Synopses & Reviews
The definitive guide to the great apes and how they compare with us, their closest living relatives.
Gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans are only a hair's breadth away from us in evolutionary terms; our DNA differs by just a few percent. These fascinating creatures hold up a mirror to humanity, giving us insights into our past, our present and perhaps even our future.
Planet Ape reveals the great apes in unprecedented detail: where they live, how they live and the challenges they face. Using innovative artworks, photographs and text, the book makes key comparisons between apes and human beings, including:
AnatomyDietSocial lifeCourtship and breedingPhysical and mental developmentCommunication.
From peace-loving bonobos to warring chimpanzee communities and from highly sociable gorillas to solitary orangutans, Planet Ape is the first book to do justice to the diversity and complexity of the ape world and what it tells us about our own.
Unimaginable habitat loss, war, hunting and disease all threaten to wipe the great apes from the wild. Planet Ape seizes the moment, examining attempts to safeguard these species, including reserves, captive breeding and reintroduction.
A proportion of the royalties will be donated to charities working to conserve apes, so buying this book makes an immediate, practical contribution.
A spectacular and authoritative survey of our nearest non-human relatives, full of insight about them - and about ourselves. -- David Attenborough
"40 years after British zoo curator Morris published The Naked Ape, a controversial 1967 bestseller (primatology's first), field researchers have generated thousands of hours of observations regarding gorillas, chimps, bonobos, gibbons and orangutans, and a bounty of comparative data regarding social behaviors, family groups, reproductive strategies and food gathering. Morris and Parker fill a huge gap on the primatology bookshelf by compiling this data into a practical, fully illustrated, encyclopedic book for non-specialists. Extended sections on anatomy, diet, communication behaviors, patterns of social life, sex and reproduction, and developmental stages each cover habits of different species and, where applicable, of humans. Copious images includes photos and graphs illustrating comparative anatomy and physiology, postures, internal structure and more; two-page spreads on dietary needs and the daily feeding routine of an orangutan are particularly well-executed. Morris and Parker, a senior fellow at the Zoological Society of London, also describe numerous threats to the survival of non-human primates, and provide conservation agency contact information so readers can get involved. With few exceptions (some dark backgrounds render text hard to read) this is a beautifully organized and visually gratifying guide, perfect for amateur and budding primatologists." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
and#8220;A strength of Desmond Morrisand#8217;s Monkey
is his unsettling portrayal of how thoroughly our own primate species is willing to exploit its near relatives.and#8221;
"Planet Ape" reveals the great apes in unprecedented detail. Using innovative artworks, photographs, and text, this work makes key comparisons between apes and human beings, including anatomy, mental development, and communication.
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 andagrave; 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.and#160;Monkey unpacks human attitudes toward these animals, tracing our connection with them throughout history. andshy;Morris reveals that our fascination with monkeys extends through many cultures and erasandmdash;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 troubledandmdash;this in-depth knowledge of our own origins amplifies our identification with and concern for the idea of monkeysandrsquo; 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.
About the Author
Desmond Morris is a critically acclaimed writer and broadcaster. His many books include The Naked Ape, The Human Zoo, The Human Animal, and Owl, also published by Reaktion Books.
Table of Contents
1. Sacred Monkeys
2. Tribal Monkeys: Myths and Superstitions
3. Monkeys Despised
4. Lustful Monkeys
5. Monkeys Enjoyed
6. Monkeys Exploited
7. Monkey Quotations
8. Monkeys and Artists
9. Monkeys as Animals
10. Unusual Monkeys
11. Rare Monkeys
12. Newly Discovered Monkeys
13. Intelligent Monkeys
Appendix 1: Classification
Appendix 2: Monkeys in the Language
Associations and Websites