THE APES: Their Scientific and Natural History by Vernon Reynolds

THE APES: Their Scientific and Natural History

Email this review


This book synthesizes all the histories, scientific studies, legends, personal reports and films (both commercial and educational) extant that deal with gorillas, orangutangs, gibbons and chimpanzees. Dr. Reynolds has done the most extensive and recent on-the-spot observations of the wild chimpanzee, which he published as Budango (1965). Here, he extrapolates the facts, figures, speculations and conclusions of other Primatologists, and discusses the value of their findings to a better understanding of general animal behavior and their corollary insights into human psychology. The author seems to have overlooked nothing that has been in print. He even discourses on Burroughs' Tarzan series, the endless movies since, and provides an excellent critique on how and why Tarzan and King Kong have gripped the mass imagination for so long. There are long, well-selected excerpts from the scientists who have reported their attempts to raise and train these amazingly intelligent beasts as part of human households and from the amusing (often touching) accounts of venturesome laymen who took the animals as babies and raised them with all the considerations and affection granted to human children. As Dr. Reynolds points out, despite the sanctioned cruelties of some zoos and the appallingly slack efforts in primate conservation, ""Cousin Ape"" has always magnetized the attention of men.

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 1967
Publisher: Dutton