Last Ape Standing: The Seven-Million-Year Story of How and Why We Survivedby Chip Walter
Over the past 150 years scientists have discovered evidence that at least twenty-seven species of humans evolved on planet Earth. These weren't simply variations on apes, but upright-walking humans who lived side by side, competing, cooperating, sometimes even mating with our direct ancestors. Why did the line of ancient humans who eventually evolved into us survive… See more details below
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Over the past 150 years scientists have discovered evidence that at least twenty-seven species of humans evolved on planet Earth. These weren't simply variations on apes, but upright-walking humans who lived side by side, competing, cooperating, sometimes even mating with our direct ancestors. Why did the line of ancient humans who eventually evolved into us survive when the others were shown the evolutionary door?
Chip Walter draws on new scientific discoveries to tell the fascinating tale of how our survival was linked to our ancestors being born more prematurely than others, having uniquely long and rich childhoods, evolving a new kind of mind that made us resourceful and emotionally complex; how our highly social nature increased our odds of survival; and why we became self aware in ways that no other animal seems to be. Last Ape Standing also profiles the mysterious "others" who evolved with us-the Neanderthals of Europe, the "Hobbits" of Indonesia, the Denisovans of Siberia and the just-discovered Red Deer Cave people of China who died off a mere eleven thousand years ago.
Last Ape Standing is evocative science writing at its best-a witty, engaging and accessible story that explores the evolutionary events that molded us into the remarkably unique creatures we are; an investigation of why we do, feel, and think the things we do as a species, and as people-good and bad, ingenious and cunning, heroic and conflicted.
Chip Walter's Last Ape Standing is provocative, insightful and engaging; a rare trifecta among science books. Nearly every page offers something that will surprise or intrigue you.
I read Last Ape Standing while sitting, then I jumped up and cheered. It's that good!
The saga of human evolution is far from a straight line from ape to angel, with all but one of many species going extinct. Chip Walter's thoroughly enjoyable new book considers the evolutionary and social forces that crafted us, modern humans, and presents an intriguing scenario of why Homo sapiens is the Last Ape Standing.
This book has a way of making you feel magnificently insignificant and at the same time an essential, vital part of the chain of human evolution. Just when you thought you were fully evolved as a human.....think again. Mind blowing stuff!
[A] captivating and informative field trip through man's paleontological past...an exceptionally well-written overview of man's evolutionary history as well as an accessible guide to the underappreciated field of paleoanthropology.
Whether reading as a student or simply somone interested in how we came to be who we are today, Last Ape Standing provides a captivating look at science's evidence of evolution.
[An] engaging accounts...shed[s] a fascinating light on our evolutionary success.
Chip Walter has made himself indispensable to audiences craving the latest information about our evolutionary past. No one wrties about early man, evolutionary dead ends or our pre-human rivals better than Chip Walter. If all science books were this witty and well-written, everyone would be a nerd.
Walter takes an antic delight in the triumphal adaptations and terrifying near misses of human evolution...Last Ape Standing makes for a lively journey.
- Bloomsbury USA
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