Books  Zoology  Mammals  Primates 

Planet Ape

By: Desmond Morris (Author), Steve Parker (Author)

288 pages, 30 artworks, 200 photographs

Mitchell Beazley

Hardback | Oct 2009 | #181246 | ISBN-13: 9781845334413
Availability uncertain: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £29.99 $37/€34 approx

About this book

Planet Ape brings you face to face with your closest living relatives, the Great Apes. Gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orang-utans are only a hair's breadth away from us in evolutionary terms; our DNA differs by just a few per cent. These fascinating creatures hold up a mirror to humanity, giving us insights into our past, our present, and perhaps even our future – the environmental pressures they face today could be those we face tomorrow.

Planet Ape reveals the Great Apes in unprecedented detail: where they live, how they live and the challenges they face. Throughout, the approach is to compare them with each other and with us, their cousins. Using innovative artworks, photographs and text, Planet Ape makes key comparisons with human beings including anatomy, social life, physical and mental development, diet and communication.

From peace-loving bonobos to warring chimpanzee communities, from highly sociable gorillas to solitary orang-utans, from their amazing communication skills to their breathtaking physical agility, 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. A proportion of the royalties will be donated to charities working to conserve the apes so that buying Planet Ape itself will make an immediate practical contribution.


- Foreword

Family History
- What is a Great Ape?
- Where do the Great Apes Live?
- Close Cousins

Great Apes Up Close:
- Bornean Orangutan
- Sumatran Orangutan
- Western Lowland Gorilla
- Mountain Gorilla
- Chimpanzee
- Bonobo

The Human Factor
- Humans and Apes
- Uniquely Human
- The Hunted Ape
- The Performing Ape
- The Observed Ape
- Experimental Ape
- The Studied Ape

Ape Anatomy
- Apes on the Outside
- Bones
- Muscles and Moving
- Faces
- Hands and Feet
- Brains and Nerves
- Senses
- Internal Organs

The Daily Meal
- Daily Diet
- Diet and Dentition
- Foraging For Plants
- Foraging For Plants
- Foraging Strategies
- Foraging Strategies
- Small Animal Snacks
- Feeding & Tool Use

- Why Communicate
- Visual Signals
- Vocal Expressions
- Olfactory Modes
- Physical Contact

Social Life
- Family Units
- Groups and Troops
- Solitary Phases
- Dominance and Hierarchy
- Social Play
- Helping Others
- Joining and Leaving
- Territories

Sex Life
- How Many Mates
- Starting Out
- Breeding Cycles
- Courtship
- Mating
- Pregnancy
- Birth

The Stages Of Life
- Infancy
- Childhood
- Adolescence
- Adulthood
- Illness and Injury
- Old Age and Death

- Natural Threats
- Habitat Destruction
- Hunting and Poaching
- Disease
- Warfare
- Not Enough Genes

Saving Planet Ape
- Global Efforts
- Saving Habitats
- Captive Breeding
- Reintroduction
- How we can Help


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

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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