Primates in Question (Smithsonian Answer Book Series): The Smithsonian Answer Book / Edition 1

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The mysterious and often unpredictable world of primates is explained by Smithsonian scientists in a question-and-answer format. Primates in Question, part of the Smithsonian's popular “In Question” series, is a comprehensive response to the many thousands of calls and letters the Smithsonian receives regarding questions related to monkeys, apes, lemurs, tamarins, and their relatives. What are primates? How closely related are humans to other primates? How strong is a gorilla? Why do primates spend so much time grooming? Why can't apes talk? These and almost 100 other questions are addressed with clear, thorough answers, accompanied by beautiful color photographs.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This book belongs in all libraries, and on the bookshelves of everyone with an interest in our closest relative.”—Jane Goodall
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588341761
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Series: Smithsonian Answer Book Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 194
  • Sales rank: 876,574
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Shumaker is director of the orangutan “Think Tank” at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. Benjamin B. Beck is a primatologist and former associate director of the Smithsonian's National Zoo. Gerry Ellis is an award-winning photographer whose credits include Natural History, Audubon, and National Geographic magazines.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xiii
1. Primates in General
What Are Primates? 1
How Are Primates Classified? 1
What Are the Different Types of Primate? 4
What Makes a Primate a Primate? 36
Are Monkeys and Apes the Same Thing? 42
How Do Primates Move? 45
How Closely Are Humans Related to Other Primates? 52
Did Humans Evolve from Apes? 54
Will Chimpanzees Evolve into Humans? 56
What Are the Smallest and Largest Primates? 57
What Do Primates Eat? 59
Do All Primates Have Tails? 61
How Long Do Primates Live? 65
Which Primates Are the Fastest? 66
How Strong Is a Gorilla? 67
2. Primate Social Behavior
Do All Primates Live in Families? 71
Why Do Primates Live in Different Types of Groups? 72
Are Primates Monogamous? 75
Do All Primates Recognize Their Relatives, and Does This Influence Their Society? 77
How Does Body Size Affect the Lives of Primates? 79
How Long Do Babies Stay with Their Mothers? 81
Do Mothers Have Help in Raising Their Babies? 83
Do Monkeys and Apes Experience Adolescence? 86
Why Do Some Primates Have Swollen Rears? 88
When Do Primates Mate? 90
Do Males or Females Initiate Mating? 91
Will Primates Adopt a Baby? 93
How Have Ideas about Primates Changed? 96
Why Do Primates Spend So Much Time Grooming? 97
Which Primates Hunt for Meat? 100
Do All Primates Have Friends? 102
Do Primates "Make Up" after a Fight? 103
Do Primates Make Good Pets? 105
3. Primate Intelligence
How Smart Are Primates? 109
How Do Scientists Study Primate Intelligence? 109
When Was Primate Intelligence First Studied? 111
What Is the Average IQ for an Ape? 114
Do Primates Have Big Brains? 116
Do Nonhuman Primates Use Tools? 118
Do Nonhuman Primates Make Tools? 120
How Do Primates Communicate? 124
Do All Primates Have Their Own Languages? 127
Can Nonhuman Primates Learn a Language? 128
Why Can't Apes Talk? 131
Can Monkeys and Apes Count? 132
Do Nonhuman Primates Make Up New Ways to Solve Problems? 134
How Do Primates Learn from Each Other? 136
Which Primates Have Culture? 139
Are Humans the Only Deceptive Primate? 142
Are All Primates Sympathetic? 145
Which Primates Have Emotions? 146
4. Primate Conservation
How Many Species of Primate Are Threatened or Endangered in the Wild? 151
What Are the Main Threats to Primates in the Wild? 153
What Are the Best Ways to Save Primates in the Wild? 157
Who Is Working to Protect Primates? 158
Are Captive Primates in Trouble? 161
How Can I Get Involved? 163
Appendix Taxonomic Hierarchy of Primates 165
Glossary 175
References 179
Taxonomic Index 191
Subject Index 193
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