The Hominid Gang

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Scientists' awareness of seven hominid species antedating our own spurs the tantalizing search for human origins. Willis, a contributor to Omni and People who has hiked across East Africa with leading paleontologists, reviews the recent, dramatic discoveries of Richard Leakey, Donald Johansen and other paleoanthropologists in a detailed yet meandering report that will appeal to serious students but may leave the general reader bewildered. Among the finds discussed are the ``Turkana Boy,'' a 1.6-million-year-old Homo erectus skeleton found in Kenya in 1984, and hominid footprints preserved in volcanic ash in Tanzania, dating back 3.5 million years. Besides exploring current controversies, Willis profiles key investigators, among them Mary Leakey, Kamoya Kimeu, Joseph Mutaba and Frank Brown. She also examines the ``Theory of Eve,'' which holds that a single female Homo erectus mothered all of us--a hypothesis being tested via DNA analysis. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Using an approach pioneered by John McPhee in Basin and Range ( LJ 4/1/81), Willis focuses on paleontologists, tracing the complex issues of finding, dating, and interpreting hominid remains with style and insight. She profiles major players--Richard Leakey, Donald Johanson, and Stephen Jay Gould Johanson's Lucy's Child: The Discovery of a Human Ancestor is reviewed above; Gould's Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History , on p. 214.-- Ed. --and the lesser-known, such as geologist Frank Brown, who reconstructs the ancient landscape of Turkana, Kenya, and the African fossil hunters of the Hominid Gang. Highly recommended for all libraries.-- Beth Clewis, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community Coll. Lib., Richmond, Va.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670828081
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/30/1989
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 9.52 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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  • Posted March 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This is a somewhat interesting book on the people who actually g

    This is a somewhat interesting book on the people who actually go out and look for and find hominid fossils, rather than just the scientists writing up the finds. It's not as technical as Donald Johanson's Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind or Richard Leakey's People of the Lake

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