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AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 117:190 –193 (2002)
Book Reviews
LES ENFANTS MOUSTÉRIENS DE QAFZEH. INTERPRÉTATION
PHYLOGÉNÉTIQUE ET PALÉOAUXOLOGIQUE. By AnneMarie Tillier. Paris: CNRS Editions. 1999. 239 pp.
51 plates. ISBN 2-271-05614-4. 295 FF, 45 Euros,
$54 (paper).
It is increasingly evident that a thorough picture of the emergence of modern humans, and
their relationship to archaic peoples, will not be
possible without careful studies of juvenile morphology and the ontogenetic patterns that result
in adult anatomy. Interest in these issues has
increased markedly in recent years, but a select
few researchers were focused on juvenile anatomy
and growth long before the full significance of such
studies was widely acknowledged. Anne-Marie
Tillier is one of these pioneering scholars. She has
probably analyzed every pertinent specimen in the
Western Old World and published widely on various topics related to the study of juvenile Late
Pleistocene humans. From the early stages of her
work, one sample has been the core of her efforts:
the Qafzeh juveniles. This monograph presents
the culmination of her analyses to date on this
very significant sample.
The site of Qafzeh (Israel) is extremely important because of its excellent series of human remains and also because this series is one of the
earliest-dated samples known of what are widely
considered modern people. Together with the 1981
descriptive analysis of much of the adult Qafzeh
sample in Bernard Vandermeersch’s Les Hommes
Fossiles de Qafzeh (Israël) in the same series, Tillier’s monograph on the Qafzeh juveniles makes
Qafzeh one of the most thoroughly described samples of fossil human specimens from any time period.
This monograph follows the general plan of organization that characterizes several other volumes in the “Cahiers de Paléoanthropologie” series. After a short introduction, Tillier provides a
brief discussion of background information on the
site and some general consideration of methodological issues pertinent to juvenile morphology,
growth, and demography. This is followed by detailed analytical descriptions of all eight Qafzeh
juvenile specimens in order of their estimated age
at death. The descriptions are presented in a comparative framework, and extensive metric data on
the Qafzeh sample and some comparative samples
are given in numerous tables throughout the text.
The text and data are complemented by an excellent series of plates. The penultimate chapter is a
general analytical summary of the Qafzeh (and
2002 WILEY-LISS, INC.
DOI 10.1002/ajpa.10026
©
Skhū 1) juvenile anatomical pattern. The monograph concludes with a number of position statements by the author on growth-pattern differences
between Neandertals and early modern humans,
the phylogenetic position of the Skh 1/Qafzeh juveniles, and the taphonomic and demographic significance of the Qafzeh subadults.
From my perspective, the most significant contributions of this monograph are the descriptions of the
Qafzeh juveniles. These make up over two thirds of
the text and are quite comprehensive. Interpretive
issues will certainly wax and wane, but any subsequent serious discussion of the Qafzeh site or the
role of growth in Late Pleistocene human evolution
will have to draw on the primary anatomical information provided by Tillier here. My only fundamental criticism of this volume is that the comparative
aspects of this portion of the work should have been
expanded in some areas, but this concern in no significant way detracts from the positive contributions
of the volume as a whole.
Throughout the monograph, Tillier emphasizes
the importance of determining the patterning of
shared traits among the Skhu៮ 1/Qafzeh, Neandertal,
Upper Paleolithic, and recent adults and juveniles.
Essentially she argues that, while many traits are
shared by Skhu៮ 1/Qafzeh and Neandertal juveniles,
most of these are either symplesiomorphies or have
low phylogenetic valences. Although she recognizes
some synapomorphies in these two groups (e.g.,
large endocranial volume), Tillier notes that the
Skhu៮ l 1/Qafzeh juveniles share a much more significant pattern of derived traits with Upper Paleolithic and recent children (e.g., vault shape in the
norma occipitalis, and occipital and frontal features), to the exclusion of Neandertals. Clearly, she
considers the Skhu៮ 1/Qafzeh subadults to have fundamentally closer anatomical relationships with the
former three groups, but she does not indicate a
preference for the use of different species designations to reflect these differences.
Tillier’s reluctance, on theoretical grounds, to
draw extensive demographic conclusions from the
Qafzeh sample is certainly appropriate, given its
small size and the uncertainties related to preservation and other factors. Furthermore, she concludes that the available data do not necessarily
support either of the popular models, growth acceleration in Neandertals or arrested growth in
adolescent early modern humans, which are often
cited to explain the differences between them.
However, she does not suggest an alternative explanatory model for these observed differences.
