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Planet Ape
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Planet Ape

by Desmond Morris, Steve Parker
 

The definitive guide to the great apes and how they compare with us, their closest living relatives.

Gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans are only a hair's breadth away from us in evolutionary terms; our DNA differs by just a few percent. These fascinating creatures hold up a mirror to humanity, giving us insights into our past, our present and

Overview

The definitive guide to the great apes and how they compare with us, their closest living relatives.

Gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans are only a hair's breadth away from us in evolutionary terms; our DNA differs by just a few percent. These fascinating creatures hold up a mirror to humanity, giving us insights into our past, our present and perhaps even our future.

Planet Ape reveals the great apes in unprecedented detail: where they live, how they live and the challenges they face. Using innovative artworks, photographs and text, the book makes key comparisons between apes and human beings, including:

  • Anatomy
  • Diet
  • Social life
  • Courtship and breeding
  • Physical and mental development
  • Communication.

From peace-loving bonobos to warring chimpanzee communities and from highly sociable gorillas to solitary orangutans, Planet Ape is the first book to do justice to the diversity and complexity of the ape world and what it tells us about our own.

Unimaginable habitat loss, war, hunting and disease all threaten to wipe the great apes from the wild. Planet Ape seizes the moment, examining attempts to safeguard these species, including reserves, captive breeding and reintroduction.

A proportion of the royalties will be donated to charities working to conserve apes, so buying this book makes an immediate, practical contribution.

A spectacular and authoritative survey of our nearest non-human relatives, full of insight about them - and about ourselves. —
David Attenborough

Editorial Reviews

The Globe and Mail Gift Books Special
Known primarily as an observer of the human animal, Desmond Morris now turns his considerable observational powers to our closest relatives, the apes. Although the book is full of wonderful photographs, it's much more than a coffee-table book. Rather, it's a complete and innovative look at the complex world of apes, the lives they lead and the challenges they face, mostly from not-so-sapient humans. If you had any doubts about our duty to protect them, you won't after reading this.
Louisville Voice-Tribune - Roger Showley
Nature is best seen in person, but the stop action and poses in oversized books erase the boundary between man and environment. That's most evident in Planet Ape....in which human and ape are compared and contrasted brilliantly.
Saskatoon Star Phoenix - Bill Robertson
"In this sumptuously illustrated book Morris looks at the great apes, including chimpanzees, monkeys, and the ones reading this paper, human beings.
USA Today - Dan Vergano
Zoologist Desmond Morris (with Steve Parker) takes readers on a tour of the homes of our closest relatives, the great apes. Gorillas, chimps, bonobos and orangutans answer the questions of what our ancient ancestors left behind in the dense rainforests of the world. "For every hairy ape, there are some 20,000 naked apes," aka humans. Desmond notes, decrying the threat of extinction stalking our forest cousins.
David Attenborough
A spectacular and authoritative survey of our nearest non-human relatives, full of insight about them—and about ourselves.
Science Books and Film - Robert M. Schoch
This beautiful volume is a cross between a coffee-table book and a thorough compendium of ape behavior, anatomy, taxonomy, and lore. An exceptional value for the money, the book invites the reader to explore the world of our closest-living nonhuman relatives. The reader will find it difficult to put down, but that is what one would expect from the author, the well-known British zoologist, ethnologist, author, and painter Desmond Morris. The book reads well, is packed full of exciting information, and is just plain fun to browse for hours... It seems that everything you can imagine about apes is discussed in this book... This really is a book for everyone, and it should be in all school and college libraries. I also recommend it as a great gift for anyone interested in wildlife generally or primates in particular.
National Science Teachers Association - Claudia Fetters
The outstanding, beautiful book describes the great apes and the manner in which humans interact with them. The biology, ecology, and sociology of these animals are covered expertly with excellent full-color photography. I recommend this book for any school library... This book is easy to read and engaging, with many illustrations and diagrams as well as great photos. It provides a balanced perspective on these animals and is highly recommended. Gr 6-College
January Magazine - Linda L. Richards
This is a fantastic book. One cannot imagine a better one on this topic. It is gorgeous enough to sit on a coffee table, yet informative enough for the reference section of a library. Wonderful photos illustrate page upon page of facts and thoughts and ideas. And in the true tradition of a book by Morris, you not only learn about the subject at hand, you are also pushed to think independently about what all these facts might mean. The information is shared in a thoughtful, intelligent way and, without even realizing it, we end up learning as much about ourselves as we do about the apes Morris obviously has a very real affection for. A portion of the profits generated by Planet Ape are earmarked for charities who are working to conserve the apes Morris and co-author Parker deliver to us so vividly. Once you've experienced Planet Ape, you'll understand just how important that is.
Library Journal
An observer of human and animal behavior for over six decades, zoologist Morris (The Naked Ape) has written an elegant book on the natural lives of the chimpanzee, bonobo, orangutan, and gorilla. In fascinating detail, he presents decades of research about their anatomy, diet, social and sexual lives, life stages, intelligence, and communication skills. Bringing this information to life is an extraordinary variety of photos documenting both the magnificence and the fragility of these animals as they eat, sleep, play, fight, and raise families. This eloquent tribute to our closest evolutionary relatives is also Morris's plea for their survival in the wild. Every species of great ape is now so endangered that they could disappear from their natural habitat within a few decades. VERDICT The prolific author writes with provocative insight and a profound appreciation for the natural world. His latest will delight his fans, wildlife enthusiasts, and those who enjoyed Biruté Galdikas's Great Ape Odyssey.—Cynthia Knight, Hunterdon Cty. Lib., Flemington, NJ

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554075669
Publisher:
Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date:
09/10/2009
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 11.10(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are Saying About This

A spectacular and authoritative survey of our nearest non-human relatives, full of insight about them - and about ourselves. -- David Attenborough.

Meet the Author

Desmond Morris is an internationally famous zoologist, ethnologist and artist. He is a prolific author, whose works include The Naked Ape, Manwatching and Amazing Baby.

Steve Parker is a senior scientific fellow of the Zoological Society of London and has worked for London's Natural History Museum.

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