The Last Human: A Guide to Twenty-Two Species of Extinct Humans / Edition 1

The Last Human: A Guide to Twenty-Two Species of Extinct Humans / Edition 1

by Esteban Sarmiento, G. J. Sawyer, Richard Milner, Viktor Deak
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300100477

ISBN-13: 9780300100471

Pub. Date: 06/28/2007

Publisher: Yale University Press

This book tells the story of human evolution, the epic of Homo sapiens and its colorful precursors and relatives. The story begins in Africa, six to seven million years ago, and encompasses twenty known human species, of which Homo sapiens is the sole survivor. Illustrated with spectacular, three-dimensional scientific reconstructions portrayed in

Overview

This book tells the story of human evolution, the epic of Homo sapiens and its colorful precursors and relatives. The story begins in Africa, six to seven million years ago, and encompasses twenty known human species, of which Homo sapiens is the sole survivor. Illustrated with spectacular, three-dimensional scientific reconstructions portrayed in their natural habitat developed by a team of physical anthropologists at the American Museum of Natural History and in concert with experts from around the world, the book is both a guide to extinct human species and an astonishing hominid family photo album.
The Last Human presents a comprehensive account of each species with information on its emergence, chronology, geographic range, classification, physiology, lifestyle, habitat, environment, cultural achievements, co-existing species, and possible reasons for extinction. Also included are summaries of fossil discoveries, controversies, and publications. What emerges from the fossil story is a new understanding of Homo sapiens. No longer credible is the notion that our species is the end product of a single lineage, improved over generations by natural selection. Rather, the fossil record shows, we are a species with widely varied precursors, and our family tree is characterized by many branchings and repeated extinctions.
Exhibition information:
Photographs of most of the reconstructions that appear in this book will be featured in exhibits appearing in the new Hall of Human Origins at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.  The opening of the Hall is planned for November 2006.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300100471
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,240,264
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.50(h) x (d)

Table of Contents


Foreword   Donald C. Johanson     16
We Were Not Alone: Introduction   Ian Tattersall     18
Twenty-Two Species of Extinct Human Ancestors   Esteban Sarmiento     24
The Earliest African Hominids
Morning Encounters
Sahelanthropus tchadensis     29
Orrorin tugenensis     34
Ardipithecus ramidus and kadabba     39
Omo, Lake Turkana, and Awash Basins and the Appearance of the Human Lineage
A Much Welcomed Visit
Australopithecus anamensis     50
We Are Family
Kenyanthropus platyops     58
The First Nomad?
Australopithecus afarensis     65
Dispatching a Mortal Enemy
Paranthropus aethiopicus     79
The First Tool-Using Scavenger?
Australopithecus garhi     87
The South African Fossil Caves Sites
The Animal Trap
Australopithecus africanus     96
To Live and Die on the High Veldt
Paranthropus robustus/crassidens     107
Back to the East African Great Rift Valley and the Appearance of Homo
A Two Leg Advantage
Homo rudolfensis     117
The Luck of the Pygmy
Homo habilis     124
In the Shadow of Man
Paranthropus boisei     133
When Opportunity Knocks
Homo ergaster     141
From Africa to Asia?
A Handful of Know-How
Homo georgicus     151
Eve Without Adam
Homo erectus     158
A Winter Night's Desperation
Homo pekinensis     168
An Island Sunset for the Little People
Homo floresiensis     176
Africa, Europe, and then the World
The Ultimate Competitor
Homo antecessor     185
How to Grow a Sugarplum Tree
Homo rhodesiensis     194
Greed and Equality
Homo heldelbergensis     201
Hunters and Hunted
Homo neanderthalensis     210
Then There Was One
Homo sapiens     222
Afterword   Meave Leakey     230
The Search for Faces of the Past   G.J. Sawyer   Viktor Deak     232
Portraits of Prehistory: Imaging Our Ancestors   Richard Milner     237
Further Reading     251
Acknowledgments     252
Index     253

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