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Academic & Professional Books  Mammals  Primates

Chimpanzee Lessons from our Sister Species

By: Kevin D Hunt(Author), Richard W Wrangham(Foreword By)
591 pages, 16 plates with colour photos and colour illustrations; 141 b/w photos and b/w illustrations, tables
A large book that condenses 60 years of research on chimpanzees to provide an up-to-date overview.
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  • Chimpanzee ISBN: 9781107544413 Paperback Aug 2020 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • Chimpanzee ISBN: 9781107118591 Hardback Aug 2020 In stock
Selected version: £36.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles Recommended titles

About this book

The chimpanzee is one of our planet's best-loved and most instantly recognisable animals. Splitting from the human lineage between four and six million years ago, it is (along with its cousin, the bonobo) our closest living relative, sharing around 94% of our DNA. First encountered by Westerners in the seventeenth century, virtually nothing was known about chimpanzees in their natural environment until 1960, when Jane Goodall travelled to Gombe to live and work with them. Accessibly written, yet fully referenced and uncompromising in its accuracy and comprehensiveness, Chimpanzee: Lessons from our Sister Species encapsulates everything we currently know about chimpanzees: from their discovery and why we study them to their anatomy, physiology, genetics and culture. The text is beautifully illustrated and infused with examples and anecdotes drawn from the author's 30 years of primate observation, making this a perfect resource for students of biological anthropology and primatology as well as non-specialists interested in chimpanzees.


1. Sister's Keeper: Humans and Chimpanzees
2. Wild Lesson: Why Study Animals in Nature?
3. A Most Surprising Creature: The Discovery of the Chimpanzee
4. Kin: The Chimpanzee's Place in Nature
5. Scratching Out a Living in an Unforgiving World: Habitat and Diet
6. Guts, Glorious Guts, Large Stomach and Colon
7. Thews, Sinews and Bone: Chimpanzee Anatomy and Osteology
8. Arboreal Gathering, Terrestrial Traveling: Locomotion and Posture
9. Forged in Nature's Cauldron: Engineering the Chimpanzee
10. Up from the ProtoApe: The Evolution of the Chimpanzee
11. Building a Natural Wonder: Growth, Development and Life History
12. The Source of Similarity: Chimpanzee Genetics
13. Making Your Way in the Great Wild World: Chimpanzee Senses
14. The Grim Reaper in the Forest Primeval: Wild Chimpanzee Diseases and Lessons for Healthy Living
15. Powering Life: Physiology and Endocrinology
16. Shelter from the Storm: Chimpanzee Mothering
17. Meat Seeking Missiles: Chimpanzees as Hunters
18. The Mind of the Chimpanzee: Reasoning, Memory and Emotion
19. The Brain of the Chimpanzee: The Mind's Motor
20. Tired Nature's Sweet Restorer: Chimpanzee Sleep
21. Chimpanzee Thought Transfer: Communication and Language
22. Ape Implements: Making and Using Tools
23. Wisdom of the Ages: Chimpanzee Culture
24. The Daily Grind: Within-Group Aggression
25. A Nation at War with Itself: Defending a Community of the Mind
26. The Sporting Chimpanzee: Dominance without Destruction
27. The Passion of Pan: Sex and Reproduction
28. Into the Light: Semliki Chimpanzees
29. The Other Sister, Bonobos: The Monkey Convergence Hypothesis
30. Sister Species: Lessons from the Chimpanzee

Appendix 1. Primate Taxonomy
Appendix 2. Professional Grade Chimpanzee

Customer Reviews


Kevin D. Hunt is Professor of Animal Behaviour and Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is also Founder and Director of the Semliki Chimpanzee Project, which was established in 1996 to study and preserve the chimpanzees within the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve. Broadly trained in various anthropological disciplines, much of Professor Hunt's published work has centred on functional morphology and what chimpanzee locomotion, posture and ecology can tell us about what led humans to diverge from apes and what advantage bipedalism gave our chimpanzee-like ancestors roughly five million years ago.

By: Kevin D Hunt(Author), Richard W Wrangham(Foreword By)
591 pages, 16 plates with colour photos and colour illustrations; 141 b/w photos and b/w illustrations, tables
A large book that condenses 60 years of research on chimpanzees to provide an up-to-date overview.
Media reviews

– Finalist, 2021 PROSE Award – Biological Science, Association of American Publishers
– Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2021, Choice Reviews

"Chimpanzee: Lessons from our Sister Species condenses over 60 years of chimpanzee research into an informative and entertaining book. Drawing on his own first-hand experience, the research of other scientists and historic accounts, Kevin Hunt describes the fascinating lives of chimpanzees in the wild, as well as the research methods used by leading experts in the field. If you want to know just how alike we truly are to our closest living relatives then you will get a very good idea from reading this book."
– Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace

"Ever since the seventeenth century, writers have suspected that apes have a story to tell about human life and our pre-historic origins. Year by year the details of that story are being worked out better and better. Chimpanzee is a terrific account from the leading edge."
– Richard Wrangham, Ruth Moore Research Professor of Biological Anthropology, Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Massachusetts, from the Foreword

"Hunt skillfully weaves anecdotes and history into this scientific compendium of the behavioral ecology, biology, and evolution of chimpanzees. The book is generously illustrated, and each chapter includes extensive references. It is written in an accessible, conversational style that could only be achieved by someone with Hunt's first-hand experiences in the field and encyclopedic perspective. It will make a valuable reference for anyone interested in what is known and not yet known about one of our closest living relatives."
– Karen B. Strier, Vilas Research Professor and Irven DeVore Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"An exceptional book that delivers on every promise in its table of contents. Grounded in Hunt's 30+ years of chimpanzee field work and his commanding knowledge of others' research, he gives us a state-of-the-art research volume that will become an essential reference for primatologists, and anyone who wants to understand the true nature of our sister species. Hunt's writing is lucid, scholarly and wide-ranging as he carefully explains chimpanzee evolution, biology, social behavior, and so much more. Hunt skillfully embeds his own field observations to help readers grasp concepts like chimpanzee positional behavior, personality, maternal behavior, cognition and communication, hunting and aggression. He balances this perspective with a wealth of laboratory and captive findings. The extensive references for each chapter provide an outstanding resource for students, teachers and readers who choose to delve further. The volume is generously illustrated with photos, line drawings and abundant figures that enrich the text."
– Linda F. Marchant, Professor Emerita, Miami University

"The volume provides a synthesis of classic and current literature, which will help readers learn what experts think now and where their ideas came from."
– L. K. Sheeran, Choice

"This volume provides an exceptionally broad yet wonderfully detailed view of our sister species. It would be useful in a course on human evolution or primate behavior and ecology, and would benefit anyone interested in learning more about chimpanzees [...] Given the range of topics and depth of scholarship, even seasoned chimpanzee researchers will profit from reading this book."
– Michael L. Wilson, The Quarterly Review of Biology

"[...] the most impressive and comprehensive volume on the chimpanzee [...] since Jane Goodall [...] [it] belongs on the bookshelf of every 'chimpologist', or, arguably, every primatologist."
– William C. McGrew, Primates

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