There are far too many interesting issues pre-
BOOK REVIEWS
191
sented in this monograph to list in a short review,
and there certainly will be issues of contention for
some researchers that I have not raised. Be that as
it may, the quality of the data in this volume will
allow future discussions of late Pleistocene human
evolution to draw from a complete presentation of
the Qafzeh juveniles, and this is a very significant
contribution to the discipline.
FRED H. SMITH
Department of Anthropology
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, Illinois
PRIMATE DIVERSITY. By Dean Falk. New York: W.W.
Norton & Co. 2000. 415 pp. ISBN 0-393-97428-6.
$40.00 (paper).
data should be considered tentative and that they are
from a wide range of sources, their presence reflects an
important resource for the student that succinctly
identifies cross-species similarities and differences.
Rather than try to examine every primate species, as
some texts are prone to do, the author has chosen to
examine representative species in both the chapters
and the accompanying tables. One minor issue in the
galago chapter occurs, again, with one of the illustrations/maps. The map showing the distribution of tarsiers appears to be color-coded but provides no key.
The two chapters on New World monkeys, three
on Old World monkeys, and four on the apes all
follow the same general format as those described
above for the Prosimians. A final chapter examines
the earliest hominids. Three additional items are of
particular note in all of the chapters. First is the “In
the Field” feature. Each of these is a short description of what it is like to do field work (broadly defined) on a species appropriate to the chapter. The
descriptions are written by primatologists new and
old who have studied that species, and they provide
the reader with a taste of what it is like to study
primates, ranging from aye-ayes to squirrel monkeys to white-handed gibbons in their native habitats. Second, each chapter also contains a “Neural
Note.” These are short discussions, presented in sidebars, that examine some aspect of a relevant species’
or family’s neurology and that build upon each other to
reflect the evolution of primate intelligence. Finally, as
previously mentioned, there is a short list of further
readings presented at the end of each chapter that
generally lists 2– 4 resources in accessible sources.
Throughout the text, the science presented in each of
the chapters is sound. The author has pulled together
both the classic and recent relevant research to
present a state-of-the-art review of the primates. As
well, the photographs of the various primates, though
generally small, are all quite good.
There are, however, some features of the text that
are not as strong. Each chapter has one or more sets
of “review exercises,” a set of questions that are
meant to help the student review the material presented. For those students who might be tempted to
utilize them, the questions are of a mixed quality.
They appear to be geared at a somewhat lower level
than the text itself and range from less useful facts
(e.g., the proboscis monkey’s most remarkable feature) to more thought-provoking issues (e.g., sexual
selection and infanticide in langurs). Given the lack
of attention this type of review generally receives
As is true in so many other fields, those of us who
teach primatology (no matter what the discipline)
often voice the question, “Why can’t someone publish a primate text that meets my needs?” Dean
Falk, when faced with this problem, did the sensible
thing and wrote a text appropriate for use in the
Introduction to Primates classroom.
The text opens at the logical beginning: an introduction examining what a primate is, where it is likely to
be found, and the primate pattern. The following chapter addresses primate evolution. The author does a
good job of covering approximately 65 million years of
evolution in 25 pages. Although this is obviously a
superficial examination of the topic, it is adequate for
a course focusing on extant primates and their behaviors. Though short, it does manage to introduce topics
ranging from adaptive radiation to mitochondrial
DNA to the Y-5 dental pattern. One minor problem in
this chapter is that while all of the world maps depicting changing coastlines appear to be color-coded, there
is no key as to what the colors indicate.
The chapter addressing methods and theory covers the basics of fitness, reproductive strategies, and
kin selection. Also included are field methods and
primate social systems. The author presents this
seeming hodgepodge of information in a clear and
concise manner. Although both of the suggested
“further readings” are books and therefore somewhat less useful than a journal article to a student
who might wish further information on a particular
topic, the author adequately explains the basics of
both the theory and techniques that underlie primate research.
The two chapters that examine the Prosimians
are quite reader-accessible. One chapter focuses on
galagos, lorises, and tarsiers, while the other deals
with lemurs. In these and subsequent chapters, the
author examines patterns (i.e., skeletal, social, or
other) where appropriate of the various primate suborders or families. It is in the chapter on galagos,
lorises, and tarsiers that the reader first encounters
tables with summary statistics for the relevant species
(including items such as diet, size, social organization,
and home range). These tables are a particularly noteworthy feature of the text. They present a wealth of
up-to-date comparative data covering a wide range of
demographic issues. While the author notes that these
192
BOOK REVIEWS
from students, these questions might have been better presented in an instructor’s guide than in the
text itself. Another issue, as alluded to previously, is
the real mixture in quality of the illustrations, ranging from sophisticated, three-dimensional cladograms to simplistic two-tone maps to whimsical
lemur ancestors paddling a canoe to Madagascar.
