Tree of Origin

What Primate Behavior Can Tell Us about Human Social Evolution

Author: Frans B. M. De Waal

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674033023

Category: Nature

Page: 320

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How did we become the linguistic, cultured, and hugely successful apes that we are? Our closest relatives--the other mentally complex and socially skilled primates--offer tantalizing clues. In "Tree of Origin" nine of the world's top primate experts read these clues and compose the most extensive picture to date of what the behavior of monkeys and apes can tell us about our own evolution as a species. It has been nearly fifteen years since a single volume addressed the issue of human evolution from a primate perspective, and in that time we have witnessed explosive growth in research on the subject. "Tree of Origin" gives us the latest news about bonobos, the "make love not war" apes who behave so dramatically unlike chimpanzees. We learn about the tool traditions and social customs that set each ape community apart. We see how DNA analysis is revolutionizing our understanding of paternity, intergroup migration, and reproductive success. And we confront intriguing discoveries about primate hunting behavior, politics, cognition, diet, and the evolution of language and intelligence that challenge claims of human uniqueness in new and subtle ways. "Tree of Origin" provides the clearest glimpse yet of the apelike ancestor who left the forest and began the long journey toward modern humanity.

New Perspectives in the Study of Mesoamerican Primates

Distribution, Ecology, Behavior, and Conservation

Author: Alejandro Estrada,Paul A. Garber,Mary McDonald Pavelka,LeAndra Luecke

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 0387258728

Category: Science

Page: 600

View: 354

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The purpose of this volume is to present a comprehensive overview of recent advances in primate field research, ecology, and conservation biology in Mesoamerica. The overall goal of each contribution is to integrate newly collected field data with theoretical perspectives drawn from evolutionary biology, socioecology, biological anthropology, and conservation to identify how our current knowledge of primate behavior and ecology has moved beyond more traditional approaches. A corollary to this, and an important goal of the volume is to identify geographical regions and species for which we continue to lack sufficient information, to develop action plans for future research, and to identify areas for immediate conservation action. Despite many decades of primate research in Mesoamerica, much is still unknown concerning the basic ecology and behavior of these species, demography, current distribution, and conservation status of local populations, and the effectiveness of conservation policies on primate survivorship. Four major areas of research are the focus of the volume: Evolutionary Biology and Biogeography; Population Demography and Ecology; Behavior; and Conservation and Management Policies.

Hierarchy in the Forest

The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior

Author: Christopher BOEHM,Christopher Boehm

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674028449

Category: Science

Page: 304

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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 References Index 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

Human Evolution

Our Brains and Behavior

Author: Robin Dunbar,Robin Ian MacDonald Dunbar

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780190616786

Category: SCIENCE

Page: 432

View: 8884

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"This book covers the psychological aspects of human evolution with a table of contents ranging from prehistoric times to modern days. Dunbar focuses on an aspect of evolution that has typically been overshadowed by the archaeological record: the biological, neurological, and genetic changes that occurred with each "transition" in the evolutionary narrative"--

Primate Behavioral Ecology

Author: Karen B. Strier

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 131732711X

Category: Social Science

Page: 574

View: 3837

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This comprehensive introductory text integrates evolutionary, ecological, and demographic perspectives with new results from field studies and contemporary noninvasive molecular and hormonal techniques to understand how different primates behave and the significance of these insights for primate conservation. Each chapter is organized around the major research themes in the field, with Strier emphasizing the interplay between theory, observations, and conservation issues. Examples are drawn from the "classic" primate field studies as well as more recent studies on previously neglected species, illustrating the vast behavioral variation that exists across the primate order. Primate Behavioral Ecology 5th Edition also examines how anthropogenic activities are negatively impacting primate populations, including a thorough analysis of behavioural plasticity and its implications. This fully updated new edition incorporates exciting new discoveries and the most up-to-date approaches in the field to provide an invaluable overview of the field of primate behavioral ecology and its applications to primate conservation. It is considered to be a “must read” for all students interested in primates.

Sense and Nonsense

Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behaviour

Author: Kevin N. Laland,Gillian R. Brown

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199586969

Category: Medical

Page: 270

View: 737

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This book asks whether evolution can help us to understand human behaviour and explores diverse evolutionary methods and arguments. It provides a short, readable introduction to the science behind the works of Dawkins, Dennett, Wilson and Pinker. It is widely used in undergraduate courses around the world.

Games Primates Play

An Undercover Investigation of the Evolution and Economics of Human Relationships

Author: Dario Maestripieri

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 046502078X

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 7696

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A primatologist examines unspoken social customs, from jilting a lover to being competitive on the job, to explain how behavioral complexities are linked to humans' primate heritage.

Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language

Author: Robin Dunbar

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674363366

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 230

View: 890

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What a big brain we have for all the small talk we make. It's an evolutionary riddle that at long last makes sense in this intriguing book about what gossip has done for our talkative species. Psychologist Robin Dunbar looks at gossip as an instrument of social order and cohesion--much like the endless grooming with which our primate cousins tend to their social relationships. Apes and monkeys, humanity's closest kin, differ from other animals in the intensity of these relationships. All their grooming is not so much about hygiene as it is about cementing bonds, making friends, and influencing fellow primates. But for early humans, grooming as a way to social success posed a problem: given their large social groups of 150 or so, our earliest ancestors would have had to spend almost half their time grooming one another--an impossible burden. What Dunbar suggests--and his research, whether in the realm of primatology or in that of gossip, confirms--is that humans developed language to serve the same purpose, but far more efficiently. It seems there is nothing idle about chatter, which holds together a diverse, dynamic group--whether of hunter-gatherers, soldiers, or workmates. Anthropologists have long assumed that language developed in relationships among males during activities such as hunting. Dunbar's original and extremely interesting studies suggest otherwise: that language in fact evolved in response to our need to keep up to date with friends and family. We needed conversation to stay in touch, and we still need it in ways that will not be satisfied by teleconferencing, email, or any other communication technology. As Dunbar shows, the impersonal world of cyberspace will not fulfill our primordial need for face-to-face contact. From the nit-picking of chimpanzees to our chats at coffee break, from neuroscience to paleoanthropology, Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language offers a provocative view of what makes us human, what holds us together, and what sets us apart.

Adaptation and Human Behavior

An Anthropological Perspective

Author: Napoleon Chagnon

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351329189

Category: Social Science

Page: 527

View: 6020

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This volume presents state-of-the-art empirical studies working in a paradigm that has become known as human behavioral ecology. The emergence of this approach in anthropology was marked by publication by Aldine in 1979 of an earlier collection of studies edited by Chagnon and Irons entitled Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior: An Anthropological Perspective. During the two decades that have passed since then, this innovative approach has matured and expanded into new areas that are explored here. The book opens with an introductory chapter by Chagnon and Irons tracing the origins of human behavioral ecology and its subsequent development. Subsequent chapters, written by both younger scholars and established researchers, cover a wide range of societies and topics organ-ized into six sections. The first section includes two chapters that provide historical background on the development of human behavioral ecology and com-pare it to two complementary approaches in the study of evolution and human behavior, evolutionary psychology, and dual inheritance theory. The second section includes five studies of mating efforts in a variety of societies from South America and Africa. The third section covers parenting, with five studies on soci-eties from Africa, Asia, and North America. The fourth section breaks somewhat with the tradition in human behavioral ecology by focusing on one particularly problematic issue, the demographic transition, using data from Europe, North America, and Asia. The fifth section includes studies of cooperation and helping behaviors, using data from societies in Micronesia and South America. The sixth and final section consists of a single chapter that places the volume in a broader critical and comparative context. The contributions to this volume demonstrate, with a high degree of theoretical and methodological sophistication--the maturity and freshness of this new paradigm in the study of human behavior. The volume will be of interest to anthropologists and other professions working on the study of cross-cultural human behavior.

Primate Adaptation and Evolution

Author: John G. Fleagle

Publisher: Academic Press

ISBN: 0123786339

Category: Science

Page: 464

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Primate Adaptation and Evolution, Third Edition, is a thorough revision of the text of choice for courses in primate evolution. The book retains its grounding in the extant primate groups as the best way to understand the fossil trail and the evolution of these modern forms. However, this coverage is now streamlined, making reference to the many new and excellent books on living primate ecology and adaptation - a field that has burgeoned since the first edition of Primate Adaptation and Evolution. By drawing out the key features of the extant families and referring to more detailed texts, the author sets the scene and also creates space for a thorough updating of the exciting developments in primate palaeontology - and the reconstruction through early hominid species - of our own human origins. This updated version covers recent developments in primate paleontology and the latest taxonomy, and includes over 200 new illustrations and revised evolutionary trees. This text is ideal for undergraduate and post-graduate students studying the evolution and functional ecology of primates and early fossil hominids. Long-awaited revision of the standard student text on primate evolution Full coverage of newly discovered fossils and the latest taxonomy Over 200 new illustrations and revised evolutionary trees

The Evolution of Primate Societies

Author: John C. Mitani,Josep Call,Peter M. Kappeler,Ryne A. Palombit,Joan B. Silk

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226531732

Category: Science

Page: 728

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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 Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War

Author: Todd K. Shackelford,Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199738408

Category: Psychology

Page: 546

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The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War synthesizes the theoretical and empirical work of leading scholars in the evolutionary sciences to produce the first extensive and authoritative review of this literature. Its breadth of coverage is unique, and ensures that the handbook provides essential reading for students and researchers in the fields of psychology, anthropology, criminology, sociology, ethology, biology, and behavioral ecology.

