The best primate books if you love monkeys, apes and lemurs. Reading
Reading and primates combine two of my interests and books about primates are my favourite type of books to read. Here, you’ll find primate books from novels to educational books to books about primate conservation. And I even included some books about primates that I think kids will love.
If you are a primate lover as I am you will definitely enjoy these books.
Books About Lemurs
By: Patricia Wright
In 1986, primatologist Patricia Chapple Wright was given a seemingly impossible task. Travel to the rainforests of Madagascar and find the greater bamboo lemur, a species that hadn’t been seen in the wild for thirty years.
I read this book before seeing lemurs where she first saw them and loved knowing that I was following in her footsteps.
Title: The Aye-aye and I
By: Gerald Durrell
The 4th largest island in the world, Madagascar is home to woodlice the size of golf balls, moths the size of Regency fans and the Aye-Aye, a lemur held by local superstition to be an omen of death.
When Gerald Durrell visited, the Aye-Aye and many other creatures were in danger of extinction. This book shares his adventures of collecting captive lemurs and bringing them back to England for conservation purposes..
By: Claire Throp
Lemurs explores the fascinating world of primates. The title includes information about classification, habitats, adaptations, food chains, behavior, and intelligence.
You’ll learn about the threats that lemurs face and how they can help protect them and their habitats.
Books About Primates
Title: A Primate’s Memoir
By: Robert M. Sapols
An exhilarating account of Sapolsky’s twenty-one-year study of a troop of rambunctious baboons in Kenya.
A Primate’s Memoir interweaves serious scientific observations with wry commentary where you’ll learn about the challenges and pleasures of living in the wilds of the Serengeti—for man and beast alike.
This book is one of the classic books about primates.
Title: The Primate Family Tree
By: Ian Redmond
This is a comprehensive resource on the subject of our animal relatives: apes, monkeys, and lemurs. Readers will learn primate facts and about recent research and conservation efforts.
By: Anne Russon
Bringing together interdisciplinary expertise in wildlife/nature tourism and primatology, experts present and discuss their accumulated experience from individual primate sites open to tourists, formal studies of primate-focused tourism, and trends in nature and wildlife tourism.
This book is not a book about primates for the general public but intended for those with a serious passion for learning more about the complex topic.
Books About Orangutans
By: Birute M. F. Galdikas
At the age of twenty-five, Birute Galdikas left the placid world of American academia for the remote jungles of Indonesian Borneo.
Her story is a rare combination of personal epiphany, crucial scientific discoveries, and international impact – a life of a human and the environmental challenges.
Birute is controversial in the primate world so this is an interesting read as told from her perspective.
By: Anne Russon
Based on the 10 years of research that the author has undertaken studying orangutan behaviour, the only great apes found in Asia who live an elusive, solitary, existence in nearly inaccessible tropical rain forests.
Orangutans are endangered and this book offers interesting insights into these elusive primates.
By: Junaidi Payne
With lively text and more than 150 striking colour photographs, this look at orangutan life examines topics ranging from habitat and behaviour to the complex intricacies of orangutan society.
Title: Orangutan (A Day in the Life: Rain Forest Animals)
By: Anita Ganeri
Orangutans may not be tall, but their arm span can reach up to seven feet! Learn how this helps them in their daily life in the rain forest as they live and move among the trees.
This book about primates also discusses the orangutan’s hunting, foraging, eating, and sleeping habits.
Primate Books by Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall is the world’s most famous primatologist and my idol. I love all of her books for her storytelling and ability to describe each chimp so intensely that you feel a connection with each one.
Title: My Life with the Chimpanzees
The celebrated naturalist recounts her childhood wish to work with animals and her excursions into the wilds of Africa.
This is where she performed history-making studies on chimpanzees.
In this biography, she candidly shares her life. Above all she introduces the Gombe chimpanzees she introduced to the world nearly forty years ago.
And she gives us convincing reasons why we can and must open ourselves to the saints within each of us.
Title: In the Shadow of Man
In her classic, In the Shadow of Man, Jane Goodall documents her first 10 years at Gombe.
In Through a Window, she continues the story, painting a more complete and vivid portrait of our closest relatives.
A great deal has happened since the publication of Jane Goodall: 40 Years at Gombe in 1999.
Most recently, endeavours at the Gombe field site have included landmark research related to AIDS progression; establishing programs to improve sanitation, health care, and education in neighbouring Tanzanian communities; and partnering with local people to pursue reforestation initiatives.
The accomplishments of the past 10 years alone have given the Jane Goodall Institute a great deal to celebrate. In honour of the field site&;s 50th anniversary, STC is proud to release Jane Goodall: 50 Years at Gombe, a compelling pictorial tribute to Dr Goodall&;s life, her studies of chimpanzee behaviour.
Books by Frans de Waal
Mama’s Last Hug opens with the dramatic farewell between Mama, a dying 59-year-old chimpanzee matriarch, and biologist Jan Van Hooff.
This heartfelt final meeting of two longtime friends, widely shared as a video, offers a window into how deep and instantly recognizable these bonds can be.
Watch the chimpanzees of Arnhem behave in ways we recognize from Machiavelli (and from the nightly news).
In addition, de Waal reminds us again that the roots of politics are older than humanity.
In this provocative book, the author argues that modern-day evolutionary biology takes far too dim a view of the natural world.
He emphasizing our “selfish” genes. Science has thus exacerbated our reciprocal habits of blaming nature when we act badly and labelling the good things we do as “humane”.
Title: Our Inner Ape
In Our Inner Ape, Frans de Waal presents the provocative idea that our noblest qualities—generosity, kindness, altruism—are as much a part of our nature as are our baser instincts.
After all, we share them with another primate: the lesser-known bonobo.
Books About Monkeys and Apes for Children
Title: The Lemur’s Tale
By: Ophelia Redpath
A ring-tailed lemur is stowed away on a boat from Madagascar. He finds his way into the home of an eccentric but dysfunctional family.
Title: Undaunted: The Wild Life of Biruté Mary Galdikas and Her Fearless Quest to Save Orangutans
By: Anita Silvey
Follow her story as she carries out an epic search and struggles to survive. All while studying the world’s most endangered great ape.
Title: The Orangutan Rescue Gang
By: Joyce Major
From an award-winning author, Joyce Major comes this utterly gripping tale. The books tells the story about a wildlife rescue gang embarking on a quest to rescue a stolen baby orangutan.
By: Jum Ottaviani
Jim Ottaviani offers an action-packed account of the three greatest primatologists of the last century: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas.
It covers the highlights of their respective careers in an entertaining way.
By: Brad Meltzer
We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this New York Times best-selling biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer where you’ll learn all about Jane Goodall.