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Great Ape Odyssey
     

Great Ape Odyssey

3.5 2
by Birute Mary Gladitas, Karl Ammann (Photographer), Dr. Jane Goodall (Foreword by)
 

Mythologized since the days of Aristotle, few creatures have captured popular imagination more completely than the so-called great apes—gorillas, chimpanzees (including bonobos), and orangutans. Yet our understanding of these apes as the “blood kin” of humans—nearly identical in biological composition and strikingly similar in so many

Overview

Mythologized since the days of Aristotle, few creatures have captured popular imagination more completely than the so-called great apes—gorillas, chimpanzees (including bonobos), and orangutans. Yet our understanding of these apes as the “blood kin” of humans—nearly identical in biological composition and strikingly similar in so many behaviors—has been much disputed over the years, and it has taken over a century of research and scientific discoveries to dispel the Victorian notion and portrayal of these animals as savage, aggressive, fearful beasts.

In Great Ape Odyssey, the follow-up to Orangutan Odyssey, Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas helps dispel any lingering myths about these fascinating animals. The famed primatologist opens the book with a brief, engaging history of our discovery of the great apes and the evolution of our perceptions of them since ancient times. She then delves into each of the great apes in detail, exploring and examining what we know about them, providing her own interpretations of the latest research, and offering comparisons among the different species. For instance, we learn that male gorillas make terrific fathers; that bonobos probably have more sex than any other creature on the planet, giving new meaning to the words, “You had me at hello”; and that while neither chimpanzees nor orangutans can swim, they have no fear of water, and in fact seem to enjoy it. More shocking revelations, while not new, nevertheless still captivate, especially as they relate to human behavior.

A constant drum beat throughout Great Ape Odyssey is the ever-present, and unfortunately mounting, threat of extinction in the face of an alarming loss of habitat, spread of disease, and a dramatic rise in the bushmeat trade. Indeed, according to Galdikas, this threat has already reached crisis proportions and if the decimation continues at the current rate, we are sure to lose the great apes from the planet within our lifetime.

One hundred and twenty-five photographs, taken on location in the dense forests of Borneo and the tree-top canopies of Africa by wildlife photographer Karl Ammann, illustrate the lives and behaviors of these creatures. Great Ape Odyssey offers not only a compelling overview of what we have learned about these humanlike animals, but in turn, and perhaps more importantly, what they can teach us about ourselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781435110090
Publisher:
Sterling
Publication date:
08/30/2008
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
11.38(w) x 10.56(h) x 0.77(d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is the co-founder and president of Orangutan Foundation International, a worldwide conservation organization based in Los Angeles. A protegé of Louis Leakey and the first to study orangutans long-term in the wild, Galdikas established Camp Leakey in Borneo, the center from which her research and conservation work on orangutans has been conducted since 1971. She also established the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine, which currently houses ex-captive orangutans being rehabilitated back to life in the wild, as well as facilitating the establishment by the Indonesian government of Lamandau Reserve. Galdikas is a full professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, and professor extraordinaire at Universitas Nasional in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Karl Ammann is a wildlife photographer and book author, as well as an advisory director to several conservation and animal welfare organizations. His photographs have been featured in the New York Times Magazine, Stern, Natural History, Outdoor Photographer, and many other publications. His photography also appeared in Orangutan Odyssey and Eating Apes.

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Great Ape Odyssey 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Space3 More than 1 year ago
I thought this was an extremely well put together book. The pictures really capture the apes personalities. Great writing! Enjoying it very much. I am an animal lover and apes are some of my favorites, especially the silverbacks, baboons and orangetauns (spelling is wrong), however a great book. Thank You, Sherry Pace