Select Page

The Information Continuum

Evolution of Social Information Transfer in Monkeys, Apes, and Hominids

Barbara J. King

The Information Continuum creates a synthetic view of the evolution of communication among primates. King contends that the crucial element in the evolution of information acquisition and transfer is the acquired ability to donate information to others.

1994. 166 pp., black-and-white photographs, tables, notes, references, index, 7 x 10

Contributors: Barbara J. King

Download an excerpt.

“[Barbara King’s] work is an exceptionally thoughtful synthesis of matters critically relevant to the evolution of human language… [It is] an excellent supplement for studies in anthropology, psychology, primatology, or animal behavior.”
—F.S. Szalay, Choice Vol. 33, no. 3 (November 1995)

The Information Continuum provides a succinct and thoughtful account of the evolution of social information transfer in monkeys, apes and humans. King’s novel approach to the study of social information transfer offers many new and exciting avenues of research for those interested in the evolution of communication… I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in topics related to information transfer or the evolution of language.”
—Dr. Nancy Krusko, International Journal of Primatology Vol. 17, no. 3, (1996)

“I recommend this book as a provocative and forcefully presented analysis that should be of interest to behavioral primatologists and anthropologists.”
—Harold Gouzoules, American Journal of Primatology Vol. 40 (1996)

“[Barbara] King has done an admirable job bringing together data to support a continuity theory of the evolution of information donation in primates. The book is very readable and should enjoy wide readership among primatologists, anthropologists, semioticians, linguists, and others interested in the evolution of human communication.”
—John D. Newman, Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease Vol. 184, no. 7 (July 1996)


  1. Social Information Transfer
  2. The Social Behavior of Monkeys and Apes
  3. Foraging and Tool Use in Monkeys and Apes
  4. Hominids
  5. A Diachronic Model for Information Donation
  6. Information Donation, Language, and Human Uniqueness

There are no working papers for this book at the present time.