Chimpanzee and Red Colobus: The Ecology of Predator and Prey, With a Foreword by Richard Wrangham

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Overview

Our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees, are familiar enough—bright and ornery and promiscuous. But they also kill and eat their kin, in this case the red colobus monkey, which may say something about primate—even hominid—evolution. This book, the first long-term field study of a predator-prey relationship involving two wild primates, documents a six-year investigation into how the risk of predation molds primate society. Taking us to Gombe National Park in Tanzania, a place made famous by Jane Goodall's studies, the book offers a close look at how predation by wild chimpanzees—observable in the park as nowhere else—has influenced the behavior, ecology, and demography of a population of red colobus monkeys.

As he explores the effects of chimpanzees' hunting, Craig Stanford also asks why these creatures prey on the red colobus. Because chimpanzees are often used as models of how early humans may have lived, Stanford's findings offer insight into the possible role of early hominids as predators, a little understood aspect of human evolution.

The first book-length study in a newly emerging genre of primate field study, Chimpanzee and Red Colobus expands our understanding of not just these two primate societies, but also the evolutionary ecology of predators and prey in general.

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Editorial Reviews

BBC Wildlife
[Chimpanzee and Red Colobus is a ] study of how the predation of wild chimps influences and shapes the behaviour and ecology of a group of red colobus monkeys, offering clues as to how early humans may have lived.
Biologist
This is a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the predator-prey relationship between chimpanzees and red colobus monkeys in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. While researchers generally focus on predation from the point of view of the hunter, Craig Stanford is unique on addressing predation from the point of view of both predator and prey...This is an excellent reference manual on chimpanzees as hunters and their impact on the behaviour, ecology and demography of their prey. It is clearly written and well organised, and the latest chapter provides a concise and comprehensive summary-conclusion. Figures and tables are easy to follow and, together with the text, reveal the meticulous detail in which the author addressed the questions of interest. This is an important contribution to primatology.
— Jennifer Scott
New Scientist
A detailed, but entertaining analysis of the evolutionary whys, behavioural ecology wherefores and natural history hows of a fascinating predator-prey system. Suitable for undergraduates and above, the wealth of detail makes it hard to believe that, until two decades ago, chimps were thought of as entirely peaceful vegetarians. Just read Craig Stanford's Chimpanzee and Red Colobus to discover how wrong we all were.
Jennifer Scott
This is a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the predator-prey relationship between chimpanzees and red colobus monkeys in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. While researchers generally focus on predation from the point of view of the hunter, Craig Stanford is unique on addressing predation from the point of view of both predator and prey...This is an excellent reference manual on chimpanzees as hunters and their impact on the behaviour, ecology and demography of their prey. It is clearly written and well organised, and the latest chapter provides a concise and comprehensive summary-conclusion. Figures and tables are easy to follow and, together with the text, reveal the meticulous detail in which the author addressed the questions of interest. This is an important contribution to primatology.
Biologist
New Scientist
A detailed, but entertaining analysis of the evolutionary whys, behavioural ecology wherefores and natural history hows of a fascinating predator-prey system. Suitable for undergraduates and above, the wealth of detail makes it hard to believe that, until two decades ago, chimps were thought of as entirely peaceful vegetarians. Just read Craig Stanford's Chimpanzee and Red Colobus to discover how wrong we all were.
Wildlife BBC
[Chimpanzee and Red Colobus is a ] study of how the predation of wild chimps influences and shapes the behaviour and ecology of a group of red colobus monkeys, offering clues as to how early humans may have lived.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674116672
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1998
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Craig B. Stanford is Professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Anthropology at the University of Southern California.

Richard W. Wrangham is Ruth Moore Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
1 Primates as Predators and as Prey 1
2 An African Forest 23
3 The Hunters 41
4 Chimpanzees as Predators 61
5 Red Colobus Monkeys as Prey 95
6 Before the Attack 117
7 Confrontation 141
8 The Impact of Predation 163
9 Why Do Chimpanzees Hunt? 189
10 Predation and Primate Social Systems 211
11 Conclusion 231
App Additional Data on Predator-Prey Ecology 237
References 259
Acknowledgments 285
Index 289
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