Coming Soon: How Primates Eat: A Synthesis of Nutritional Ecology across a Mammal Order (University of Chicago Press)

(Submitted by Nick Lilly, University of Chicago Press)

How Primates Eat: A Synthesis of Nutritional Ecology across a Mammal Order; editors Joanna E. Lambert, Margaret A. H. Bryer and Jessica M. Rothman, will be published soon.

The book explores everything from nutrients to food acquisition and research methods, a comprehensive synthesis of the study of diet and feeding in nonhuman primates.

What do we mean when we say that a diet is nutritious? Why can some animals get all the energy they need from eating leaves while others would perish on such a diet? Why don’t mountain gorillas eat fruit all day as chimpanzees do? Answers to these questions about food and feeding are among the many tasty morsels that emerge from this authoritative book. Informed by the latest scientific tools and millions of hours of field and laboratory work on species across the primate order and around the globe, this volume is an exhaustive synthesis of our understanding of what, why, and how primates eat. State-of-the-art information presented at physiological, behavioral, ecological, and evolutionary scales will serve as a road map for graduate students, researchers, and practitioners as they work toward a holistic understanding of life as a primate and the urgent conservation consequences of diet and food availability in a changing world.

Joanna E. Lambert is an evolutionary biologist and professor of animal ecology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she directs the American Canid Project. Margaret A. H. Bryer is assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Jessica M. Rothman is professor of anthropology at Hunter College, where she leads the Wildlife Ecology and Nutrition Project and Wildlife Nutritional Ecology Lab.

Publishing July 30, How Primates Eat has already received some wonderful advance praise, highlighted below. If you would like more information on the book or its editors and authors, please contact Nicholas Lilly, Marketing Manager, The University of Chicago Press, 1427 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 702-7490.


“This work absolutely is essential for graduate training in primatology. More broadly, because primate diets and ecology are better understood than those of any other mammalian order, the findings are relevant to understanding the feeding ecology of Mammalia. As a professional, I will have a copy on my shelf and will consult it often. This is one of the best and most tightly themed science books I have seen. It will be cited repeatedly and will be a gateway for the study of primate dietary ecology.”

—Richard Frederick Kay, Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University

How Primates Eat is, at the same time, a masterly synthe­sis of current knowledge of primate nutritional ecology, a celebration of all that has been achieved over the last 50 years, and a road map for future research.”

—T. H. Clutton-Brock, from the foreword

“This is an amazing book. . . . Where once the study of primate feeding (and, with rare exceptions, it was mainly just that) meant collecting ob­servations of behavior, today it (routinely, I’m tempted to say) encompasses energetics and nutrition, hormones and microbiomes, phytochemistry and physiology as well. . . . The journey is far from over, as the editors signal in their preface, but this book is surely a major milestone along the way.”

—Alison Richard, from the afterword