Books I Love: Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language

This book quite literally changed my life. It is the book that made me realize I wanted a ‘favorite books’ section on my bookshelf.

Book cover

For many animals, grooming each other is a primary method of creating and maintaining social bonds. It’s quite literally “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” However, these bonds are limited by practicality: each animal can only groom one other at a time. Dunbar posits that conversation developed as a way for us to develop these social bonds with several others simultaneously.

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