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Planet Ape Hardcover – September 10, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. 40 years after British zoo curator Morris published The Naked Ape, a controversial 1967 bestseller (primatology's first), field researchers have generated thousands of hours of observations regarding gorillas, chimps, bonobos, gibbons and orangutans, and a bounty of comparative data regarding social behaviors, family groups, reproductive strategies and food gathering. Morris and Parker fill a huge gap on the primatology bookshelf by compiling this data into a practical, fully illustrated, encyclopedic book for non-specialists. Extended sections on anatomy, diet, communication behaviors, patterns of social life, sex and reproduction, and developmental stages each cover habits of different species and, where applicable, of humans. Copious images includes photos and graphs illustrating comparative anatomy and physiology, postures, internal structure and more; two-page spreads on dietary needs and the daily feeding routine of an orangutan are particularly well-executed. Morris and Parker, a senior fellow at the Zoological Society of London, also describe numerous threats to the survival of non-human primates, and provide conservation agency contact information so readers can get involved. With few exceptions (some dark backgrounds render text hard to read) this is a beautifully organized and visually gratifying guide, perfect for amateur and budding primatologists.

From Booklist

Zoologist Morris’ name is forever linked to the 1967 best-selling The Naked Ape. His interest in, and vast knowledge of, the great apes (gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans) is again in full—and this time opulent—display in a new, oversize book every active public-library science collection should own. Human DNA differs from that of the great apes by only a few percentage points, and that is the basic fact upon which Morris’ survey rests. He covers the apes’ physiology, eating habits, intelligence, social life and communication skills, reproduction, and preservation needs. All the information presented here is refracted through the prism of the author’s interest in establishing the differences and similarities to humans. The abundant, beautiful illustrations are tightly tied to the text, making this an excellent teaming of word and picture. --Brad Hooper

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books (September 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554075661
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554075669
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #872,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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 has sold over 10 million copies worldwide and has changed the way we view our own species forever.

An accomplished artist, TV presenter, film maker and writer, Desmond Morris's books have been published in over thirty-six countries.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Spider Monkey on January 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
`Planet Ape' is a truly exceptional book about all the great apes and covers Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Orangutans, Bonobos and Humans. The information enclosed is nothing short of staggering and of all the books on primates and apes I own this one is the most comprehensive, with a great deal of relevant information and with stunning images to boot. This looks at the history of each ape, shared traits with humans, anatomy (with phenomenal illustrations), nutrition, communication, social life, sex life, the stages of life, threats and ways to save them and their habitats. As you can tell, in-depth stuff! This book would be worth buying for the photography alone and I can spend many happy hours just flicking through this book gazing upon it's pages. If you are interested in just one of the great apes I would still recommend this book as it is so informative that you won't be disappointed and it is also fascinating to read about the relationships between the apes as well. This would make a wonderful coffee table book and whilst it is great to flick though at odd moments, you could also quite easily sit and read it from cover to cover too. This is well written, has stunning images and is beautifully presented throughout. Highly recommended indeed.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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By M. Herbert on April 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter just started working at the zoo near all the primates and she has loved reading this book! Arrived promptly in great condition
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By Eric Hansen on February 3, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fascinating and complete insight in the world of apes.
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