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Book description

The chimpanzee is one of our planet's best-loved and most instantly recognisable animals. Splitting from the human lineage between four and six million years ago, it is (along with its cousin, the bonobo) our closest living relative, sharing around 94% of our DNA. First encountered by Westerners in the seventeenth century, virtually nothing was known about chimpanzees in their natural environment until 1960, when Jane Goodall travelled to Gombe to live and work with them. Accessibly written, yet fully referenced and uncompromising in its accuracy and comprehensiveness, this book encapsulates everything we currently know about chimpanzees: from their discovery and why we study them, to their anatomy, physiology, genetics and culture. The text is beautifully illustrated and infused with examples and anecdotes drawn from the author's thirty years of primate observation, making this a perfect resource for students of biological anthropology and primatology as well as non-specialists interested in chimpanzees.


'Chimpanzee: Lessons from our Sister Species condenses over 60 years of chimpanzee research into an informative and entertaining book. Drawing on his own first-hand experience, the research of other scientists and historic accounts, Kevin Hunt describes the fascinating lives of chimpanzees in the wild, as well as the research methods used by leading experts in the field. If you want to know just how alike we truly are to our closest living relatives then you will get a very good idea from reading this book.'

Jane Goodall - PhD, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace

'Ever since the seventeenth century, writers have suspected that apes have a story to tell about human life and our pre-historic origins. Year by year the details of that story are being worked out better and better. Chimpanzee is a terrific account from the leading edge.'

Richard Wrangham - Ruth Moore Research Professor of Biological Anthropology, Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Massachusetts, from the Foreword

'Hunt skillfully weaves anecdotes and history into this scientific compendium of the behavioral ecology, biology, and evolution of chimpanzees. The book is generously illustrated, and each chapter includes extensive references. It is written in an accessible, conversational style that could only be achieved by someone with Hunt’s first-hand experiences in the field and encyclopedic perspective. It will make a valuable reference for anyone interested in what is known and not yet known about one of our closest living relatives.'

Karen B. Strier - Vilas Research Professor and Irven DeVore Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

'An exceptional book that delivers on every promise in its table of contents. Grounded in Hunt’s 30+ years of chimpanzee field work and his commanding knowledge of others’ research, he gives us a state-of-the-art research volume that will become an essential reference for primatologists, and anyone who wants to understand the true nature of our sister species. Hunt’s writing is lucid, scholarly and wide-ranging as he carefully explains chimpanzee evolution, biology, social behavior, and so much more. Hunt skillfully embeds his own field observations to help readers grasp concepts like chimpanzee positional behavior, personality, maternal behavior, cognition and communication, hunting and aggression. He balances this perspective with a wealth of laboratory and captive findings. The extensive references for each chapter provide an outstanding resource for students, teachers and readers who choose to delve further. The volume is generously illustrated with photos, line drawings and abundant figures that enrich the text.'

Linda F. Marchant - Professor Emerita, Miami University

‘The volume provides a synthesis of classic and current literature, which will help readers learn what experts think now and where their ideas came from.'

L. K. Sheeran Source: Choice

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