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Has anybody here , read any books by Desmond Morris?

Discussion in 'Zoo Memorabilia' started by Jose, 3 Nov 2009.

  1. Jose

    Jose Well-Known Member

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    I just wondered whether anyone here on zoochat has read any books by the famous British zoologist , ethologist and athropologist Desmond Morris? I am very fond of these books and have a collection of them, i especially like the no nonsense way Desmond Morris treats the human being as simply another animal to be analysed accordingly.
    Does anyone like his books? if so why? if not why?
     
  2. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I have "The Naked Ape", which is an interesting and still relevant book, and I've read "Intimate Behaviour" which is another fascinating book. I enjoy his style of writing, but I only wish that he didn't spend so much time discussing boring old humans instead of other types of animals.:)
     
  3. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    There was another book called Men and Panda's (I think) of his also some of the UK folk may remeber a tv show in the 60s called "Zoo Time" with Desmond Morris, I bet Bongobob would know of it
     
  4. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    “Men and Pandas” is one of three books that Morris wrote with his wife Ramona. The other two in this series were “Men and Apes” and “Men and Snakes”.

    Another, more recent book, is his autobiography “Watching: Encounters with Humans and other Animals” (2006).

    “Zoo Time”, which started in the 1950s, was my favourite television programme when I was a child.
     
  5. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Glad I am not the only one to remeber that far back LOL :D
     
  6. Jose

    Jose Well-Known Member

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    yes i agree snowleopard , the naked ape is one of my favourite books , i have many of his like > the human zoo, the naked ape , manwatching , the naked woman , and also his auto biography which also is of some interest ,i find his style of writing very interesting
     
  7. Jose

    Jose Well-Known Member

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    I read that desmond Morris was once curator of mammals at the london zoo for a short period of time , however he left due to differences of opinions with others and also he was alarmed at the stagnation of the zoo and its victorian outlook , i read his biography and highly recommend it to everyone here on zoochat , there are some very humorous stories about the programe zoo time and particulary about one vampire bat which appeared on the show
     
  8. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    He was indeed. He was one of the first people to try to implement a 'marriage bureau' of InterZoo exchanges in order to pair up rare species where one zoo had a male and another a female. His most famous attempt in this direction was the Giant Pandas AnAn(Moscow) and ChiChi(London). The full story of the politics, frustrations and failure of that exercise are related in 'Men & Pandas.'

    I think the TV series 'Zoo Time' was made during his period of Office at the Zoo. He also featured a much publicised Chimpanzee 'Chumley' which painted pictures.

    Desmond Morris left London Zoo for reasons I don't fully understand, but I know there were actually demonstrations by the (then) Keeper Staff for him to leave...:confused:
     
  9. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    I just bought his autobiography 'Animal Days' for a penny plus postage on Amazon. It arrived very quickly and I'm looking forward to reading it this weekend!

    There's a fascinating picture of an animal cage he had built to allow him to study animal behaviour as he worked that took up most of his office at the zoo with what looks like a common marmoset and an agouti.
     
  10. Jose

    Jose Well-Known Member

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    There are a few chapters in his autobiography devoted to his experiences being the mammal curator , and i remember reading that he often found himself outnumbered when he sugested new ideas such as bigger enclosures ,more natrual animal grouping etc. it seems that at that point many of the longterm keepers were very conservative when it came to new ideas being implemented in London zoo
     
  11. DaxterD1

    DaxterD1 Member

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    The only one I've read by him is "The Animal Contract" but that is one of the best books I've ever read. Matches many of my personal views, but I'd recommend its views of equality, anti-demonising and conservation to anyone who even remotely cares for animals.
     
  12. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    Just noticed this post. Yes I remember Zoo Time very well, and I once saw it being filmed at Chester Zoo in 1967-68.
     
  13. pinkback

    pinkback Well-Known Member

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    I have most of his books, but did,nt know he had written a biography, I,ll look out for it.
    The observation cage was in the offices on the upper floor of the Clore then it was first built. I remember seeing the common marmosets and green achouchis in it. It was demolished long ago to make more office space.
     
  14. Meaghan Edwards

    Meaghan Edwards Well-Known Member

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    I have his panda book :)