The Selfish Ape: The Tribe of Suit

2011 ,    »  -   16 Comments
Ratings: 6.98/10 from 60 users.

Our lineage evolved out there in a dangerous world in which only the winners are capable of surviving. Some families acquired fangs, others procured amazing adaptations that enabled them to prosper in the most inhospitable places on the planet. These fierce clashes made us learn. They shaped us in the only law we have become the true masters of; to compete, to eat, to destroy. From a caste of vegetarian primates we had to learn to kill and thus we became carnivores, but our tree-dwelling past shaped us forever.

Everything was going well. Our species extended throughout the entire planet like an oil slick. The great African plains taught us the importance of an efficient brain with which we could hunt the most colossal creatures and eat them. The plain dwellers lived in immense herds that provided us an abundance of meat. We finished almost all of them off. Today only one of the large ones is left the only giant we’ve allowed to live.

The African elephant is a vegetable eating machine that can radically change the landscape it inhabits. It is the mega-herbivore, a 21 kilogram heart at the service of a trunk. This, the greatest devourer of plants on the planet, is not the only one capable of irreversibly altering its environment.

There is an ape whose capacity to multiply can be qualified as plague-like, the selfish ape. Human beings are not foreign to this race that lasts millions of years. As animals we are very much a part of it. We belong to the ancient lineage of primates. Our family began with animals similar to these, primitive insect-eaters small and insignificant nocturnal creatures that scurried to the haven of forests dominated by giant reptiles.

Little by little these big-eyed shy beings expanded their diet and solved the digestive problems brought on by consuming plants. Our ancestors discovered that fruit and leaves were abundant. In order to exploit this new resource, evolution provided them with everything they needed.

Their vision improved to find ripe fruit. Their eyes moved to the front of their face and their hands evolved to grab and rip with precision. With this new binocular vision in color, their appendages fit for manipulation, and their ever increasing brain size, they slowly dominated the three-dimensional world of trees.

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16 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Eric71Can

    Not bad doc, with good pictures and some good scientific informations
    mixed with an annoying (and not required) moral that streched the elastic a little too much.

    "More poor and underfed people than there was in the beginning of the 20th century. "

    Ok but they forgot to mention that we passed from 1 billion to 7 billions since then.

  2. bringmeredwine

    This is made by the same people who brought us The Zo'e Tribe. The film sequences are beautiful. The content is educational and provocative. New theories are presented about how and why we've evolved to be what we are, "The Tribe of Suits".
    Not warm and fuzzy stuff and some scenes might be disturbing to animal lovers.

  3. Paul Gloor

    Coulda done without the 'selfish' ape in the business suit tho. Otherwise good stuff. I like the Homo aquaticus theory, it makes sense.

  4. englishgirlinjapan

    A superb and truly inspiring documentary.

    A reminder of the speech made at the UN, known as "the girl who silenced the world for five minutes",  with the same message to all the tribes of "men in suits" in all their guises.

    Let's hope that the next generation will learn from this and accept their differences and actually change the current mindset from a less selfish, destructive view to a more caring and respectful one to others.

    Climbs off soapbox.

  5. Glen

    Biggest problem is why some believe in religion,alcohol,gambling,sociopaths etc

  6. WiseGapist

    That statement is gibberish...

  7. Philio

    At the most elementary school material.

  8. Luyang Han

    Nice and interesting doc. I didn't know the aquatic ape theory before.

  9. jerrymack

    So, nature set us up to destroy the world? Makes no sense. This documentary just shows how little we really know.

  10. ThePhilhw

    Good, thought provoking documentary.
    Makes a good point, as a species, we will almost certainly be the source of our own demise.

  11. Warren

    Excluding the self-depricating humour.

  12. alangread

    We're no more selfish than any other species- just dangerously capable, prolific and irresponsible!

  13. Paul

    A great end section and the insight into our social interactions was really fascinating. I never really learned those social rules and have wondered why I struggle, this explains quite a bit.

  14. Jacek Walker

    It is not a secret that some behave like animals no matter how they try to dissimulate it. That is especially those who chase power and fame.
    No matter how many fake smiles or beautiful words they do apply, their ulterior motives will be exposed sooner or later to a sensitive observer.
    And the motives are always to grab as much as possibe and trample down all the rest...uhh
    We may call them apes in suits or simply predatory psychopats. It is the same species anyway.

  15. Jacek Walker

    "We're no more selfish than any other species"
    True but this only confirms that we haven't progressed much. For good or for bad. ;)

  16. Globehopper

    From å evolutionary view we are still infants, are we not? Lets just hope the next level is a more enlighten one, and that we reach it before its too late!

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