Mythologized since the days of Aristotle, few animals have captured the popular imagination as the great apes, here identified as gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans. Yet, our understanding of these apes as the "blood kin" of humans - nearly identical in biological composition and strikingly similar in some behaviours - has been much disputed throughout history. It has taken over a century of research and scientific discoveries to dispel the Victorian notion and portrayal of these animals as savage, aggressive, fearful beasts. Along with Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, Birute Galdikas has dedicated her life to studying apes in their natural habitat and has become one of the world's leading authorities on orangutans. One hundred and twenty-five engaging, up-close images, taken on location in the dense forests of Borneo and the tree-top canopies of Africa by internationally renowned wildlife photographer Karl Ammann, illustrate the lives and behaviours of these fascinating creatures. Great Ape Odyssey offers an overview of what we have learned about these intriguing, humanlike animals, and in turn, what they can teach us about ourselves.About the Author:
Birute M.F. Galdikas is a founding director of Orangutan Foundation International, a worldwide conservation organization. A protege of Louis Leakey and the first to study orangutans in the wild, Galdikas established Camp Leakey, the centre from which her research on orangutans was conducted, in Borneo in the early 1970s. It is still in operation and going strong to this day. Karl Ammann is a wildlife photographer and conservation activist. He is an advisory director to many organizations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals, the Great Ape Fund, and the Bonobo Protection Fund. His photographs have been featured in the New York Times Magazine, Stern, Natural History, Outdoor Photographer, and many other publications. His photography also appeared in Orangutan Odyssey (Abrams, 2000) and the critically acclaimed Eating Apes (University of California Press, 2001). Jane Goodall is the world's foremost authority on chimpanzees, a world-renowned conservationist, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, and author of many books and countless articles that have appeared in National Geographic and scientific journals
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