“There are one hundred and ninety-three living species of monkeys and apes. One hundred and ninety-two of them are covered with hair. The exception is a naked ape self-named Homo sapiens. This unusual and highly successful species spends a great deal of time examining his higher motives and an equal amount of time studiously ignoring his fundamental ones.”
- Desmond Morris (1928 - )
Desmond Morris is an English zoologist, ethologist and surrealist painter, as well as a popular author in human sociobiology. Morris was the Curator of mammals at the London Zoo and is known for his books The Naked Ape and The Human Zoo. In the former he depicts human behaviour as largely evolved to meet the challenges of prehistoric life as a hunter-gatherer. His explanations and theories, particulalrly about the development of sexuality in humans, have been contested by some academics.
“It must be stressed that there is nothing insulting about looking at people as animals. We are animals, after all. Homo sapiens is a species of primate, a biological phenomenon dominated by biological rules, like any other species. Human nature is no more than one particular kind of animal nature. Agreed, the human species is an extraordinary animal; but all other species are also extraordinary animals, each in their own way, and the scientific man-watcher can bring many fresh insights to the study of human affairs if he can retain this basic attitude of evolutionary humility.”