Masters of the Planet

Masters of the Planet

The Search for Our Human Origins

Book - 2012 | 1st ed.
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Fifty thousand years ago--merely a blip in evolutionary time--our Homo sapiens ancestors were competing for existence with several other human species, just as their precursors had done for millions of years. Yet something about our species distinguished it from the pack, and ultimately led to its survival while the rest became extinct. Just what was it that allowed Homo sapiens to become masters of the planet? Ian Tattersall, curator emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History, takes us deep into the fossil record to uncover what made humans so special. Surveying a vast field from initial bipedality to language and intelligence, Tattersall argues that Homo sapiens acquired a winning combination of traits that was not the result of long-term evolutionary refinement. Instead, the final result emerged quickly, shocking our world and changing it forever.
Publisher: New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781137278302
Branch Call Number: 599.938
Characteristics: xxii, 266 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.


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May 02, 2016

I always liked Ian Tattersall, and after reading this book I REALLY like him. When other people want to go off and yell that Neanderthals made the Taj Mahal and Australopithecus drove cars he says "Wait, let's be cautious because it may not be all that simple."
And his writing is something I trust.

Dec 09, 2013

Marvellous, well written and entertaining review of discoveries and theories about the evolution of human beings. Covers varied disciplines from anthropology (who knew there are so many sub specialties?) to genetics, biology, genetics and linguistics.


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