Chimpanzee and Red Colobus: The Ecology of Predator and Prey


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Chimpanzee and Red Colobus: The Ecology of Predator and Prey Author: Format: Paperback / softback First Published: Published By: Harvard University Press
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Pages: 336 Illustrations and other contents: 25 halftones, 58 line illustrations, 37 tables Language: English ISBN: 9780674007222 Categories: , , ,

Our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees, are familiar enough–bright and ornery and promiscuous. But they also kill and eat their kin, in this case the red colobus monkey, which may say something about primate–even hominid–evolution. This book, the first long-term field study of a predator-prey relationship involving two wild primates, documents a six-year investigation into how the risk of predation molds primate society. Taking us to Gombe National Park in Tanzania, a place made famous by Jane Goodall’s studies, the book offers a close look at how predation by wild chimpanzees–observable in the park as nowhere else–has influenced the behavior, ecology, and demography of a population of red colobus monkeys. As he explores the effects of chimpanzees’ hunting, Craig Stanford also asks why these creatures prey on the red colobus. Because chimpanzees are often used as models of how early humans may have lived, Stanford’s findings offer insight into the possible role of early hominids as predators, a little understood aspect of human evolution. The first book-length study in a newly emerging genre of primate field study, Chimpanzee and Red Colobus expands our understanding of not just these two primate societies, but also the evolutionary ecology of predators and prey in general.

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Excellent. An important study of the relationship between chimpanzees and their prey. -- Jane Goodall A detailed, but entertaining analysis of the evolutionary whys, behavioural ecology wherefores and natural history hows of a fascinating predator-prey system. Suitable for undergraduates and above, the wealth of detail makes it hard to believe that, until two decades ago, chimps were thought of as entirely peaceful vegetarians. Just read Craig Stanford's Chimpanzee and Red Colobus to discover how wrong we all were. * New Scientist * This is a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the predator-prey relationship between chimpanzees and red colobus monkeys in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. While researchers generally focus on predation from the point of view of the hunter, Craig Stanford is unique on addressing predation from the point of view of both predator and prey...This is an excellent reference manual on chimpanzees as hunters and their impact on the behaviour, ecology and demography of their prey. It is clearly written and well organised, and the latest chapter provides a concise and comprehensive summary-conclusion. Figures and tables are easy to follow and, together with the text, reveal the meticulous detail in which the author addressed the questions of interest. This is an important contribution to primatology. -- Jennifer Scott * Biologist * [Chimpanzee and Red Colobus is a ] study of how the predation of wild chimps influences and shapes the behaviour and ecology of a group of red colobus monkeys, offering clues as to how early humans may have lived. * BBC Wildlife *

Author Biography

Craig Stanford is Professor of Biological Sciences and Anthropology at the University of Southern California. Richard W. Wrangham is Ruth B. Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.