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Among African Apes: Stories and Photos from the Field

By: Martha M Robbins (Editor), Christophe Boesch (Editor)

198 pages, 16 plates with 32 colour photos

University of California Press

Paperback | Aug 2012 | #198820 | ISBN-13: 9780520274594
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £14.95 $18/€17 approx
Hardback | May 2011 | #189823 | ISBN-13: 9780520267107
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £39.99 $49/€45 approx

About this book

These compelling stories and photographs take us to places like Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, Ivindo National Park in Gabon, and the Tai National Park in Cote d'Ivoire for an intimate and revealing look at the lives of African wild apes – and at the lives of the humans who study them. In tales of adventure, research, and conservation, veteran field researchers and conservationists describe exciting discoveries made over the past few decades about chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas.

Among African Apes features vivid descriptions of interactions among these highly intelligent creatures as they hunt, socialize, and play. More difficult themes emerge as well, including the threats apes face from poaching, disease, and deforestation. In stories that are often moving and highly personal, Among African Apes takes measure of how special the great apes are and discusses positive conservation efforts, including ecotourism, that can help bring these magnificent animals back from the brink of extinction.

"An excellent introduction to the world of primates for students and lay audiences who are interested in learning more about these creatures and the efforts to protect them for future generations."
- Choice

"For those enthralled with the likes of naturalist Jane Goodall comes Among African Apes. Full of true stories from the field and beautiful photos, this book [...] provides a front row seat to the jungle."
- Campus Circle

"If we could join a group of primate researchers as they traded stories from their time in the field, what we heard might greatly resemble this book. [...] Awe and surprise come through these stories of seasoned field scientists learning new things."
- Booklist

"Gives a fresh insight into research and conservation efforts [...] vivid descriptions reveal how chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas hunt, socialize and play in their natural habitat, as well as the threats they face from poaching, disease and deforestation."
- Nature

"If you like to think of chimps as wise, rational tool-users, gorillas as gentle giants, or bonobos as sexed-up hippie apes, be prepared for a shock. Among African Apes, a collection of field diaries, is primatology given the Tarantino treatment."
- New Scientist

"Compelling [...] often moving and highly personal, this book takes measure of how special the great apes are and discusses positive conservation efforts, including ecotourism, that can help bring these magnificent animals back from the brink of extinction."
- The Guardian / Birdbooker Report Blog

"Illuminating collection of essays."
- Foreword

"Among African Apes is an exciting report fresh from the scientific frontlines – a series of personal, dramatic, and yet superbly informative accounts of the latest research. It also reminds us that our nearest relatives, the African great apes, are threatened as never before with the prospect of extinction."
- Dale Peterson, author of Elephant Reflections and Eating Apes

"This engaging and compelling book is an up-close-and-personal glimpse into the lives of wild chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas. In these narratives, set in the lush, tangled forests of tropical Africa, scientific observation meets adventure story as the lives of individual animals are intertwined with the agonies and ecstasies of fieldwork."
- Kelly Stewart, co-author of Gorilla Society and author of Gorillas

"Some of the most devoted primatologists offer a wonderful collection of first-hand accounts and splendid photographs that make us feel like we're beside them watching our relatives in the forest."
- Frans de Waal, author of Our Inner Ape and Chimpanzee Politics


List of Illustrations

Introduction: Who, What, Where, and Why
Martha M. Robbins

1. Discovering Apes
Martha M. Robbins

2. Life and Death in the Forest
Christophe Boesch

3. Encounters with Bili Chimpanzees in the Undisturbed Gangu Forest
Cleve Hicks

4. Is Blood Thicker Than Water?
Gottfried Hohmann and Barbara Fruth

5. Our Cousins in the Forest—or Bushmeat?
Christophe Boesch

6. Discovering Chimpanzee Traditions
Crickette Sanz and David Morgan

7. Keeping it in the Family: Tribal Warfare between Chimpanzee Communities
Josephine Head

8. Winona’s Search for the Right Silverback: Insights into Female Strategies at a Natural Rain Forest Clearing in Northern Congo
Thomas Breuer

9. The Long Road to Habituation: A Window into the Lives of Gorillas
Chloé Cipolletta

10. Among Silverbacks
Martha M. Robbins

11. The Diversity of the Apes: What Is the Future?
Christophe Boesch


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Martha M. Robbins is Research Associate at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. She is coeditor of Mountain Gorillas: Three Decades of Research at Karisoke and Feeding Ecology in Apes and Other Primates. Christophe Boesch is Director of the Department of Primatology at the Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. He is the author of The Real Chimpanzee: Sex Strategies in the Forest, among other books.

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