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Tool Use in Animals: Cognition and Ecology Paperback – 6 Mar 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Reprint edition (6 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1107657431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1107657434
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 1.7 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 715,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Tool Use in Animals: Cognition and Ecology may well be the new benchmark text for animal cognition. This book is clear, well-written, suitably broad in its approach, and delivers information that covers a review of the field in addition to new data. Its appeal will encompass readers from various connected academic disciplines, and [it] is an appropriate text for professionals and for students. This is an important and timely offering, and a happy addition to my library.' Kerrie Lewis Graham, American Journal of Physical Anthropology

'During the half century since Jane Goodall first observed a chimpanzee fashioning and using a tool, there has been great interest and attention to defining, describing, and interpreting tool use among many animal phyla. Whereas some books have catalogued tool use, this volume investigates four behavioral domains - phylogenetic, functional, ontogenetic, and mechanistic … Readers will gain perspective on the interaction of evolutionary and environmental factors shaping tool use behaviour, yet wonder why more animals do not use tools or make better use of them … Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers.' J. Burger, Choice

Book Description

Appealing to both academic and public audiences, this collection of groundbreaking research looks at an extensive range of tool using animals. Contributions from leading scholars examine the cognitive abilities and environmental factors that have shaped the evolution of tool use in animals as distantly related as corvids and primates.

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Format: Hardcover
An authoritative review of current research on tool use in animals, ranging from the more famed primate examples, such as chimpanzees, orangutans and capuchins. While examples of primate tool use have been well-documented since Jane Goodall's reports of the Gombe chimps' tool workshops, a number of other animals have been found to use tools in a complex manner including different species of birds (e.g. crows and finches). This book also discusses a synthesis with archaeological perspectives on tool use, relating modern ethological studies with those on hominid technology.

One of the greatest strengths of this book is its thorough discussion of cognitive perspectives on tool use, which is derived from studies done in the wild. In the past, most research on animal cognition originated from laboratory studies, which removes the context from which their cognitive capacities have developed. While this is useful for testing the upper limits of animal cognition, it is difficult to investigate how those capacities are actually applied in real-life situation, such as how to remove the hard, outer shell of a nut. 'Tool Use In Animals' provides a wonderful synthesis between cognition and ecology, and how modern research is tracing the links between ecological problems and how animals think and use tools to solve them.

Lastly, the section on archaeological perspectives gives this book evolutionary depth, which is a critical concern for palaeosciences investigating how tool use originated in human evolution. Recently, trends in archaeology have turned to primates to try and answer some of the riddle of how technology has evolved 2.5 million years ago.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
Animal tool use and conition in the wild 28 April 2013
By MVC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
An authoritative review of current research on tool use in animals, ranging from the more famed primate examples, such as chimpanzees, orangutans and capuchins. While examples of primate tool use have been well-documented since Jane Goodall's reports of the Gombe chimps' tool workshops, a number of other animals have been found to use tools in a complex manner including different species of birds (e.g. crows and finches). This book also discusses a synthesis with archaeological perspectives on tool use, relating modern ethological studies with those on hominid technology.

One of the greatest strengths of this book is its thorough discussion of cognitive perspectives on tool use, which is derived from studies done in the wild. In the past, most research on animal cognition originated from laboratory studies, which removes the context from which their cognitive capacities have developed. While this is useful for testing the upper limits of animal cognition, it is difficult to investigate how those capacities are actually applied in real-life situation, such as how to remove the hard, outer shell of a nut. 'Tool Use In Animals' provides a wonderful synthesis between cognition and ecology, and how modern research is tracing the links between ecological problems and how animals think and use tools to solve them.

Lastly, the section on archaeological perspectives gives this book evolutionary depth, which is a critical concern for palaeosciences investigating how tool use originated in human evolution. Recently, trends in archaeology have turned to primates to try and answer some of the riddle of how technology has evolved 2.5 million years ago. Primate species can help with these issues because they provide a wonderful insight into the social context for tool use and how social structures pass on technological behaviours from one generation to the next. Given the genetic relationship between African Great Apes and humans, it follows that our evolutionary ancestors, the hominid lineage, bares similarities to our Great Ape relatives. Thus, palaeoscientists can gain insight from the social structures of Great Apes, and the way in which these structures engender tool use and social learning of technological behaviours.

This book is a fascinating read, and compiled by some of the world's leading authorities in primatology, which makes this volume indispensable to anyone interested in animal tool use.
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