By John Sorenson
Apes—to examine them is to determine a reflect of ourselves. Our shut genetic family fascinate and unnerve us with their related habit and social character. right here, John Sorenson delves into our conflicted courting to the nice apes, which frequently unearths as a lot approximately us as people because it does in regards to the apes themselves. From bonobos and chimpanzees to gibbons, gorillas, and orangutans, Ape examines the numerous methods those striking animals frequently function versions for people. Anthropologists use their habit to assist clarify our primary human nature; scientists make the most of them as topics in biomedical examine; and behavioral researchers scan with methods apes emulate us. Sorenson explores the demanding situations to the complicated department among apes and ourselves, describing language experiments, efforts to cross-foster apes by way of elevating them as human kids, and the moral demanding situations posed through the nice Ape undertaking. besides, Ape investigates representations of apes in pop culture, rather motion pictures and advertisements within which apes are frequently portrayed as human caricatures, monsters, and clowns.Containing approximately 100 illustrations of apes in nature and tradition, Ape will entice readers attracted to animal-human relationships and an individual curious to grasp extra approximately our closest animal cousins, a lot of whom teeter on the point of extinction.
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Extra resources for Ape (Reaktion Books - Animal)
1910. 2 Other primates, such as macaques, were captured and trained to perform tricks and were considered amusing but noisy and vulgar. In the sixteenth-century epic Xiyou Ji Monkey is a mischievous trickster who causes trouble but ﬁnally attains Buddha-hood. Gibbons were praised for their quiet, serene nature and spiritual qualities. Elusive and rarely seen, they inhabited remote areas thought to be haunted by supernatural beings. Gibbons were considered magical animals, capable of assuming human form.
In them we see less perfect versions of ourselves, which we ﬁnd endlessly amusing. It seems especially hilarious if apes that emulate our behaviour do so ineptly, because this reafﬁrms our superiority. While we enjoy laughing at apes, their similarity to us is disturbing and we deny them similar moral standing. Although it is becoming increasingly evident that apes have highly developed consciousness and that their cognitive behaviour and mental lives are similar to ours, we are reluctant to acknowledge this because of its inconvenient implications and challenges to our self-image as uniquely sentient beings.
This murderous response to other apes characterized human ‘An Ape doctor with a Bear Patient’, from the Macclesfield Psalter, c. 1330. 43 behaviour over the centuries. Early sightings blended with ideas about imaginary and monstrous animals and contemporary ideas about apes developed from these images. Classical writers like Aristotle considered apes caricatures of humans: ugly, evil creatures. Their capacity to mimic our behaviour fascinates us. Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis historia notes apes’ proclivity for imitation, often to their own detriment.