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The Evolution of Primate Societies

In 1987, the University of Chicago Press published Primate Societies, the standard reference in the field of primate behavior for an entire generation of students and scientists. But in the twenty-five years since its publication, new theories and research techniques for studying the Primate order have been developed, debated, and tested, forcing scientists to revise their understanding of our closest living relatives.

Intended as a sequel to Primate Societies, The Evolution of Primate Societies compiles thirty-one chapters that review the current state of knowledge regarding the behavior of nonhuman primates. Chapters are written by the leading authorities in the field and organized around four major adaptive problems primates face as they strive to grow, maintain themselves, and reproduce in the wild. The inclusion of chapters on the behavior of humans at the end of each major section represents one particularly novel aspect of the book, and it will remind readers what we can learn about ourselves through research on nonhuman primates. The final section highlights some of the innovative and cutting-edge research designed to reveal the similarities and differences between nonhuman and human primate cognition. The Evolution of Primate Societies will be every bit the landmark publication its predecessor has been.

Individual chapters in PDF format can be purchased for $5.00 each.

744 pages | 157 halftones, 34 line drawings, 44 tables | 8 1/2 x 11 | © 2012

Biological Sciences: Ecology, Evolutionary Biology


The Evolution of Primate Societies is certain to become an essential reference in primatology for years to come. It is a state of the art collection of theoretically grounded reviews in primatology—arguably the best such compilation available—and is undoubtedly already required reading for undergraduate and graduate courses alike. Intelligent editorial decisions have yielded a volume that does not conflict with but instead complements its alter ego, Primates in Perspective, and the two will most certainly walk hand-in-hand to guide the next generation of primatologists.”

Larissa Swedell, Queens College | American Journal of Human Biology

“Highly recommended.”

E. Delson, CUNY Herbert H. Lehman College | Choice

“This textbook consists of well-referenced reviews with handy chapter summaries and is suitable for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses.”

W. Scott McGraw, Ohio State University | Quarterly Review of Biology

“This volume is a most impressive collection of insightful, up-to-date reviews of the major issues in our understanding of the behavior and ecology of primates, including humans. It is a landmark publication and the essential starting point for future research.”

John G. Fleagle, Stony Brook University

Table of Contents

Richard Wrangham


1. Introduction
The Editors

Part 1. Primate Behavioral Diversity

Table A.1 Taxonomy of Living Primates

2. The Behavioral Ecology of Strepsirrhines and Tarsiers
Peter M. Kappeler

3. The Behavior, Ecology, and Social Evolution of New World Monkeys
Eduardo Fernandez-Duque, Anthony Di Fiore, and Maren Huck

4. The Behavioral Ecology of Colobine Monkeys
Elisabeth H. M. Sterck

5. The Behavior, Ecology, and Social Evolution of Cercopithecine Monkeys
Marina Cords

6. The Apes: Taxonomy, Biogeography, Life Histories, and Behavioral Ecology
David P. Watts

Part 2. Surviving and Growing Up in a Difficult and Dangerous World

7. Food as a Selective Force in Primates
Colin A. Chapman, Jessica M. Rothman, and Joanna E. Lambert

8. Predation
Claudia Fichtel

9. Ecological and Social Influcences on Sociality
Oliver Schülke and Julia Ostner

10. Life-History Evolution
Carel P. van Schaik and Karin Isler

11. Socialization and Development of Behavior
Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf and Stephen R. Ross

12. Genetic Consequences of Primate Social Organization
Anthony Di Fiore

13 Human Survival and Life History in Evolutionary Perspective
Michael Gurven

Part 3. Mating and Rearing Offspring

14. From Maternal Investment to Lifetime Maternal Care
Maria A. van Noordwijk

15. Magnitude and Sources of Variation in Female Reproductive Performance
Anne Pusey

16. Mate Choice
Peter M. Kappeler

17. Mating, Parenting, and Male Reproductive Strategies
Martin N. Muller and Melissa Emery Thompson

18. Magnitude and Sources of Variation in Male Reproductive Performance
Susan C. Alberts

19. Infanticide: Male Strategies and Female Counterstrategies
Ryne A. Palombit

20. The Socioecology of Human Reproduction
Frank W. Marlowe

Part 4. Getting Along

21. Cooperation Among Kin
Kevin A. Langergraber

22. Cooperation among Non-kin: Reciprocity, Markets, Mutualism
Ian C. Gilby

23. The Regulation of Social Relationships
Filippo Aureli, Orlaith N. Fraser, Colleen M. Schaffner, and Gabriele Schino

24. The Adaptive Value of Sociality
Joan B. Silk

25. Social Regard: Evolving a Psychology of Cooperation
Keith Jensen

26. Human Sociality
Michael Alvard

Part 5. Cognitive Strategies for Coping with Life’s Challenges

27. Solving Ecological Problems
Charles Menzel

28. Knowledge of Social Relations
Robert M. Seyfarth and Dorothy L. Cheney

29. Communication Strategies
Klaus Zuberbühler

30. Understanding Other Minds
Josep Call and Laurie R. Santos

31. Social Learning, Traditions, and Culture
Andrew Whiten

32. Human Cultural Cognition
Esther Herrmann and Michael Tomasello



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