Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sarah Hrdy

Sarah Hrdy is one of my major heroes. She's developed some of the most fundamental (and controversial) theories in anthropology, has examined anthropological theory through the lens of feminism, unapologetically calls herself a sociobiologist, and seamlessly ties primatological research to understanding human behavior and evolution. In addition, she also writes fantastic books and articles. So here are a couple links to some great material: the first is a Discover article about her, the second is a recent article published in Natural History, entitled "Meet the Alloparents," which discusses some of topics addressed in her recent book, Mothers and Others.

The Hardy Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

Meet the Alloparents

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Orangutan Tool Use

While I still would like to write more about tool use in the future, for now, I'll just leave you with a short little video showing some of my friend Kristina's dissertation research...

Chimps display Humanlike Good Will

It's always interesting reading the headlines making broad statements whether chimps are selfish and thus unlike humans, or that chimps are altruistic and thus like humans.

Anyone consider that humans are both selfish and altruistic in a variety of different contexts, and that BOTH can be considered "human-like?" And for that matter, why not consider altruism "vampire-bat-like?"

Nonetheless, I like seeing headlines like this, if only because they negate the idea that chimpanzees are fundamentally selfish, and thus un-human-like, while humans are supposedly graciously altruistic. And it does have video footage, which is always fun :)