The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal

The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal

Paperback

By (author) Desmond Morris

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 18mm | 141g
  • Publication date: 31 October 2005
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099482010
  • ISBN 13: 9780099482017
  • Sales rank: 38,361

Product description

Here is the Naked Ape at his most primal - in love, at work, at war. Meet man as he really is: relative to the apes, stripped of his veneer as we see him courting, making love, sleeping, socialising, grooming, playing. Zoologist Desmond Morris's classic takes its place alongside Darwin's Origin of the Species, presenting man not as a fallen angel, but as a risen ape, remarkable in his resilience, energy and imagination, yet an animal nonetheless, in danger of forgetting his origins. With its penetrating insights on man's beginnings, sex life, habits and our astonishing bonds to the animal kingdom, The Naked Ape is a landmark, at once provocative, compelling and timeless.

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Author information

Desmond Morris was born in 1928. Educated at Birmingham and Oxford universities, he became the curator of mammals at London Zoo in 1959, a post he held for eight years. In 1967 he published The Naked Ape which was to sell over 10 million copies worldwide. An accomplished artist, television presenter and film maker, Desmond Morris's works have been published in over thirty-six countries.

Review quote

Here is the Naked Ape at his most primal - in love, at work, at war. Meet man as he really is: relative to the apes, stripped of his veneer as we see him courting, making love, sleeping, socialising, grooming, playing. Zoologist Desmond Morris's classic takes its place alongside Darwin's Origin of the Species, presenting man not as a fallen angel, but as a risen ape, remarkable in his resilience, energy and imagination, yet an animal nonetheless, in danger of forgetting his origins. With its penetrating insights on man's beginnings, sex life, habits and our astonishing bonds to the animal kingdom, The Naked Ape is a landmark, at once provocative, compelling and timeless.

Editorial reviews

"The forest ape that became a ground ape that became a hunting ape that became a territorial ape has become a cultural ape" but he'd be a happier, more assured animal if he'd acknowledge his evolutionary inheritance. His intense sexual activity is not a decadent outgrowth of civilization but essential to maintaining the pair-bond of a species whose slow-growing (to a bigger brain) infants made long parental demands; he is the sexiest animal in order to raise the smartest children. Similarly, other behavior patterns - environment exploring, fighting, feeding, grooming - are examined in their relation to the reactions of monkeys and apes and for their significant, sometimes curious, adaptations. Some ramifications: a policeman is unlikely to give you a ticket if you are abjectly submissive (being put into a position of immediate dominance disarms his aggressiveness, as it doeskin all animals); most minor ailments, infrequent among the secure, are calls for friendly sympathy and care (substituting for the social grooming of the other primates). There's an implied dialogue with Ardrey and Lorenz here (and a lot of Kinsey specifics) but concerns are more inclusive, the prognosis more optimistic. It has the attraction of the outrageous made reasonable (and readable) - we can't beat our basic biological urges but we can make the best of them. There is every expectation that it will do very well. (Kirkus Reviews)