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By Hannah Holmes

The well-dressed ape, aka Homo sapiens, is an odd mammal. It buddies remarkably usually, and with unparalleled affection. With comparable enthusiasm, it's going to consume to the purpose of undermining its personal health–behavior unthinkable in wild animals. The human marks its territory with doorways, fences, and plastic flamingos, but if it’s too remoted it turns into depressed. It thinks of itself as advanced, clever, and in each method more advantageous to different animals–but is it, really?

With wit, humility, and penetrating perception, technology journalist Hannah Holmes casts the inquisitive eye of a expert researcher and reporter on . . . herself. and never simply herself, yet on our entire species–what Shakespeare referred to as “the paragon of animals.” during this striking, funny, and edifying ebook, Holmes explores how the human animal–the eponymous well-dressed ape–fits into the flora and fauna, while we people swap that global in either positive and harmful ways.

Comparing and contrasting the biology and behaviour of people with that of alternative creatures, Holmes demonstrates our place as an animal between different animals, a product of–and topic to–the related evolutionary approaches. and never in basic terms are we animals–we are, in a few very important methods (such as our senses of odor and of vision), pitiably inferior ones. That such an animal got here to exist in any respect is not going. that we have got survived and prospered is striking.

At a similar time, Holmes unearths the ways that Homo sapiens stands except different mammals and, certainly, all different animals. regardless of the immense universal floor we percentage with our fellow creatures, there are major components within which we're specific. No different animal, so far as we all know, stocks the human means for self-reflective inspiration or our expertise for altering ourselves or the environment in keeping with ordinary demanding situations and possibilities. One results of those outstanding features is the unfold of our species around the whole planet; one other, regrettably, is international warming.

Deftly blending own tales and observations with the most recent clinical theories and learn effects, Hannah Holmes has formed an interesting and informative box consultant to that oddest and but so much interesting of primates: ourselves.

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The Well-Dressed Ape: A Natural History of Myself

The well-dressed ape, aka Homo sapiens, is an odd mammal. It pals remarkably usually, and with unparalleled affection. With comparable enthusiasm, it's going to consume to the purpose of undermining its personal health–behavior unthinkable in wild animals. The human marks its territory with doorways, fences, and plastic flamingos, but if it’s too remoted it turns into depressed.

Extra resources for The Well-Dressed Ape: A Natural History of Myself

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My brother kidnapped a European starling from a hollow tree, rearing it in a berry basket by the window. My sister filched a warm seagull egg from its nest, and the bird and the girl spent a storybook summer together before the adolescent bird would no longer fly home from the shore when she called. Twice I raised orphaned raccoons, which are endearing little bundles of spring steel until they grow up and become large, scary bundles of spring steel. So I know animals. Animal behavior and body language are so legible to me that it demands no conscious effort to interpret it.

If there’s any justice in this fat situation, it’s in the way fat moves around as humans age. The majority of males will actually develop breasts of their own as their hormones drift toward a more female mix in old age. Of course, my own fat will migrate, too, deflating my hips and padding my waist out of existence. With time, the distant silhouettes of males and females come to telegraph the same message: past prime. THE FORELIMBS, PRIMARY MEANS OF DEFENSE Speaking of my hips, that hand poised to obscure my rump deserves credit for more than obfuscation.

This mimics one of nature’s classic strategies, whereby squirrels, mice, rats, and many other small critters stash food for later use. Most humans now use tools to preserve food, so that we needn’t forage for it in the wild. I might be a bit slimmer if humans had adopted the migratory method instead of the food-storage method. Animals like caribou, wildebeest, many birds, and even whales have evolved to migrate around the globe in pursuit of a shifting food supply. As food fades in one part of the world, they travel to where it’s flourishing.

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