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Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape Paperback – 9 Nov 1998

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (9 Nov. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520216512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520216518
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 2.3 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 703,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Exciting, amusing, and beautiful."--Alison Jolly, "International Journal of Primatology

From the Inside Flap

"Here at last is a book that will give the fourth great ape the visibility that this wonderful species deserves. You will learn that bonobos are not just 'little' chimpanzees, but are every bit as different from chimpanzees as chimpanzees are from gorillas. If you care about the great apes, this book, with its superb photographs and vivid text, is a must."Jane Goodall
"Bonobo provides a tantalizing introduction into the natural history of one of our closest living relatives and uniquely enhances our understanding of our own place in Nature. Anyone who has the pleasure of reading this book will come away with deeper insights into why we humans behave the way we do. We should not be afraid of acknowledging the Bonobo in all of us."Don Johanson, Director, Institute of Human Origins
"With this book, de Waal and Lanting ask us to give bonobos their dueto be considered along side the better known common chimpanzee as close human cousins. How nice to have the peaceable, sexy, bonobo added to the path of human evolution! Bonobos represent the silver lining in our ape heritage."Meredith Small, author of "What's Love Got to Do With It? The Evolution of Human Mating"
"As a chronicler of natural history today, Frans Lanting is a singular, extraordinary talent. He has the mind of a scientist, the heart of a hunter, and the eyes of a poet. He is as persistent, adaptable, and hard as the wild creatures he observes. His bonobo photographs bring us face-to-face with a group of highly endangered apes. Eerily, aspects of their behavior mirror our own."Thomas R. Kennedy, Director of Photography, National Geographic Society"

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Bonobos--who are, with chimps, our closest relatives--use sex instead of agression and dominance to resolve conflicts. That alone would make this book worth reading, but bonobos have many other intriguing qualities. It's rare to find a book as well-written, cogently argued and full of facts as this one. It's equally rare to find a book as beautifully photographed and designed. To have the two together in one volume is something of a miracle. HIGHLY recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Bonobos--who are, with chimps, our closest relatives--use sex instead of agression and dominance to resolve conflicts. That alone would make this book worth reading, but bonobos have many other intriguing qualities. It's rare to find a book as well-written, cogently argued and full of facts as this one. It's equally rare to find a book as beautifully photographed and designed. To have the two together in one volume is something of a miracle. HIGHLY recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
De Waal's words and Lanting's photographs are a great combination. The high production values are more than justified by the quality of the text. In bringing bonobos to wider attention this book provides a valuable service. The sound research credentials of de Waal add weight to the analysis and, far from making it a dull book, give it an exciting relevance to wider issues in primatology. Makes you think a lot about humans as well as about bonobos and can, I imagine, start a good few dinner party arguments about gender relations. Much better that than another discussion of house prices.
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By A Customer on 9 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback
Well, what can I say. This book is truely captivating! I am not a person who always finds non-fiction books easy to read, but this book is written clearly, without poncy scientific jargon. The pictures in the book are also extremely good and there are plenty of them, which is always good for breaking up dense text. HOwever, I would like to re-iterate the words of the reviewer above; this book is very sex focused and at times quite graphic!!! Perhaps not a book to read while eating you dinner!
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Format: Paperback
Who could imagine that there are gentle apes living in the very heart of darkness, north-central Congo-Kinshasa, somewhere around Colonel Kurtz' proverbial hunting grounds? :-)

"Bonobo. The Forgotten Ape" is a popularized book about the least known great ape. The bonobo wasn't officially discovered by science until 1929. There had been bonobos in captivity before that time, but scientists assumed they were chimpanzees, albeit very gentle and very smart ones! For a long time, the bonobo was mostly studied by German scientists who published their findings in obscure journals such as "Säugetierkundliche Mitteilungen". The Anglo-Saxon scientific community didn't pay much attention until the 1970's and 1980's, and even then, much of the research was carried out by Japanese scientists, rather than Westerners. To the general public, bonobos are probably still quite unknown. I heard of bonobos already as a kid, but I assumed they were simply a smaller subspecies of chimp. Back then, bonobos were known as "Pygmy Chimpanzees". Curiously, the myth of the killer ape never reached my neighbourhood, so I grew up assuming that chimps were peaceful. They are not. Bonobos, however, are. Which finally brings us to the reason why these apes are so interesting!

Bonobos and chimpanzees are closely related, and both of them are equally close to humans. Yet, the two species are very different. To simplify somewhat, chimpanzees are patriarchal, aggressive, heterosexual and carnivorous. Bonobos, by contrast, are matriarchal, peaceful, bisexual and near-vegan! Politically correct apes? Who ever heard of such a thing? Since both chimps and bonobos are equally closely related to humans, this makes it harder to claim that humans are necessarily patriarchal or aggressive "by nature".
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