Primate Evolution and Human Origins

Overview

Primate Evolution and Human Origins compiles, for the first time, the major ideas and publications that have shaped our current view of the evolutionary biology of the primates and the origin of the human line. Designed for freshmen-to-graduate students in anthropology, paleontology, and biology, the book is a unique collection of classic papers, culled from the past 20 years of research. It is also an important reference for academicians and researchers, as it covers the entire scope of primate and human ...
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Overview

Primate Evolution and Human Origins compiles, for the first time, the major ideas and publications that have shaped our current view of the evolutionary biology of the primates and the origin of the human line. Designed for freshmen-to-graduate students in anthropology, paleontology, and biology, the book is a unique collection of classic papers, culled from the past 20 years of research. It is also an important reference for academicians and researchers, as it covers the entire scope of primate and human evolution (with an emphasis on the fossil record). A comprehensive bibliography cites over 2000 significant articles not found in the main text.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“How can one not like a volume that contains many of the most important papers published in primate and human evolutionary studies over the past 20 years? Ciochon and Fleagle have provided a valuable service by assembling 44 such papers into seven major categories, with a bibliography that alone is probably worth the price of the book… Ciochon and Fleagle’s volume nicely encapsulates many of the significant advances in the field of primate evolution over the past two decades. It is indeed exciting to ponder the developments that the next 20 years will bring.”

—Brian T. Shea, American Anthropologist

“[T]he primate sections that are of greatest value and although the book is designed for students, I would recommend it also to colleagues who wish to have readily available data and references on fossil primate research.”

—R. J. Clarke, The Quarterly Review of Biology

“The papers which are presented… are grouped under seven headings: Primate Origins; Evolution of Prosimians; Anthropoid Origins and New World Monkeys; The Evolution of Old World Monkeys and Apes; Ramapithecus and Human Origins; Early Hominids; and Diverse Approaches in Human Evolution. Within each group the papers are arranged more or less chronologically “to show how the debates and opinions on primate evolution have evolved.””

— K. L., Science

“[E]xcellent. Ciochon and Fleagle’s reader, Primate Evolution and Human Origins, is unusually successful. I am in general skeptical of the utility of readers, but this one is an exception. It covers most time periods except for the later Pleistocene, beginning with primate origins in the Paleocene and continuing to Homo erectus. The choice of contributions is always sensible, and each section is introduced by a succinct summary.”

—David Pillbeam, American Scientist

"[C]overs the whole range of the primate order. . . . [A] very interesting and salutary package. . . . [I]t is valuable to have such classic articles in one easily accessible place."

Nature

"By its well-balanced selection of original sources, the book provides an excellent overview of recent and current issues in primate evolution. It will be extremely valuable to teachers and students in paleoanthropology and especially in courses on the evolution of primates as a whole."

—Andrew Hill

"The book highlights the past several decades' most salient problems and debates in primate and human evolution, often contrasting the viewpoints of leading authorities. It is, therefore, of particular value for teachers and students."

—Brian Shea

"This collection of seminal articles on primate origins and phylogeny furnishes and excellent overview of that field over the past twenty-five years. Besides the invaluable compilation of these articles into one volume the editors outline the contribution of each paper to our understanding of primate ancestry. As illustrated in recent debates on hominid origins, views of primate fossils and phylogeny have shifted considerably over the past two decades. The ultimate value of Ciochon and Fleagle's volume is that it helps to make today's ideas and debates in those fields understandable."

—Richard Potts

"This is a wonderful book for courses in primate and human evolution. It is a well-chosen, carefully-organized selection of authoritative articles. The book is especially useful in helping students develop the ability to read primary literature and to deal with controversial questions in science. By stimulating critical thinking it adds an important dimension to their education that cannot be provided by a textbook alone."

—Elizabeth S. Watts

"This is a very up to date, broad ranging, and much needed volume for all courses in primate evolution and human origins."

—Clark Howell

"Although I am generally skeptical concerning anthologies I am enthusiastic about Primate Evolution and Human Origins. It combines a perceptive selection from the primary literature with introductory essays which orient students to critical issues and problems. The book can be used as a primary text in courses on primate and human evolution and as a supplementary text in a wide range of physical anthropology courses."

—David Pilbeam

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