Cover of: The well-dressed ape | Hannah Holmes

The well-dressed ape

a natural history of myself

1st ed.

Published by Random House in New York .
Written in English.

About the Book

The well-dressed ape, aka Homo sapiens, is a strange mammal. It mates remarkably often, and with unprecedented affection. With similar enthusiasm, it will eat to the point of undermining its own health--behavior unthinkable in wild animals. The human marks its territory with doors, fences, and plastic flamingos, yet if it's too isolated it becomes depressed. It thinks of itself as complex, intelligent, and in every way superior to other animals--but is it, really?With wit, humility, and penetrating insight, science journalist Hannah Holmes casts the inquisitive eye of a trained researcher and reporter on . . . herself. And not just herself, but on our whole species--what Shakespeare called "the paragon of animals." In this surprising, humorous, and edifying book, Holmes explores how the human animal--the eponymous well-dressed ape--fits into the natural world, even as we humans change that world in both constructive and destructive ways.Comparing and contrasting the biology and behavior of humans with that of other creatures, Holmes demonstrates our position as an animal among other animals, a product of--and subject to--the same evolutionary processes. And not only are we animals--we are, in some important ways (such as our senses of smell and of vision), pitiably inferior ones. That such an animal came to exist at all is unlikely. That we have survived and prospered is extraordinary. At the same time, Holmes reveals the ways in which Homo sapiens stands apart from other mammals and, indeed, all other animals. Despite the vast common ground we share with our fellow creatures, there are significant areas in which we are unique. No other animal, as far as we know, shares the human capacity for self-reflective thought or our talent for changing ourselves or our environment in response to natural challenges and opportunities. One result of these extraordinary characteristics is the spread of our species across the entire planet; another, unfortunately, is global warming. Deftly mixing personal stories and observations with the latest scientific theories and research results, Hannah Holmes has fashioned an engaging and informative field guide to that oddest and yet most fascinating of primates: ourselves.From the Hardcover edition.

About the Edition

Explores how the human animal - the eponymous well-dressed ape - fits into the natural world, even as we humans change that world in both constructive and destructive ways.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Genre
Popular works.

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
612
Library of Congress
QP38 .H666 2008

The Physical Object

Pagination
xii, 351 p.
Dimensions
25 cm

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL16777323M
Internet Archive
welldressedape00holm
ISBN 10
1400065410
ISBN 13
9781400065417
LC Control Number
2008016582
OCLC/WorldCat
223107833
Library Thing
7462370
Goodreads
5526232
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History

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April 10, 2012 Edited by ImportBot import new book
October 12, 2011 Edited by ImportBot import new book
April 29, 2011 Edited by OCLC Bot Added OCLC numbers.
August 18, 2010 Edited by IdentifierBot added LibraryThing ID
September 26, 2008 Created by ImportBot Initial record created, from Library of Congress MARC record.