Human Evolution: Trails from the Past

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Human Evolution provides a comprehensive overview of hominid evolution, synthesising data and approaches from fields as diverse as physical anthropology, evolutionary biology, molecular biology, genetics, archaeology, psychology and philosophy.
The book starts with chapters on evolution, population genetics, systematics, and the methods for constructing evolutionary trees. These are followed by a comprehensive review of the fossil history of human evolution since our ...
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Overview


Human Evolution provides a comprehensive overview of hominid evolution, synthesising data and approaches from fields as diverse as physical anthropology, evolutionary biology, molecular biology, genetics, archaeology, psychology and philosophy.
The book starts with chapters on evolution, population genetics, systematics, and the methods for constructing evolutionary trees. These are followed by a comprehensive review of the fossil history of human evolution since our divergence from the apes. Subsequent chapters cover more recent data, both fossil and molecular, relating to the evolution of modern humans. A final section describes the evolution of culture, language, art, and morality.
The authors are leading experts in two complementary fields of scholarship, physical anthropology and molecular evolution. Throughout the book they successfully integrate their expertise in evolutionary theory, phylogenetics, genomics, cultural evolution, language, aesthetics and morality to produce a cutting edge textbook, copiously illustrated and with an extensive and up-to-date bibliography. It will be suitable for both senior undergraduate and graduate level students taking courses on human evolution within departments of biology, anthropology, psychology and philosophy. The book will also appeal to a more general audience seeking a readable, up-to-date and inclusive treatment of human origins and evolution.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198567790
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/2/2007
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Camilo J. Cela-Conde is Director of the Laboratory of Human Systematics and Professor at the University of Islas Baleares (Spain). He is a Fellow (elected 1999) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is author of two books on human evolution, plus a dozen more books on fiction, biography, essay, and science. He has published numerous articles in scientific journals, mostly related to anthropology and human evolution Francisco J. Ayala is University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. He was awarded the U.S. National Medal of Science for 2001. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and of Academies of Science from Italy, Russia, Spain and other countries. He has received numerous awards and gold medals, as well as honorary degrees from six countries.

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Table of Contents


Preface: Homo sapiens, the rational animal     vii
Evolution, genetics, and systematics     1
The theory of evolution     1
Population and evolutionary genetics     9
The classification of living beings     33
The evolution of hominoids     44
Hominoid taxonomy     44
Early Miocene hominoids     54
Middle Miocene: the migration of apes out of Africa     61
Late Miocene: the divergence of great apes     70
The hominin lineage     81
The origin of hominins     81
Bipedal locomotion     92
Miocene and Pliocene genera and species     106
The first hominins     106
Australopithecus     117
Pliocene hominins: South Africa and the Rift Valley     135
South African sites     135
South African hominins of the Pliocene     145
The "gracile" and "robust" alternatives in East Africa     156
The Pliocene cladogenesis: Paranthropus versus Homo     166
Evidence from Koobi Fora     166
Alternatives in the evolution of robust and gracile clades     181
The radiation of Homo     194
Asian Homo erectus     194
Theerectus grade in Africa     205
Evolutionary characteristics of the erectus grade     216
Cultural patterns in the migration out of Africa     216
The earliest cultures     228
Homo in Europe     241
The late-Pleistocene transition     253
Archaic Homo sapiens     253
Neanderthals     271
Molecular data     287
The origin of modern humans     300
The uniqueness of being human     314
Culture and mental traits during the late Paleolithic     314
The origins of symbolism     326
The origin of language     339
The evolution of moral behavior     353
Glossary     367
References     377
Index     419
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