Sneezing Behavior in the Squirrel Monkey and Its Biological Significance

  • Gary G. Schwartz
  • Leonard A. Rosenblum


When Ernst Mayr (1961) declared that there are “two biologies,” a “How does it work?” and a “Why is it so?” biology, he stressed the division between two natural sciences: functional and evolutionary biology. Functional biologists study “proximate” causes—mostly physiological processes—and are not particularly concerned with the history or meaning of the genetic programs of the organisms that possess them. Evolutionary biologists, on the other hand, study “ultimate” causes—biological diversity and its meaning—and are much vexed by such questions as, “Why are there lions and tigers and things?” (Waddington, 1957). A familiar tale by the Brothers Grimm may illustrate the viewpoints of the two biologies. Little Red Riding Hood’s observation, “Grandma, What big teeth you have!,” exemplifies the view of a functional biologist; the Wolf’s reply, “The better to eat you with,” the point of an evolutionary biologist.


Cavernous Sinus Squirrel Monkey World Monkey Nasal Secretion Functional Biologist 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary G. Schwartz
    • 1
  • Leonard A. Rosenblum
    • 1
  1. 1.Primate Behavior Laboratory and Department of PsychiatryDownstate Medical CenterBrooklynUSA

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