Overall, Falk has succeeded in writing a solid
introductory Primates text. It covers all the basic
issues one is likely to want to include in a primate
course, and could easily be supplemented with other
materials should the instructor wish to devote more
attention to, for example, primate evolution or the-
ory. The text, through the use of the features mentioned above, manages to avoid the “grocery-list”
approach (i.e., species A is/does this, species B is/
does this, species C is/does this, etc., etc.) to a survey
of primates that one often encounters in other texts.
The diversity of primates in their ecological contexts
is reflected in a manner that both holds the reader’s
attention and encourages the reader to delve deeper
into what many of us consider a fascinating topic.
VICKI K. BENTLEY-CONDIT
Department of Anthropology
Grinnell College
Grinnell, Iowa
THE MENTALITIES OF GORILLAS AND ORANGUTANS. Edited
by Sue Taylor Parker, Robert W. Mitchell, and H.
Lyn Miles. New York: Cambridge University
Press. 1999. 419 pp. ISBN 0-521-58027-1. $85.00
(cloth).
such material, but other contributors did not use it
as a general context for comparative analyses. Only
Parker et al. explicitly refer to it, merely to argue
that tool use is a shared ancestral character of hominids (in which Begun includes orangutans and the
African great apes), so gorillas should show good
tool-using ability. Otherwise, only Boysen et al.,
Parker, Byrne, Fox et al., Whiten, and Call directly
address evolutionary questions. Parker gives a taxonomy at odds with Begun’s, and could have benefited from recent theoretical and empirical work on
life history evolution in humans and its connection
to the evolution of cognitive abilities. She concludes
(p. 66) that the slower life histories in great apes
than monkeys are “closely associated” with the
“greater intellectual abilities” of apes, “as previously
indicated,” but does not actually indicate this more
than cursorily. More effort to put material on communication, object manipulation, and deception in
an evolutionary context would have been useful.
Parker and Mitchell’s final chapter on “The Mentalities of Gorillas and Orangutans in Phylogenetic
Perspective” does not do this, but instead summarizes the conclusions of earlier chapters. Semendeferi’s chapter is informative to those lacking neuroanatomical expertise, but completely isolated from
other contributions.
None of four chapters on “communication” deal
with natural communication systems of wild orangutans or gorillas, although Tanner and Byrne (gestural communication by gorillas at the San Francisco Zoo) summarize the scant comparative data
available from field studies. Their interesting account of iconicity in gorilla gestures, which mostly
seem to concern actions the signaler desires others
to perform, ought to inspire fieldworkers to look for
similar behavior and to take seriously their argument that gestural communication helps in negotiating social relationships. The other three chapters
concern ape “language” projects, and partisanship is
the order of the day. Neither Shapiro and Galdikas
(teaching American Sign Language (ASL) signs to a
rehabilitant orangutan at Tanjung Putting), Miles
(comparative “linguistic” abilities of chimpanzees,
The editors of this volume argue that orangutans
and gorillas have been underrepresented in publications and research on great ape cognition, and seek
to redress this imbalance and thereby minimize the
possibility of bias in comparisons of hominoid cognitive abilities. Some bias exists, as two chapters on
tool use by captive gorillas (Parker, Kerr, Markowitz, chapter 9, and Gold, Boysen, Kuhlmeier, Halliday, and Halliday) and one on gorilla object manipulation (Gomez) indicate. One route to redress this
deficit would have been to present comprehensive
overviews of theory and evidence for particular important issues (e.g., attributional abilities; mechanisms of social learning; tool use and technical intelligence), integrated with presentations of
relevant original research. Several chapters do this
to some extent. However, most do not and are narrowly focused, and the book, like many edited volumes, lacks unifying themes. Physical anthropologists will find some valuable material on tool use
(notably Fox, Sitompul, and van Schaik’s summary
of their recent data on tool use by, and toolkits of,
wild orangutans), on the evolution of ape cognitive
abilities (e.g., Byrne’s summary of his publications
on lateralization and “program level imitation” in
mountain gorilla food processing), and on topics relevant to debates about human uniqueness (e.g., Whiten
on maternal encouragement of infant locomotor development in gorillas; Call’s review of data on “imitation”
by orangutans), but these problems limit the book’s
appeal.
