The First Humans: Origin and Early Evolution of the Genus Homo / Edition 1

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Overview

This volume addresses the origin of the human genus Homo, a major transition in human evolution and associated with major changes in brain size, locomotion, and culture, but one with many unanswered questions. How many different species of Homo were there, and how were they interrelated? Are stone tools a characteristic of early Homo? What was their function? How does the use of stone tools relate to changes in the dentition and brain size? Did adaptations for long distance running first appear with the origin of this genus? How does this relate to its diet and cultural abilities.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

"This volume provides an up-to-date, concise synthesis of what is known about early Homo and highlights what still remains to be done.” Journal of Human Evolution, 2009

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Frederick E. Grine

Fred Grine is Professor of Anthropology and of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University. He has published over 100 articles in scientific journals dealing with the subject of human evolution, and his work on the Late Pleistocene human fossil from Hofmeyr, South Africa, was named by Time Magazine as one of the top ten science stories of 2007. He edited Evolutionary History of the ‘Robust’ Australopithecines (1988, Aldine de Gruyter), and is author of Regional Human Anatomy: a Laboratory Workbook (2002, 2005, 2007, McGraw-Hill).

John G. Fleagle

John Fleagle is Distinguished Professor of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University. He has conducted paleontological field work in many parts of the world, including Argentina, Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopia and India. He is the author of the textbook Primate Adaptation and Evolution (1988, 1999, Elsevier), co-editor of the Human Evolution Sourcebook (1993, 2006, Prentice Hall), and editor of the journal Evolutionary Anthropology.

Richard E. Leakey

Richard Leakey is Professor of Anthropology at Stony Brook University and former Director of the Kenya National Museums and the Kenya Wildlife Service. His field work around Lake Turkana, Kenya, has yielded a treasure trove of hominin fossils that has provided much of the paleontological record on which our understanding of human evolution is based. He has authored a number of books, including Origins, and most recently, The Sixth Extinction: Patterns of Life and The Future of Humankind. He is Chairman of the Board of the Turkana Basin Institute at Stony Brook University.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Retrospectives and Theoretical Perspectives

1. Early humans: of whom do we speak?

Richard E. Leakey

2. Homo habilis - a premature discovery: remembered by one of its founding fathers, 42 years later

Phillip V. Tobia

3. Where does the genus Homo begin, and how would we know?

Bernard Wood

Part II. Craniodental Perspectives on Taxonomy and Systematics

4. The origin of Homo

William H. Kimbel

5. Comparisons of Early Pleisene skulls from East Africa and the Georgian Caucasus: evidence bearing on the origin and systematics of genus Homo

G. Philip Rightmire and David Lordkipanidze

6. Phenetic affinities of Plio-Pleisene Homo fossils from South Africa: molar cusp proportions

Frederick E. Grine, Heather F. Smith, Christopher P. Heesy and Emma J. Smith

Part III. Postcranial Perspectives on Locomotion and Adaptation

7. Evolution of the hominin shoulder: early Homo

Susan G. Larson

8. Brains, brawn, and the evolution of human endurance running capabilities

Daniel E. Lieberman, Dennis M. Bramble, David A. Raichlen and John J. Shea

9. Interlimb proportions in humans and fossil hominins: variability and scaling

William L. Jungers

Part IV. Perspectives on Development, Diet and Behavior

10. Growth and development of the Nariokotome youth, KNM-WT 15000

M. Christopher Dean and B. Holly Smith

11. Dental evidence for diets of early Homo

Peter S. Ungar and Robert S. Scott

12. Origins and adaptations of early Homo: what archaeology tells us

Hélène Roche, Robert J. Blumenschine and John J. Shea

Part V. Environmental and Ecological Perspectives

13. Plio-Pleisene East African pulsed climate variability and its influence on early human evolution.

Mark A. Maslin and Martin H. Trauth

14. Tracking ecological change in relation to the emergence of Homo near the Plio-Pleisene boundary.

Kaye E. Reed and Samantha M. Russak

15. Ecology of Plio-Pleisene mammals in the Omo-Turkana Basin and the emergence of Homo.

René Bobe and Meave G. Leakey

16. Biogeochemical evidence for the environments of early Homo in South Africa

Matt Sponheimer and Julia Lee-Thorp

Part VI. Summary Perspective on the Workshop

17. The first humans: a summary perspective on the origin and early evolution of the genus Homo.

Frederick E. Grine and John G. Fleagle

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