Great Ape Societies

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William C. McGrew, William Clement McGrew, Linda F. Marchant, Toshisada Nishida
Cambridge University Press, Jul 28, 1996 - Nature - 328 pages
The Great Apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans) are our closest living relatives, sharing a common ancestor only five million years ago. We also share key features such as high intelligence, omnivorous diets, prolonged child-rearing and rich social lives. The Great Apes show a surprising diversity of adaptations, particularly in social life, ranging from the solitary life of orangutans, through patriarchy in gorillas to complex but different social organizations in bonobos and chimpanzees. As Great Apes are so close to humans, comparisons yield essential knowledge for modeling human evolutionary origins. Great Ape Societies provides comprehensive up-to-date syntheses of work on all four species, drawing on decades of international field work, zoo and laboratory studies. It will be essential reading for students and researchers in primatology, anthropology, psychology and human evolution.
 

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About the author (1996)

Jane Goodall, 1934 - Jane Goodall, a well-respected English zoologist, is famous for her fieldwork with chimpanzees in Africa. An early interest in African wild animals and the opportunity, at age 18, to stay on a friend's farm in Kenya, led her to Dr. Louis Leakey; then curator of the National Museum of Natural History in Nairobi. Almost immediately Leakey hired Goodall as his assistant secretary, and she was soon accompanying Leakey and his wife on their expeditions. Following Leakey's suggestion that a field study of some of the higher primates would be a major contribution to the understanding of animal behavior, she began studying the chimpanzees of the Gombe Stream Research Center in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in 1960. Although she had no undergraduate degree, Goodall earned a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1965, based on her first five years of research at the Gombe Center. After more than 20 years of extensive study and direct contact with wild chimpanzees in their natural habitat, Goodall continues to research, teach, and write about primate behavior today.

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