The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal
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This work has become a benchmark of popular anthropology and psychology.
Zoologist Desmond Morris considers humans as being simply another animal species in this classic book first published in 1967. 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, socializing, grooming, playing. The Naked Ape 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 mans beginnings, sex life, habits and our astonishing bonds to the animal kingdom, The Naked Ape is a landmark, at once provocative, compelling and timeless.
living relatives, the chimpanzees, are so helpless and quickly drown. It explains our streamlined bodies and even our vertical posture, the latter supposedly having developed as we waded into deeper and deeper water. It clears up a strange feature of our body-hair tracts. Close examination reveals that on our backs the directions of our tiny remnant hairs differ strikingly from those of other apes. In us they point diagonally backwards and inwards towards the spine. This follows the direction of
What they lose from physical exhaustion, they gain in physical fitness. The only behavioural method that seems to be of assistance is the age-old system of punishment and reward— punishment for sexual indulgence and reward for sexual restraint. But this, of course, produces suppression rather than reduction of drive. It is quite clear that our unnaturally enlarged communities will call for some steps of this kind to prevent the intensified social exposure from leading to dangerously increased
deserve brief mention. Exploration of the world of sound can be observed in both species. Vocal invention, as we have already seen, is for some reason virtually absent in the chimpanzee, but 'percussive drumming' plays an important role in its life. Young chimpanzees repeatedly investigate the noise-potentials of acts of thumping, foot-stamping and clapping. As adults they develop this tendency into prolonged social drumming sessions. One animal after another stamps, screams and tears up
strongly reminiscent of special properties of our own species, and to these we react automatically without any realization of what it is exactly that appeals to us. The most significant of these anthropomorphic features in the top ten animals are as follows: i. They all have hair, rather than feathers or scales. 2. They have rounded outlines (chimpanzee, monkey, bushbaby, panda, bear, elephant). 3. They have flat faces (chimpanzee, monkey, bushbaby, bear, panda, lion). 4. They have facial
ceremonies'. Fondation Singer Polignac Colloque Internal, sur L'Instinct, June 1954 (1956), pp. 261-86. 250 Bibliography MORRIS, D., 'The feather postures of birds and the problem of the origin of social signals'. Behaviour 9 (1956), pp. 75113MORRIS, D., '"Typical Intensity" and its relation to the problem of ritualization'. Behaviour n (1957), pp. 1-12. MORRIS, D. (1962). The Biology of Art. Methuen, London. Knopf, New York (1962). MORRIS, D., 'The response of animals to a restricted