ecology, and social behavior conjointly. Topics covered include how primate life histories interact with rates of evolution, predator pressure, and diverse social structures; how the slow maturation of primates affects the behavior of both young and adult caregivers; and reciprocal relationships between large brains and increased social and behavioral complexity. The first collection of its kind, this book will interest a wide range of researchers, from anthropologists and evolutionary biologists to psychologists and ecologists.
Paul-Michael Agapow, Susan C. Alberts, Jeanne Altmann, Robert A. Barton, Nicholas G. Blurton Jones, Robert O. Deaner, Robin I. M. Dunbar, Jörg U. Ganzhorn, Laurie R. Godfrey, Kristen Hawkes, Nick J. B. Isaac, Charles H. Janson, Kate E. Jones, William L. Jungers, Peter M. Kappeler, Susanne Klaus, Phyllis C. Lee, Steven R. Leigh, Robert D. Martin, James F. O'Connell, Sylvia Ortmann, Michael E. Pereira, Andy Purvis, Caroline Ross, Karen E. Samonds, Jutta Schmid, Stephen C. Stearns, Michael R. Sutherland, Carel P. van Schaik, and Andrea J. Webster.
The Primate Mind
Frans B. M. de Waal Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress QL737.P9P67259 2011 | Dewey Decimal 599.81513
Prominent neuroscientists, psychologists, ethologists, and primatologists from around the world take a bottom-up approach to primate social behavior by investigating how the primate mind connects with other minds and exploring the shared neurological basis for imitation, joint action, and empathy as well as their evolutionary foundations.
This critical review of behavior patterns in nonhuman primates is an excellent study of the importance of female roles in different social groups and their significance in the evolution of human social life.
"A book that properly illuminates in rich detail not only developmental and socioecological aspects of primate behavior but also how and why certain questions are asked. In addition, the book frequently focuses on insufficiently answered questions, especially those concerned with the evolution of primate sex differences. Fedigan's book is unique . . . because it places primate adaptations and our explanation of those patterns in a larger intellectual framework that is easily and appropriately connected to many lines of research in different fields (sociology, psychology, anthropology, neurobiology, endocrinology, and biology)—and not in inconsequential ways, either."—James McKenna, American Journal of Primatology
"This is the feminist critique of theories of primate and human evolution."—John H. Cook, Nature
In the last 30 years the bushmeat trade has led to the slaughter of nearly 90 percent of West Africa’s bonobos, perhaps our closest relatives, and has recently driven Miss Waldron’s red colobus monkey to extinction. Earth was once rich with primates, but every species—except one—is now extinct or endangered because of one primate—Homo sapiens. How have our economic and cultural practices pushed our cousins toward destruction? Would we care more about their fate if we knew something of their individual lives and sufferings? Would we help them if we understood how our choices threaten their existence? This anthology helps to answer these questions.
The first section of Primate People introduces forces that threaten nonhuman primates, such as the entertainment and “pet” industries, the bushmeat trade, habitat destruction, and logging. The second section exposes the exploitation of primates in research facilities, including the painful memories of an undercover agent, and suggests models of more enlightened scientific methods. The final section tells the stories of those who lobby for change, educate communities, and tenderly care for our displaced cousins in sanctuaries.
Sometimes shocking and disturbing, sometimes poignant and encouraging, Primate People always draws the reader into the lives of nonhuman primates. Activists around the world reveal the antics and pleasures of monkeys, the tendencies and idiosyncrasies of chimpanzees, and the sufferings and fears of macaques. Charming, difficult, sensitive—these testimonies demonstrate that nonhuman primates and human beings are, indeed, closely related. Woven into the anthology’s lucid narratives are the stories of how we harm and create the conditions that endanger primates, and what we can and must do to prevent their ongoing suffering and fast-approaching extinction.
Edited by Barbara B. Smuts, Dorothy L. Cheney, Robert M. Seyfarth, Richard W. Wr University of Chicago Press, 1986 Library of Congress QL737.P9P6744 1987 | Dewey Decimal 599.0524
Primate Societies is a synthesis of the most current
information on primate socioecology and its theoretical and
empirical significance, spanning the disciplines of behavioral
biology, ecology, anthropology, and psychology. It is a very rich
source of ideas about other taxa.
