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Episode 06: Being a Nice Animal

For over 35 years Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth have been studying wild African primates in order to better understand the evolution of the human mind. In this episode they tell us about their long-term study of free-ranging baboons in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Kinship and rank are tremendously important to these baboons. However, in this sophisticated society there seems to be a certain attentiveness, perhaps an obsession with other individuals’ relationships. Is this similar to how humans create social bonds and alliances, and does personality play a part in the ability of these baboons to survive? Listen and learn how these field researchers have approached these and other questions about how natural selection shapes the primate mind.


Robert Seyfarth and Dorothy Cheney’s website

Baboon Metaphysics

Being Human

Million Dollar Challenge

Adept Word Management

I [name], of [city, state ZIP], bequeath the sum of $[ ] or [ ] percent of my estate to L.S.B. Leakey Foundation for Research Related to Man’s Origins, Behavior & Survival, (dba The Leakey Foundation), a nonprofit organization with a business address of 1003B O’Reilly Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129 and a tax identification number 95-2536475 for its unrestricted use and purpose.

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