Desmond Morris was born in Wiltshire in 1928. After gaining a degree in zoology from Birmimgham University, he obtained his D. Phil. from the University of Oxford. He became Curator of Mammals at London Zoo in 1959, a post he held for eight years.
He was already the author of some fifty scientific papers and seven books before completing The Naked Ape in 1967, which was to sell over 10 million copies throughout the world and be translated into almost every known language.
Desmond Morris has made many television programmes and films on human and animal behaviour, his friendly and accessible approach making him popular with both adults and children, and he is now one of the best-known presenters of natural history programmes.
He is also an accomplished artists and his books inlcude The Biology of Art, The Art of Ancient Cyprus and The Secret Surrealist, as well as his familiar series of Manwatching, Bodywatching, Animalwatching and Babywatching. His study of the meaning of gestures, Bodytalk: A World Guide to Gestures is published by Jonathan Cape.