"A superb synthesis of knowledge about the social lives of
non-human primates."—Alan Dixson, Nature
In only a few species do males strategically employ violence to control female sexuality. Why are females routinely abused in some species, but never in others? And can the study of such unpleasant behavior help us to understand the evolution of men's violence against women? The book presents extensive field research and analysis to evaluate sexual coercion in a range of species - including all of the great apes and humans - and to clarify its role in shaping social relationships among males, among females, and between the sexes.
In the early 1890s the theory of evolution gained an unexpected ally: the Edison phonograph. An amateur scientist used the new machine—one of the technological wonders of the age—to record monkey calls, play them back to the monkeys, and watch their reactions. From these soon-famous experiments he judged that he had discovered “the simian tongue,” made up of words he was beginning to translate, and containing the rudiments from which human language evolved. Yet for most of the next century, the simian tongue and the means for its study existed at the scientific periphery. Both returned to great acclaim only in the early 1980s, after a team of ethologists announced that experimental playback showed certain African monkeys to have rudimentarily meaningful calls.
Drawing on newly discovered archival sources and interviews with key scientists, Gregory Radick here reconstructs the remarkable trajectory of a technique invented and reinvented to listen in on primate communication. Richly documented and powerfully argued, The Simian Tongue charts the scientific controversies over the evolution of language from Darwin’s day to our own, resurrecting the forgotten debts of psychology, anthropology, and other behavioral sciences to the Victorian debate about the animal roots of human language.
She likes tea, sews, draws on papers and is a self-taught master of tying and untying knots. But she is not a crafty woman of the DIY set: she is Wattana, an orangutan who lives in the Jardin des Plantes Zoo in Paris. And it is in Paris where Chris Herzfeld first encounters and becomes impressed by Wattana and her exceptional abilities with knots. In Wattana: An Orangutan in Paris Herzfeld tells not only Wattana’s fascinating story, but also the story of orangutans and other primates—including bonobos, chimpanzees, and gorillas—in captivity.
Offering a uniquely intimate look at the daily lives of captive great apes, Herzfeld uses Wattana’s life to trace the history of orangutans from their first arrival in Europe in 1776 to the inhabitants of the Zoo of Paris and other zoos today. She provides a close look at the habits, technical know-how, and skills of Wattana, who, remarkably, uses strings, paper rolls, rope, and even pieces of wood to make things. And she thoughtfully explores how apes individually—and often with ingenuity—come to terms with and adapt to their captive environments and caretakers. Through these stories, Wattana sympathetically reveals the extraordinary psychology and distinctive personalities of great apes as well as the interconnections between animal and human lives, especially in zoos.
Scientists predict that orangutans will disappear from the wild by 2030, and captive animals like Wattana may, as a result, provide our best chance to understand and appreciate their astonishing intelligence and abilities. Wattana, the accomplished maker of knots, is the hero of this poignant book, which will enthrall anyone curious about the lives of our primate cousins.
The Woman That Never Evolved
Sarah Blaffer Hrdy Harvard University Press, 1999 Library of Congress QL737.P9H79 1999 | Dewey Decimal 599.8138
Hailed as a ground-breaking synthesis of feminism and evolutionary theory when first published, The Woman That Never Evolved is a bold and refreshing answer to contemporary versions of social Darwinism that shoehorn female nature into narrow stereotypes. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, a leader in modern primatology, argues that evolutionary theorists' emphasis on sexual competition among males for access to females overlooks selection pressures on females themselves. In a vivid account of what female primates themselves actually do to secure their own reproductive advantage, she demolishes myths about sexually passive, "coy," compliant, exclusively nurturing females. Her lucid and compelling account of the great range of behaviors in many species of primates expands the concept of female nature to include the full range of selection pressures on females, and reminds us of the true complexity and dynamism of the evolutionary story.