Chapter

The Secret of Our Success

Dario Maestripieri

in Macachiavellian Intelligence

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780226501178
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226501215 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226501215.003.0001
The Secret of Our Success

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Of the more than 300 primate species currently living on Earth, Homo sapiens has clearly been the most successful. This success of humans can be attributed to their large brains and sagacity. By the same criteria of population size and geographic distribution, another very successful primate on Earth is a monkey known as the rhesus macaque. The rhesus macaque, however, is not one of the smartest primates. Other primates—the great apes—have bigger brains and are smarter than rhesus macaques, but unfortunately are all on the brink of extinction. Hence, being smart is not by itself a guarantee of success in this corner of the universe. There are different kinds of intelligence and different ways to use it. This book is about rhesus macaques and what they have in common with humans. Without taking anything away from baboons, understanding why rhesus macaques behave the way they do may tell us something about human nature, metaphysics, and perhaps the future as well.

Keywords: humans; intelligence; rhesus macaques; human nature; metaphysics; baboons; primates; brains

Chapter.  1721 words. 

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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