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The Well-Dressed Ape

A Natural History of Myself

Hannah Holmes

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

DID YOU KNOW THAT 
• we have more hair follicles than a chimpanzee
• a male boxer in top condition can punch with the force of a thirteen-pound mallet swung at twenty miles an hour
• the best human endurance runners can outlast a horse
• one odor above all is sexually stimulating to the human male: cinnamon buns
• our home-building skills compare nicely with those of the bagworm
 
With dry wit and penetrating insight, science journalist Hannah Holmes casts the eye of a trained researcher and reporter on . . . herself. And on our whole species. She compares the biology and behavior of humans with that of other creatures, exploring how the human animal fits into the natural world. Holmes also reveals the ways in which Homo sapiens stands apart from other mammals (and all other animals) in ways that are alternately admirable and devastating. Deftly mixing personal stories with the latest scientific research, Hannah Holmes has fashioned an engaging field guide to that oddest and most fascinating of primates: ourselves.

Publishers Weekly Review

10 November 2008 – Holmes (Suburban Safari) has been “uncomfortable with the notion that I was an animal apart, a sort of extraterrestrial on my own planet.” Hence, she examines her “animal self,” hoping to “clarify my identity in the natural world.” As in her previous works, she uses the mundane to make larger points about life and the human condition. Beginning each chapter in a scientific mode, she then glides into more personal reflections (“I’m most aware of my brain when I encounter its limitations”) and then compares humans with other animals: “My wad of wiring is so hot and bothered that it puts all the world’s other brains to shame. Or does it?” Holmes thus continually underscores that humans are not nearly as different as many would have us believe. For example, a surprising number of species communicate fairly well, and prairie dogs actually have a sizable vocabulary. Holmes’s optimistic conclusion is that we are the only species capable of thinking about the effect of our actions and acting against narrow self-interest, even if we don’t always do so. Holmes makes the scientific personal in prose that is juicy and humorous, if occasionally a bit too cute.
The Well-Dressed Ape
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  • 12,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Life Sciences
  • Published: 20 January 2009
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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