The Great Apes tells of the evolution, social customs, complex lifestyles and natural habitats of man's closest relatives. A visual celebration of these great creatures, the book contains over 100 full color photographs. The authors also concern themselves with the human activities (many illegal) and assaults that are endangering the very survival of the species.
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
World-renowned primatologist, conservationist, and humanitarian Dr. Jane Goodall's account of her life among the wild chimpanzees of Gombe is one of the most enthralling stories of animal behavior ever written. Her adventure began when the famous anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey suggested that a long-term study of chimpanzees in the wild might shed light on the behavior of our closest living relatives. Accompanied by only her mother and her African assistants, she set up camp in the remote Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve in Tanzania. For months the project seemed hopeless; out in the forest from dawn until dark, she had but fleeting glimpses of frightened animals. But gradually she won their trust and was able to record previously unknown behavior, such as the use--and even the making-- of tools, until then believed to be an exclusive skill of man. As she came to know the chimps as individuals, she began to understand their complicated social hierarchy and observed many extraordinary behaviors, which have forever changed our understanding of the profound connection between humans and chimpanzees. In the Shadow of Man is "one of the Western world's great scientific achievements" (Stephen Jay Gould) and a vivid, essential journey of discovery for each new generation of readers.
The Information Continuum creates a synthetic view of the evolution of communication among primates. King contends that the crucial element in the evolution of information acquisition and transfer is the acquired ability to donate information to others.
Introduction to the Primates is a comprehensive but compact guide to the long evolutionary history of the world's prosimians, monkeys, and apes, and to the much shorter history of humankind's interactions with them, from our earliest recorded observations to the severe threats we now pose to their survival.
Daris Swindler provides a detailed description of the major primate groups and their environments, from the smallest lemurs of Madagascar to the gorillas of central Africa. He compares and contrasts the primate species, looking at each with a specific anatomical focus. The range of diversity emerges as the particular characteristics of the species becomes increasingly distinct. Swindler also considers primate behavior and its close connections with environment and evolutionary differences. His account of 65 million years of successful adaptation and evolution demonstrates the drama of paleontology as evidence accrues and gaps in the history of primate evolution gradually close.
The controversy over the use of primates in research admits of no easy answers. We have all benefited from the medical discoveries of primate research--vaccines for polio, rubella, and hepatitis B are just a few. But we have also learned more in recent years about how intelligent apes and monkeys really are: they can speak to us with sign language, they can even play video games (and are as obsessed with the games as any human teenager). And activists have also uncovered widespread and unnecessarily callous treatment of animals by researchers (in 1982, a Silver Spring lab was charged with 17 counts of animal cruelty). It is a complex issue, made more difficult by the combative stance of both researchers and animal activists.
In The Monkey Wars, Deborah Blum gives a human face to this often caustic debate--and an all-but-human face to the subjects of the struggle, the chimpanzees and monkeys themselves. Blum criss-crosses America to show us first hand the issues and personalities involved. She offers a wide-ranging, informative look at animal rights activists, now numbering some twelve million, from the moderate Animal Welfare Institute to the highly radical Animal Liberation Front (a group destructive enough to be placed on the FBI's terrorist list). And she interviews a wide variety of researchers, many forced to conduct their work protected by barbed wire and alarm systems, men and women for whom death threats and hate mail are common. She takes us to Roger Fouts's research center in Ellensburg, Washington, where we meet five chimpanzees trained in human sign language, and we visit LEMSIP, a research facility in New York State that has no barbed wire, no alarms--and no protesters chanting outside--because its director, Jan Moor-Jankowski, listens to activists with respect and treats his animals humanely. And along the way, Blum offers us insights into the many side-issues involved: the intense battle to win over school kids fought by both sides, and the danger of transplanting animal organs into humans.
"As it stands now," Blum concludes, "the research community and its activist critics are like two different nations, nations locked in a long, bitter, seemingly intractable political standoff....But if you listen hard, there really are people on both sides willing to accept and work within the complex middle. When they can be freely heard, then we will have progressed to another place, beyond this time of hostilities." In The Monkey Wars, Deborah Blum gives these people their voice.
For 30 years Roger Fouts has pioneered communication with chimpanzees through sign language--beginning with a mischievous baby chimp named Washoe. This remarkable book describes Fout's odyssey from novice researcher to celebrity scientist to impassioned crusader for the rights of animals. Living and conversing with these sensitive creatures has given him a profound appreciation of what they can teach us about ourselves. It has also made Fouts an outspoken opponent of biomedical experimentation on chimpanzees. A voyage of scientific discovery and interspecies communication, this is a stirring tale of friendship, courage, and compassion that will change forever the way we view our biological--and spritual--next of kin.
Few animals interest us as much as our relatives the great apes, and among these primates orangutans have a special appeal. The orangutan ("man of the forest" in the Malay language) is highly intelligent, creating and using tools in the wild, solving problems and puzzles in captivity--and manipulating symbols in a way that makes some scientists suspect that this fellow creature might someday master language.
A natural history of orangutans by one of the world's foremost researchers on the species, this book provides an introduction that is at once engagingly accessible and in-depth. Here readers will encounter orangutans, the only great apes in Asia, in their ever-shrinking habitat, the rain forests of Sumatra, Indonesia, and Borneo.
This book delves into their history, their habits, their endangered status, and what studies--many conducted by the author himself--have told us about how orangutans learn, think, and feel.
It's no secret that humans and apes share a host of traits, from the tribal communities we form to our irrepressible curiosity. We have a common ancestor, scientists tell us, so it's natural that we act alike. But not all of these parallels are so appealing: the chimpanzee, for example, can be as vicious and manipulative as any human.
Yet there's more to our shared primate heritage than just our violent streak. In Our Inner Ape, Frans de Waal, one of the world's great primatologists and a renowned expert on social behavior in apes, presents the provocative idea that our noblest qualities--generosity, kindness, altruism--are as much a part of our nature as are our baser instincts. After all, we share them with another primate: the lesser-known bonobo. As genetically similar to man as the chimpanzee, the bonobo has a temperament and a lifestyle vastly different from those of its genetic cousin. Where chimps are aggressive, territorial, and hierarchical, bonobos are gentle, loving, and erotic (sex for bonobos is as much about pleasure and social bonding as it is about reproduction).
While the parallels between chimp brutality and human brutality are easy to see, de Waal suggests that the conciliatory bonobo is just as legitimate a model to study when we explore our primate heritage. He even connects humanity's desire for fairness and its morality with primate behavior, offering a view of society that contrasts markedly with the caricature people have of Darwinian evolution. It's plain that our finest qualities run deeper in our DNA than experts have previously thought.
Frans de Waal has spent the last two decades studying our closest primate relations, and his observations of each species in Our Inner Ape encompass the spectrum of human behavior. This is an audacious book, an engrossing discourse that proposes thought-provoking and sometimes shocking connections among chimps, bonobos, and those most paradoxical of apes, human beings.