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What makes us the most successful animal species inhabiting the Earth today? Breaking away from popular scientific beliefs, the author presents an alternative based on recent, groundbreaking scientific observation. According to Stanford, what made humans unique was meat, or rather, the desire for meat, the eating of meat, the hunting of meat, and the sharing of meat. `With chapters on behavioural ecology, natural history and taphonomy, keeping company with the anthropology and palaeontology, Stanford's book summarises a huge body of evidence in a pleasing, coherent and non-polemical way. It is a rational piece of provocation from a scientist who clearly believes that there is something good at the core of a much-maligned theory.'Adrian Barnett, Biologist, Roehampton Institute, London
Preface and Acknowledgments ix Chapter 1 The Indelible Stamp 3 Chapter 2 Man the Hunter and Other Stories 15 Chapter 3 Ape Nature 52 Chapter 4 The View from the Pliocene 103 Chapter 5 The Hunting People 136 Chapter 6 The Ghost in the Gorilla 163 Chapter 7 Meat's Patriarchy 199 Notes 219 References 229 Index 247
Craig B. Stanford is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director of the Jane Goodall Research Center at the University of Southern California. He has conducted field studies of apes and monkeys in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. His other works include Chimpanzee and Red Colobus.
A provocative, eminently digestible book... Stanford writes clearly and often deftly, and with admirable concision... [A] marvelous exploration of evolutionary hypotheses ... fascinating stuff. -- Michael Pakenham The Baltimore Sun Anyone who would like to review all of the arguments on human origins should read The Hunting Apes... This book will go a long way in explaining why physical anthropologists and their colleagues fight so much. -- Deborah L. Manzolillo Times Literary Supplement A brave academic endeavour and a fine piece of popular science writing... Stanford's book summarises a huge body of evidence in a pleasing, coherent and non-polemic way. You'll feel that you're talking with a learned ... dinner companion, rather than enduring a lecture or hectoring sermon from an academic pulpit. -- Adrian Barnett New Scientist Stanford's ideas, while controversial, are amply documented by behavioral studies of nonhuman primates, anthropological studies of a number of human societies and archeological studies of early and pre-humans. Publishers Weekly [A] provocative new look at what made people so smart... This is a fascinating book, written for the nonspecialist. Booklist An unabashed celebration of the carnivorous tendencies of early humankind. Virtually every aspect of Stanford's thesis about the importance of meat acquisition and sharing among early humans is steeped in controversy. Kirkus Reviews [An] admirable little book... [Stanford's] meticulously constructed study is both readable and thought-provoking and gives fascinating insights into the behaviour of our species. The Tablet The Hunting Apes is a very enjoyable and quick read, written for a broad audience... These are well-written synopsesAigood for students, the general informed public, and those in anthropology and other sub-disciplines who want to keep up on these topics. -- M. Tappen Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute