The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors

The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors

by Ann Gibbons
     
 

ISBN-10: 140007696X

ISBN-13: 9781400076963

Pub. Date: 04/10/2007

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

In this dynamic account, award-winning science writer Ann Gibbons chronicles an extraordinary quest to answer the most primal of questions: When and where was the dawn of humankind? Following four intensely competitive international teams of scientists in a heated race to find the “missing link”–the fossil of the earliest human…  See more details below

Overview

In this dynamic account, award-winning science writer Ann Gibbons chronicles an extraordinary quest to answer the most primal of questions: When and where was the dawn of humankind? Following four intensely competitive international teams of scientists in a heated race to find the “missing link”–the fossil of the earliest human ancestor–Gibbons ventures to Africa, where she encounters a fascinating array of fossil hunters: Tim White, the irreverent Californian who discovered the partial skeleton of a primate that lived 4.4 million years ago in Ethiopia; French paleontologist Michel Brunet, who uncovers a skull in Chad that could date the beginnings of humankind to seven million years ago; and two other groups–one led by zoologist Meave Leakey, the other by British geologist Martin Pickford and his French paleontologist partner, Brigitte Senut–who enter the race with landmark discoveries of their own. Through scrupulous research and vivid first-person reporting, The First Human reveals the perils and the promises of fossil hunting on a grand competitive scale.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400076963
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/10/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,390,704
Product dimensions:
5.18(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.72(d)

Table of Contents

Map : the cradle of humanity
"First human" fossil finds by year
Time line : the human family
The fossil hunters
Pt. 1Ancient footsteps23
Ch. 1African trailblazers25
Ch. 2Continental divide46
Ch. 3The early ancestor59
Ch. 4Drawing bloodlines70
Ch. 5Lucy, the late ancestor79
Ch. 6Defining humans88
Ch. 7Banishment98
Pt. 2The decade of discovery117
Ch. 8The lady of the lake119
Ch. 9A view from afar129
Ch. 10The root ape137
Ch. 11West side story153
Ch. 12Turf wars166
Ch. 13Toeing the line180
Ch. 14Millennium man193
Ch. 15Toumai208
Pt. 3Wisdom of the bones223
Ch. 16Bones of contention225
Ch. 17Habitat for humanity236

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