From award-winning ethnomusicologist and evolutionary
musicologist from the University of Melbourne, Joseph Jordania, this book discusses the long and dynamic evolutionary interaction between human ancestors and the ancestors of the big cat. The author closely follows the history of their relationship, from initial sporadic contacts between tree-living primates and ancestral big cats, to their later rivalry on the woodlands and open savanna, and finally into the present day where both big and small cats still captivate the eyes and minds of millions of people - this book essentially presents the original hypothesis of human and big cat co-evolution. Why were humans and lions the two most widespread mammalian species of our planet? Why are lions social and why do they have manes? Why are virtually all man-eating lions male and all man-eating tigers female? Why is the tiger the world’s favourite animal, and why are cats so popular on the internet? Why do many dictators and tyrants hate cats? Why do most singing animals in the world live in trees? Why are peafowls not interested in a peacock’s dazzling tail? Why do we talk to ourselves and why do we have radios and TVs turned on when no one is watching or listening? Why do soldiers dance together before combat missions? Why are there several movies about the legendary 300 Spartans and not a single one about the Sacred Band of Thebes, who defeated the mighty Spartans on two separate occasions? Why do some people have split personalities?
circle of questions from the nature of altruism and cannibalism to homosexualism, the evolutionary origins of human music, dance and body painting and even the development of culture and religion.
“Jordania’s account of big cat evolution and behavior is of course scientific but it is also truly original. A reader will be surprised by many of his findings, all of which make perfect sense, and one will wonder why they weren’t mentioned before. The reason certainly seems to be that Jordania saw them first. We don’t often encounter books of this kind. It’s invaluable and extremely interesting.”
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