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Primatologists have long speculated that intelligence, at least in monkeys and apes, evolved as an adaptation to complex social relations. But social complexity in other large-brained, long-lived animals, such as hyenas and elephants, bats and sperm whales has received less attention. As this collection of studies on a wide range of species shows, animals develop a great variety of behaviours, which become embedded in their 'cultures', which in turn affect fitness and survival. The editors suggest that future research will change the perception of animals as programmed gene machines. As human behaviour is interpreted more biologically, a point may be reached where analyses of human and animal complexity converge.
Frans B. M. de Waal is C. H. Candler Professor of Primate Behavior in the Psychology Department, and Director of Living Links, part of the Yerkes Primate Center, Emory University. He is the author of Tree of Origin and Good Natured (both from Harvard), among others.
Peter L. Tyack is Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
"The volume's most notable contribution is that it brings together a collection of studies on a wide range of species and topics [...] Credit is due to de Waal and Tyack for putting together this book [...] It should be of interest to anyone curious about animal behaviour."
– Jessica Flack, Times Higher Education Supplement