Monkeys: Brain Development, Social and Hormonal Mechanisms and Zoonotic Diseases (Animal Science, Issues and Professions) by Hugo A. Barrera Saldaña
2014 | ISBN: 1631178512 | English | 254 pages | PDF | 7 MB
This book is a collection of fascinating contributions from research experts around the world and their studies on monkeys, their brains, behaviors, endocrinology, diseases that pose potential threats to our species and the evolution of hormonal genes.
If "humans are like onions-made of layers", as said by the character in the movie Shrek, monkeys are perhaps made of the same layers, except for the outermost. Thus, we share most of our genetics, physiology and pathology with them, in addition to our behavior and social conduct. These great similarities, particularly in metabolic aspects, are thoroughly documented by the authors that close the book which describes the baboon as just an experimental animal model used to discover the genetic and hormonal alterations behind the appearance of those chronic diseases that have become a pandemic.
The authors dealing with the brain development subject make the point that, given the position that non-human primates (NHP) occupy within the evolutionary tree, and as the closest phylogenetic species to humans, the rhesus monkeys constitute an ideal animal model for the study of fundamental neural mechanisms occurring throughout the developmental and maturation phases of life; from the neonatal to senile stages.
The authors involved in the social aspects subject review the most important findings on physical and social cognitions in New World monkeys (NWM), including their recent research aimed at obtaining a more general picture of the distribution of physical cognitive skills across monkey species as well as some information on the monkeys' gestural and vocal communications, gaze following skills, tool use culture and theory of mind.
The authors in the zoonotic field illustrate in their chapters that NHP are an example of animal populations representing many wild reservoirs for zoonotic diseases. They also discuss the effect of environmental degradation, pollution, climate changes and other anthropogenic factors which can cause changes in the dynamics of these populations. On the other hand, since the role of the naturally occurring infectious pathologies in the reproductive research in key NHP species has received less attention, a description of the most common infectious pathologies in NHPs and their influence on the reproductive research is also included.
Finally, in the hormonal domain chapters the authors deal with the evolutionary aspects of the growth hormone (GH) and prolactin genes in higher primates. They describe that in primates, as opposed to rodents and ruminants in which gene duplications involving the prolactin gene rendered a myriad prolactin-like hormones family, this evolutionary process acted on the GH gene and rendered an accelerated evolutionary process that resulted in several groups of primates experiencing parallel yet independent routes, resulting in diverse clusters of GH-related genes varying in numbers, types and arrangements.
This book presents a collection of state of the art knowledge and research tendencies on the efforts to establish monkeys as the best animal models for advancing the understanding of our species evolution. They also describes that monkeys, along with natural selection, helped shape our bodies and minds. The way they operate is also discussed, as well as both the endogenous and exogenous threats to their healthy functioning. This book has a guaranteed place in the preferences of scientists around the world interested in these fields.
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