Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind by Dorothy L. Cheney, Robert M. Seyfarth

By Dorothy L. Cheney, Robert M. Seyfarth

In 1838 Charles Darwin jotted in a pc, “He who is familiar with baboon may do extra in the direction of metaphysics than Locke.” Baboon Metaphysics is Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert M. Seyfarth’s interesting reaction to Darwin’s challenge.
           
Cheney and Seyfarth organize camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, the place they can in detail detect baboons and their social international. Baboons dwell in teams of as much as a hundred and fifty, together with a handful of men and 8 or 9 matrilineal households of ladies. Such numbers strength baboons to shape a sophisticated mixture of momentary bonds for mating and longer-term friendships according to cautious calculations of prestige and person need.
           
But Baboon Metaphysics is anxious with even more than simply baboons’ social organization—Cheney and Seyfarth goal to completely understand the intelligence that underlies it. utilizing leading edge box experiments, the authors research that for baboons, simply as for people, friends and family carry the major to mitigating the sick results of grief, tension, and anxiety.
           
Written with a scientist’s precision and a nature-lover’s eye, Baboon Metaphysics offers us an exceptional and compelling glimpse into the brain of one other species.

Reviews
 “The shiny narrative is sort of a bush detective story.”—Steven Poole, Guardian
 
Baboon Metaphysics is a distillation of a giant bite of educational lives. . . . it really is precisely what this kind of e-book should still be—full of inventive experiments, meticulous scholarship, limpid literary variety, and exceptionally, actually vital questions.”—Alison Jolly, Science
 
“Cheney and Seyfarth came upon that for a baboon to get on in existence consists of a classy mix of temporary relationships, friendships, and cautious prestige calculations. . . . remember the fact that, the consequent political machinations and handy romantic dalliances within the quest to develop into numero uno rival the bard himself.”—Science News

 
“Cheney and Seyfarth’s enthusiasm is clear, and their wisdom is giant and expressed with nice readability. All this makes Baboon Metaphysics a charming learn. it is going to get you thinking—and possibly spur you to go back and forth to Africa to determine all of it for yourself.”—Asif A. Ghazanfar, Nature
 
“Through inventive playback experiments . . . Cheney and Seyfarth have labored out many elements of what baboons used their minds for, besides their boundaries. studying a baboon’s brain gives an exceptional clutch of the dynamics of baboon society. yet greater than that, it bears at the evolution of the human brain and the character of human existence.”—Nicholas Wade, New York Times

Literary Awards
Diagram Prize Nominee (2008)

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After the attack, the group remained separated for two days. On the second day, animals in one subgroup began giving contact barks, the loud call that baboons give when they become separated from their companions (we discuss this intriguing vocalization in Chapters 8 and 9). Animals in the other subgroup heard them and moved cautiously to rejoin. Each group approached the other along the edge of their island, moving from tree to tree, never venturing onto the ground. Every hundred meters or so they stopped to stare vigilantly around them, nervously giving alarm calls.

During one such escape, this gap was made up of our colleagues Dawn Kitchen, Jim Nicolson, and Press Kehaletse. As the leopard raced by, it knocked Press over and began to scratch and bite him. Within seconds, a horde of more than 20 baboons leapt onto the leopard and drove it away. Several females were involved in this counterattack, including one carrying a young infant. Luckily, Press escaped with only superficial wounds. In contrast to lions and leopards, hyenas and wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) typically elicit only scattered alarm barks from the baboons.

Alas, the inevitable happened; one day Jumper fell. The train ran over him and both legs had to be amputated at the knees. In a desperate attempt to keep his job, Jumper made himself a pair of pegged legs by strapping pieces of wood to his lower body. He also built a hand 29 CHAPTER T WO trolley that made him more mobile. The company agreed to hire Jumper as a signalman, but his work remained a struggle. One Saturday morning in the Uitenhage marketplace, Jumper noticed an ox wagon being driven into town by a young baboon, who acted as “voorloper” (oxen leader).

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