Thursday, April 29, 2010

New edited volume on the gibbons

Dr. Susan Lappan, adjunct assistant professor of anthropology at Appalachian State University, and Dr. Danielle Whittaker, postdoctoral research associate at Indiana University, are the editors of a wonderful new volume published by Springer: The Gibbons: New Perspectives on Small Ape Socioecology and Population Biology

"The small apes, or gibbons, are among our closest living relatives, yet they have received little attention from the scientific community and the public in comparison with the other living apes. This oversight is not due to lack of appeal; their physical beauty, graceful acrobatic movements, and thrilling songs make it clear why gibbons are always among the most popular animals in zoos. Rather, the inherent difficulties involved in studying or filming gibbons in their natural habitats and, in some cases, the misconception that among apes, smaller means lesser, have led many researchers and filmmakers to focus their attentions elsewhere. Nonetheless, a growing number of intrepid field and laboratory researchers have made steady progress in the study of gibbon behavior and ecology over the last several decades. This volume is a systematic compilation of recent research on gibbon socioecology and population biology with a focus on understanding gibbons in the context of their natural habitats, and includes contributions on a range of topics, including gibbon biogeography, the ecological roles played by gibbons in their ecosystems, the origins and functions of key gibbon social and ecological adaptations, and the conservation status of wild gibbon populations."


  1. I love that the gibbons are called "small apes." Does that mean we can finally ditch the term "lesser" for good?