Man the Hunted

Primates, Predators, and Human Evolution, Expanded Edition

Author: Donna Hart

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0429978715

Category: Social Science

Page: 376

View: 428

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Man the Hunted argues that primates, including the earliest members of the human family, have evolved as the prey of any number of predators, including wild cats and dogs, hyenas, snakes, crocodiles, and even birds. The authors' studies of predators on monkeys and apes are supplemented here with the observations of naturalists in the field and revealing interpretations of the fossil record. Eyewitness accounts of the 'man the hunted' drama being played out even now give vivid evidence of its prehistoric significance. This provocative view of human evolution suggests that countless adaptations that have allowed our species to survive (from larger brains to speech), stem from a considerably more vulnerable position on the food chain than we might like to imagine. The myth of early humans as fearless hunters dominating the earth obscures our origins as just one of many species that had to be cautious, depend on other group members, communicate danger, and come to terms with being merely one cog in the complex cycle of life.

New Perspectives in Anthropology

Author: P. K. Seth,S. Seth

Publisher: M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd.

ISBN: 9788185880198

Category: Anthropology

Page: 359

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The book, New Perspectives in Anthropology, brings together information about many diverse attributes of MAN in an attempt to understand him in its entirely. As the subtlety and complexity of anthropology becomes better understood, the issues emerging from the integration of biology, behaviour and culture inter alia human evolution, primate behaviour and human variation shall become increasingly relevant and interesting.

Our Inner Ape

A Leading Primatologist Explains why We are who We are

Author: Frans de Waal

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781594481963

Category: Science

Page: 288

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Argues that such social virtues as cooperation, empathy, and morality are as genetically inherent as aggressive and competitive behaviors, drawing on research with two ape species whose DNA most closely resembles that of humans to explain how ape instincts can inform readers about human behavior. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.

Infectious Diseases in Primates

Behavior, Ecology and Evolution

Author: Charles Nunn,Sonia M. Altizer

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198565844

Category: Science

Page: 384

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1. Questions, Terminology, and Underlying Principles2. Diversity and Characteristics of Primate Parasites3. Primate Socioecology and Disease Risk- Predictions and Rationale4. Host-Parasite Dynamics and Epidemiological Principles5. Host Defenses- The Immune System and Behavioral Counterstrategies6. Infectious Disease and Primate Social Systems7. Parasites and Primate Conservation8. From Nonhuman Primates to Human Health and Evolution9. Concluding Remarks and Future Directions

Homosexual Behaviour in Animals

An Evolutionary Perspective

Author: Volker Sommer,Paul L. Vasey

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521864466

Category: Psychology

Page: 382

View: 8116

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First published in 2006, this book explores evolutionary aspects of same-sex sexual behaviour in animals.

Sexual Coercion in Primates and Humans

Author: Martin N. Muller,Richard W. Wrangham

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674033245

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 483

View: 5541

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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.

Human Birth

An Evolutionary Perspective

Author: Wenda R. Trevathan

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351514598

Category: Medical

Page: 286

View: 2442

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The story of human evolution has been told hundreds of times, each time with a focus that seems most informative of the teller. No matter how it is told the primary characters are rarely mothers and infants. Darwin argued survival, but today we know that reproduction is what evolution is all about. Centering on this, Trevathan focuses on birth, which gives the study of human evolution a crucial new dimension.Unique among mammals, humans are bipedal. The evolution of bipedalism required fundamental changes in the pelvis and resulted in a narrow birth canal. Humans are also large-brained animals, which means that birth is much more challenging for our species than for most other animals. The result of this mismatch of large head and narrow pelvis is that women are highly dependent on assistance at birth and their babies are born in an unusually undeveloped state when the brain is still small. Human Birth discusses how the birth process has evolved and ways in which human birth differs from birth in all other mammals.Human Birth is also concerned with mother-infant interaction immediately after birth. While working as a midwife trainee, Trevathan carefully documented the births of more than one hundred women and recorded maternal and infant behaviors during the first hour after birth. She suggests ways in which the interactions served not only to enhance mother-infant bonding, but also to ensure survival in the evolutionary past. With clarity and compelling logic Trevathan argues that modern birth practices often fail to meet evolved needs of women and infants and suggests changes that could lead to better birth experiences. This paperback edition includes a new introduction by the author.