Gorilla Biology: A Multidisciplinary Perspective

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Overview

Gorillas, one of our closest living relatives, are the largest living primates, and teeter on the brink of extinction. This study offers the first comparative perspective on gorilla populations throughout their natural range, and covers all known subspecies. Discussing phylogeny, evolution, functional morphology, behavioral ecology and conservation biology, this multidisciplinary work will be essential reading for primatologists, anthropologists, animal behaviorists and evolutionary biologists.

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Editorial Reviews

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"Much new data and analysis, and new research questions for the next generation of scholars. Highly recommended." Choice
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Andrea Taylor is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Community & Family Medicine and Biological Anthropology & Anatomy at Duke University.

Michele Goldsmith is Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental and Population Health at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.

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Table of Contents

List of contributors
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Gorilla biology: Multiple perspectives on variation within a genus 1
Pt. 1 Gorilla taxonomy and comparative morphology 9
1 An introductory perspective: Gorillas - How important, how many, how long? 11
2 A history of gorilla taxonomy 15
3 Patterns of diversity in gorilla cranial morphology 35
4 The hierarchy of intraspecific craniometric variation in gorillas: A population-thinking approach with implications for fossil species recognition studies 62
5 Morphological differentiation of Gorilla subspecies 104
6 Ontogeny and function of the masticatory complex in Gorilla: Functional, evolutionary, and taxonomic implications 132
7 Intraspecific and ontogenetic variation in the forelimb morphology of Gorilla 194
Pt. 2 Molecular genetics 237
8 An introductory perspective: Gorilla systematics, taxonomy, and conservation in the era of genomics 239
9 Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA estimates of divergence between western and eastern gorillas 247
10 Genetic studies of western gorillas 269
Pt. 3 Behavioral ecology 293
11 An introductory perspective: Behavioral ecology of gorillas 295
12 Gorilla social relationships: A comparative overview 302
13 Within-group feeding competition and socioecological factors influencing social organization of gorillas in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo 328
14 Comparative behavioral ecology of a lowland and highland gorilla population: Where do Bwindi gorillas fit? 358
15 Are gorillas vacuum cleaners of the forest floor? The roles of body size, habitat, and food preferences on dietary flexibility and nutrition 385
Pt. 4 Gorilla conservation 405
16 An introductory perspective: Gorilla conservation 407
17 Current status of gorillas and threats to their existence at the beginning of a new millennium 414
18 Distribution, taxonomy, genetics, ecology, and causal links of gorilla survival: The need to develop practical knowledge for gorilla conservation 432
19 The Cross River gorilla: Natural history and status of a neglected and critically endangered subspecies 472
Afterword 498
Index 501
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