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By: Dario Maestripieri
198 pages, 7 col plates, 23 halftones
Judged by population size and distribution, Homo sapiens are clearly the most successful primates. A close second, however, would be rhesus macaques, who have adapted to - and thrived in - such diverse environments as mountain forests, dry grasslands, and urban sprawl. Scientists have spent countless hours studying these opportunistic monkeys, but rhesus macaques have long been overshadowed in the public eye by the great apes, who, because of their greater intelligence, are naturally assumed to have more to teach us about other primates and about humans as well. Dario Maestripieri thinks it is high time we shelve that misperception, and in this book gives rhesus macaques their rightful turn in the spotlight.
Rhesus monkeys and humans are highly successful survivors in a complex and sometimes cruel world. Macachiavellian Intelligence, a good read about the nitty-gritty details of how rhesus monkeys make it, tells us a lot about ourselves. It's often not a pretty picture to read about manipulative social opportunism, but if we ignore the important message of this book we, not the monkeys or other animals, will be the big losers.
- Marc Bekoff, author of Minding Animals and The Emotional Lives of Animals.
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Dario Maestripieri is associate professor of comparative human development and evolutionary biology at the University of Chicago.
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