The book opens with reviews of debates about
hominoid phylogeny and taxonomy (Begun, who also
gives a brief, clear introduction to cladistics), of life
histories and development in apes, cebus monkeys,
and macaques (Parker), and of comparative data on
great ape frontal lobe anatomy (Semendeferi). Begun’s chapter is useful for readers unfamiliar with
BOOK REVIEWS
193
bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans), nor Bonvillian
and Patterson (comparison between deaf children
and the gorillas Koko and Michael with regard to
timing of ASL sign acquisition, the “grammatical
categories” of early signs, etc.) do more than acknowledge in passing the serious debates about calling the apes’ behavior “linguistic.” Miles unquestioningly accepts glosses that researchers have put on
ASL signs and ignores possible alternative explanations to claims that Washoe “combined signs to
make new meanings” (p. 199) and that Koko “uses
language for humor, metaphors, jokes, rhymes, and
puns” (p. 201). She also refers to all ASL signs and
all lexigrams as “symbols” (Table 10.1, pp. 205–206,
and elsewhere), rather than distinguishing icons,
indexes, and symbols. Dispassionate critical approaches to material on apes and language are rare,
but a chapter by a skeptic might have facilitated
intellectual progress.
Several chapters implicitly or explicitly address
an issue at the heart of debates concerning cognitive
discontinuities between great apes and humans: can
great apes attribute mental states to others? These
achieve some balance and timeliness, although without any synthetic overview. Tanner and Bryne may
not be on strong ground arguing that a gorilla
“seemed to understand what the partner might. . . understand from his . . . performance” (p. 230)
and had “an understanding of the partner as an
intentional and responding being” (p. 231). “Responding” is uncontroversial, but as Whiten (who
notes that maternal encouragement may show understanding of offspring ignorance and thus qualify
as teaching, but gives good reasons for skepticism)
and Call, in his chapter on “imitation” by orangutans, point out, claims that great apes can attribute
mental states are controversial, and most experimental evidence argues against them. Russon’s
chapter summarizes anecdotal and experimental
data on “imitation” of tool use by rehabilitant orangutans at Tanjung Puting, but Call argues that
these and other claims for imitation are open to
alternative explanations (individual learning, stimulus enhancement, emulation). Unlike Russon, he
carefully defines these terms and also distinguishes
“mimicking” and “imitative learning.” He summarizes experiments, including his with Tomasello,
showing that orangutans do well at reproducing gestures and body movements (mimicking), but poorly
when they have to reproduce the actions of human
demonstrators explicitly (imitation) to solve problems. He concludes that no controlled experimental
studies of orangutans give positive evidence for imitative learning. In his view, this is because they
cannot understand either that models’ actions are
means to obtain goals or, more likely, that models’
actions toward “third persons” (including objects)
are relevant to their own problems. Both Call and
Whiten provide discussions useful to readers (and
researchers) familiar with the relevant literature
and those who can use an introduction to the debates. Mitchell uses “script theory” to reframe the
argument that great apes are skilled at “deception”
because they are skilled at recognizing regularities
in responses to their own behavior and at predicting
others’ behavior: deceptive acts are violations of
“strategic scripts.” Such ability is required for deception, but allows for deception without attribution.
However, his review of deception suffers from the
long-standing problems of reliance on anecdotes as
data and of possible overinterpretation (e.g., production of an incorrect ASL sign is deception).
Ultimately, most readers will use this book selectively. The narrowest chapters (e.g., Parker on sensorimotor intelligence and play in gorillas) probably
have a correspondingly narrow audience. Nonspecialists can find much value in the broader ones (e.g., Fox
et al., Call), but few are likely to decide that they need
such a relatively expensive volume on their shelves.
DAVID P. WATTS
Department of Anthropology
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut
BOOKS RECEIVED
mates of Eurasia. New York: Cambridge University
Press. 372 pp. $95.00 (cloth).
Lee PC (ed.) (2001) Comparative Primate Socioecology.
New York: Cambridge University Press. 412 pp.
$39.95 (paper).
Relethford J (2001) Genetics and the Search for Modern
Human Origins. New York: Wiley-Liss. 252 pp.
$69.95 (cloth).
Sherman PW, and Alcock J (eds.) (2001) Exploring
Animal Behavior: Readings From Scientific American, 3rd ed. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.
313 pp. $21.95 (paper).
Alcock J (2001) Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach, 7th ed. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.
550 pp. $76.95 (cloth).
Altmann J (2001) Baboon Mothers and Infants. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 242 pp. $17.00
(paper).
de Bonis L, Koufos GD, and Andrews P (eds.) (2001)
Hominoid Evolution and Climate Change in Europe.
Volume 2: Phylogeny of the Neogene Hominoid Pri-
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