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Word Count: 450
The Naked Ape In The Naked Ape Desmond Morris provides an alternative explanation of the causative factors underlying various human behavior patterns and societal and cultural activities He develops his theme around such human activities as feeding grooming sleeping fighting mating and care of the young He compares human traits and behaviors with those exhibited by animals mainly the primates in like activities His point is that understanding the evolutionary source of many behaviors can throw new light on understanding the complex nature of the human species Morris begins by examining the evolution of the mammals from the earliest insectivores to the latest carnivores detailing the survival characteristics which led to the success of some species over others He provides great detail on the development of the nearly naked carnivorous hunting ape from the fruit eating primate group He presents a thorough discussion of sexual behavior stressing the similarities between human rituals and primate behaviors Tracing the three characteristic sexual phases of pair formation pre-copulatory activity and copulation the evolutionary process which lies at the root of modern human sexual behavior is clearly laid out Similarly he examines human child-rearing and provides interesting insights into non-verbal communication and body language between mother and child The role of exploratory behavior in the basic survival patterns of feeding fighting and mating as well as its importance to an individuals social adjustment is detailed Morris analyzes thoroughly our human aggressive urges as always providing examples of animal behaviors which serve as an objective base upon which to understand why we act as we do In addition to territorial and social dominance aggressive behaviors he describes the actual mechanics of aggression both physiologically and behaviorally Both displacement activity and appeasement activity are explored in detail He concludes by examining human feeding and comfort behaviors and
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