The Third Chimpanzee

On the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal

Adapted by Rebecca Stefoff

The Third Chimpanzee was first published in 1991 and has been in print ever since. This new, illustrated edition is aimed at a young readership. In it, Jared Diamond explores what makes us human and poses fascinating questions.

  • If we share more than 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, how is it that we can write, read, talk, build telescopes and bombs, while we put our speechless and bomb-less close relatives in cages and zoos?
  • What can woodpeckers teach us about spacecraft?
  • Is genocide a human invention?
  • Why does extinction matter?
  • Why are we destroying the natural resources on which we depend for survival?
  • What hope is there for future generations?

Not only is The Third Chimpanzee a mind-boggling survey of how we came to be, but it is also a plea to the next generation to "make better decisions than their parents and get us out of the mess we're in."

'A master storyteller of the human race.'

– Daily Mail

'Informative, most fascinating, and very readable.'

– Library Journal

'This is exactly the kind of book that should be a 'set text' for secondary school science: engaging, thought-provoking and bang up to the minute. if your teachers aren't recommending books like this - go out and get them anyway.'

– Guy Claxton, author of What's the Point of School?

‘An important book and a valuable resource for students of the natural sciences’

– Carousel

'Thoughtful readers interested in any fields related to evolutionary science, anthropology, psychology, human history, and culture will find plenty to ponder.'

– School Library Journal

Praise for the adult edition:

‘Written with great wit and a pleasure to read... forces one to reflect thoroughly on the puzzle of human evolution, on where we came from and where we may be heading.’

– New York Times