, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 405–407 | Cite as

Chimpanzees and Human Evolution, edited by Martin N. Muller, Richard W. Wrangham, and David R. Pilbeam

Harvard University Press, 2017, pp. xx + 837, Hardback ISBN: 9780674967953. USA $ 55.00
  • William C. McGrew
Book Review

‘Definitive’ is an overused modifier, often applied in exaggeration to a piece of work that stands out above all others. However, this edited volume easily qualifies for this attribute, on grounds of its being by far the most comprehensive and up-to-date treatment of the following question: To what extent is the chimpanzee the best referential model for reconstructing the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of the human evolutionary line? The three editors, two primatologists, and a paleo-anthropologist, have assembled a stellar line-up of 32 authors of 21 chapters that range in topic coverage from stable isotopes to symbolic thinking. At 837 pages, it also can be used as a doorstop, but the book’s length is justified by its affordable price (@ 6 cents per page) for such a weighty tome.

First, a description of the contents: Substantive chapters offered are on the LCA, bonobo vs. chimpanzee, life history, reproduction, locomotion, diet (X2), hunting, mating systems, kinship, violence,...


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychology and NeuroscienceUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsScotland, UK

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