Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Other Primates Are Smarter Than Us

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Other Primates Are Smarter Than Us

Article excerpt

Other Primates Are Smarter Than Us

Julia Fischer. Monkey Talk: Inside the Worlds and Minds of Primates. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, January 31, 2017. ISBN: 978-0- 226-12424-7. $25.00. 288pp. 6.125X9.25". 34 illustrations.

Probably everybody that has heard about or seen documentaries of primates or other animals imitating human behaviors has questioned if they are aware of the meaning behind these actions or if they are simply repeating what they see. Julia Fischer's answer is an emphatic "no!" She argues that they are fully aware and reasoning. Human babies mimic the actions of the people around them before they are able to explain the motivations for why any one action is performed verbally, so it isn't a stretch to see monkey behavior as similarly a blend of mimicry and understanding. She examines relationships between different primates from macaques to baboons in the wilds of Barbary to Africa and Guinea towards male rivals, towards children, and in other social interractions. …

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