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Sioux Falls Feminists endorse Our Inner Ape for describing that we
are like both our ape relatives, the chimps and the bonobos.
One violent and even warlike, the other peaceful and even loving.
We seem to have the behavioral attributes of both.

Our Inner Ape
A Leading Primatologist Explains
Why We Are Who We Are
By Frans De Waal

Our Inner Ape (2005) - 272 pages
Our Inner Ape at Amazon.com

A fascinating and surprising exploration of our humanity, as seen through the behavior of our closest primate kin.

It's no secret that humans and apes share a host of traits, from the tribal communities we form to our irrepressible curiosity. We have a common ancestor, scientists tell us, so it's natural that we act alike. But not all of these parallels are so appealing: the chimpanzee, for example, can be as vicious and manipulative as any human.

Yet there's more to our shared primate heritage, than just our violent streak. In Our Inner Ape, Frans de Waal, one of the world's great primatologists and a renowned expert on social behavior in apes, presents the provocative idea that our noblest qualities - generosity, kindness, altruism - are as much a part of our nature as are our baser instincts. After all, we share those qualities with another primate: the lesser-known bonobo. As genetically similar to man as the chimpanzee, the bonobo has a temperament and a lifestyle vastly different from those of its genetic cousin. Where chimps are aggressive, territorial, and hierarchical, bonobos are gentle, loving, and erotic (sex for bonobos is as much about pleasure and social bonding as it is about reproduction).

While the parallels between chimp brutality and human brutality are easy to see, de Waal suggests that the conciliatory bonobo is just as legitimate a model to study when we explore our primate heritage. He even connects humanity's desire for fairness and its morality with primate behavior, offering a view of society that contrasts markedly with the caricature some people have of Darwinian evolution. It's plain that our finest qualities run deeper in our DNA than many experts have previously thought.

Frans de Waal has spent the last two decades studying our closest primate relations, and his observations of each species in Our Inner Apeencompass the spectrum of human behavior. This is an audacious book, and engrossing discourse that proposes thought-provoking and sometimes shocking connections among chimps, bonobos, and those most paradoxical of apes, human beings.

Frans de Waal, Ph.D., is a biologist and ethologist, recognized worldwide for his work on the social intelligence of such primates as chimpanzees, bonobos, capuchins, and macaques. He is currently the C. H. Candler Professor in the Psychology Department of Emory University and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes Primate Center in Atlanta. De Waal is the author of five previous books, including The Ape and the Sushi Master and Peacemaking Among Primates, a winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award.

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Our Inner Ape
A Leading Primatologist Explains
Why We Are Who We Are
By Frans De Waal

Sioux Falls Feminists endorse Our Inner Ape for describing that we
are like both our ape relatives, the chimps and the bonobos.
One violent and even warlike, the other peaceful and even loving.
We seem to have the behavioral attributes of both.