Home Books E-mail

Praise for Melvin Patrick Ely and Naama Zahavi-Ely's English Translation of
Amotz and Avishag Zahavi's
The Handicap Principle

Among the most revolutionary and controversial concepts in modern behavioral biology is the Handicap Principle developed by the Zahavis. After initially encountering resistance, it has been receiving increased acceptance for its success in explaining an enormous variety of animal behaviors and anatomical structures, from gazelles' seemingly suicidal displays to men's beards. Read this fine book, and discover what the excitement is all about!

--Jared M. Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies and The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal

This fascinating, provocative, insightful, and controversial book will charm, inform, and sometimes infuriate all of those interested in understanding animal and human communication.

--Paul Ekman, Professor of Psychology, University of California, San Francisco

Elegantly written, exhaustively researched, and consistently enlivened by equal measures of insight and example, The Handicap Principle illuminates virtually every kind of animal communication.


The Handicap Principle is an important new theory that explains many seemingly diverse problems in evolutionary biology. This book is highly readable yet rigorous enough for specialists.

--Bruce D. Neville, Library Journal

The Handicap Principle fills a rare niche in scientific books--namely, a book in which the scientific ideas are presented honestly and accurately, in a clear and interesting way, without talking down to non-specialists.

--Walter J. Bock, BioScience