Human Evolution

Bernstein, I. S. &Smith, E.O. eds., 1979. Primate Ecology and Human Origins: Ecological Influences on Social Organization. Garland Publishing Co., New York.

This volume brings together a diverse group of researchers interested in the social organization of nonhuman primates. One of the characteristics of the social organization of nonhuman that has been exceedingly well documented is the variability, both intra as well as interspecifically. This collection of original essays is an attempt to understand the role of ecological variables on the expression of social organization across the Order Primates.


In 1957, Paul Fejos, the ingenious first director of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Inc.m negotialted the purchase and supervised the modernization of a 12th century Alpine castle to which exclusive groups of scientists were invited and where they were incarcerated for a week or more while the intensively discussed a wide range of anthropological topics….some very sobering thoughts about the state of the art in primate socioecological studies come down from the mountain. Primate Ecology and Human Origins is thouroughly and intelligently edited…In general, Primate Ecology and Human Origins perpetuates the fine tradition of Wenner-Gren symposiia. This redoubles or regreat that the Western economic dip has forces the closure of Burg Wartenstein.

Russel H. Tuttle, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago,Science, 207 (4429) 398-399. 1980.

The book includes 13 chapters plus an excellent summary chapter written by the editors. In addition, Bernstein and Smith guide the reader through the various chapters by an introduction to each chapter which also acts as a coxswain for maintaining chapter continuity. A major tenet running throughout the book is the attempt (and I believe successful) to encourage a broad perspective when thinking about the multi- tudinous relationships between social organiza- tion and ecology. There is no endeavor to “prove” how a certain social organization evolved in response to a particular ecological setting. How refreshingypes of ecosocial behavior. This is essentially a well-balanced volume on primate ecology and should make a welcome addition to the library of any student of primate ethology.

Daris R. Swindler, Department of Anthropology, University of Washington, American Anthropologist, 83(1) 191-193, 1981


Rowell, Thelma.E. – How Would We Know If Social Organization Were Not Adaptive?
Bourliere, Francois. – Significant Parameters of Environmental Quality for Nonhuman Primates.
Altmann, Stuart.A. & Altmann, Jeanne. – Demographic Constraints on Behavior and Social Organization.
Dunbar, Robin I.M. – Population Demography, Social Organization, and Mating Strategies.
Baldwin, John D. & Baldwin, Janice I. – The Phylogenetic and Ontogenetic Variables that Shape Behavior and Social Organization.
Birdsell, Joseph B. – Ecological Influences on Australian Aboriginal Social Organization.
Suzuki, Akira – The Variation and Adaptation of Social Groups of Chimpanzees and Black and White Colobus Monkeys.
Coelho, Anthoney M., Bramblett, Claud A., & Quick, Larry – Activity Patterns in Howler and Spider Monkeys: An Application of Socio-Bioenergetic Methods.
Clutton-Brock, TimothyH. & Harvey, Paul – Home Range Size, Population Density and Phylogeny in Primates.
Eisenberg, JohnF. – Habitat, Economy, and Society: Some Correlations and Hypotheses for Neotropical Primates.
Brace, C.Loring – Biological Parameters and Pleistocene Hominid Life-Ways.
Campbell. Bernard.G. – Ecological Factors and Social Organization in Human Evolution.
Nagel, Ueli – On Describing Primate Groups as Systems: The Concept of Ecosocial Behavior.
Bernstein, Irwin S. & Smith, Euclid O. – In Summary.