Automotive Holiday Deals Up to 50% Off Select Books Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Black Friday egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Voyage Holiday Music in CDs & Vinyl Outdoor Deals on HTL

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

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

125 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0385334303
ISBN-10: 0385334303
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$4.97 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$11.79 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
34 New from $7.25 72 Used from $0.99 5 Collectible from $5.95
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Get Up to 80% Back Rent Textbooks
$11.79 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal
  • +
  • The Human Zoo: A Zoologist's Study of the Urban Animal (Kodansha Globe)
  • +
  • The Naked Woman: A Study of the Female Body
Total price: $42.46
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews


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. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

"A startling view of man, stripped of the facade we try so hard to hide behind." In view of man's awesome creativity and resourcefulness, we may be inclined to regard him as descended from the angels, yet, in his brilliant study, Desmond Morris reminds us that man is relative to the apes--is in fact, the greatest primate of all. With knowledge gleaned from primate ethnology, zoologist Morris examines sex, child-rearing, exploratory habits, fighting, feeding, and much more to establish our surprising bonds to the animal kingdom and add substance to the discussion that has provoked controversy and debate the world over. Natural History Magazine praised The Naked Ape as "stimulating . . . thought-provoking . . . [Morris] has introduced some novel and challenging ideas and speculations."

"He minces no words," said Harper's. "He lets off nothing in our basic relation to the animal kingdom to which we belong. . . He is always specific, startling, but logical." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Delta (April 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385334303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385334303
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,318 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Harold F. Hedrick on December 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Desmond Morris wrote "The Naked Ape" in the late 1960's, and it is a classic which established the field of evolutionary anthropology. His ideas were revolutionary at the time, and he clearly says so. If there is a fault in the book, it is that he covers too much ground too quickly. I think his purpose at the time, however, was simply to condition the reader to thinking of people as an animal that has been subject to the forces of biological evolution on the Savannah for 98 percent of our evolution. Our species only formed farming communities 10,000 years ago.
Much of Morris's conjecture has been turned into solid research in more recent years. For example, studies have found that males are sexually attracted to females having a waist/hips ratio of 0.7. This is universal among contemporary societies including primitive societies. When shown diagrams of women having different waist/hips ratios, male members of the primitive societies chose the 0.7 ratio and specifically indicated child bearing ability being linked to it. Females universally are attracted to males having a waist/hip ratio of 0.85.
The argument between nurturing versus evolution is likely to continue. This book started the argument. It is certainly a serious argument. Some readers may prefer not to think as humans as being animals. Some readers, particulary those interested in newer cultural trends such as feminism, may find certain of Morris's arguments objectionable. The material is oriented towards understanding how biological evolution of Homo Sapiens has affected their social behavior. It is not directly related to how to get along with your lover or spouse. However, the book was as thought provoking today as when it was written. It is an excellent introduction to the field of evolutionary anthropology.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dai-keag-ity on September 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
If human beings ever make contact with an intelligent species from beyond planet earth, then the observations those "people" might make about us would probably read quite a bit like the ones evolutionary zoologist Morris makes in this humorous but deadly serious study of the human animal. The very things we have come to see as mundane about ourselves are the very traits Morrison zeroes in on here. Very little escapes this careful study, although in some cases humanity might collectively wish it had. In this book the human species is anatomically, psychologically, sociologically and biologically cataloged and classified. We read a dispassionate critique of our mating habits, the ways in which we raise our young, our preferences for foods, for where we live, for how we interact with one another, and what bodily features are universally desired over others. In the end I was left both amazed and embarrassed to be among the membership in this great and crazed life form.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
64 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Peter Gray on September 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book can rightfully be called a classic. It represents an early account of the ways in which an evolutionary perspective can illuminate human behavior. It confronts a wide range of subjects, from the signaling value of postures to the role of infant crying. The use of a carnivore model to interpret the evolution of the human family is admirable, in its attempt to link such a phenomenon with knowledge of other animals, if misleading. All this said, however, The Naked Ape should be read cautiously by anyone seeking a current understanding of similar subject matter. For example, Morris' claim that human behavior should best be understood in complex nations such as Britain (p. 51:"The only solution is to take average results from large samples of the most successful societies. The small, backward, and unsuccessful societies can largely be ignored.") represents an assumption since turned on its head by evolutionary psychologists. Read alone, this book will generate interest but too-often misinform; read in combination with more recent work (e.g. Pinker's How The Mind Works) this book can be seen as most valuable.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Leonardo Alves on January 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
A common metaphor for the modern megalopolis is the concrete jungle. According to Desmond Morris this is a mistaken image. The big cities don't look anything like a jungle where we would be able to live in peace with our nature. The urban human lives more like a zoo animal separated from his/her roots and presenting all sorts of distorted behavior unnatural to the species.
Human evolution toke place over millions of years. During most of the time we lived in small tribes as hunters and gatherers. Civilization is new. We are not fine tuned to it yet. As the author states "In a village all the neighbors are personal friends or, at most, personal enemies; none are strangers. In a large city many people do not even know the names of their neighbors."
This impersonal environment fosters all kinds of negative attitudes towards our peers such as violence or indifference as if someone who you don't know walking down the streets were from a different species, some kind of an animal, or, what's worse, not alive at all; an object or one more number to be added to the statistics.
In a gigantic community the odds of anyone becoming a dominant individual are too dim. Almost everywhere with the new political atmosphere any individual can reach a very high position in his community just based on his merits. But democratization of access to power also democratizes the frustration of not getting there. For one dominant individual on a human zoo there are millions of frustrated would be leaders lost in the rat race. And they all know that they failed because they didn't have what it takes.
To alleviate the frustration we subdivide our community in intricate overlapping sub communities of the approximate size of the primeval tribes.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal
This item: The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal
Price: $11.79
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: great apes, ape science fiction, apes language