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1 Remote Warehouse Biology- Evolution

The Fruit, the Tree, and the Serpent: Why We See So Well

by

The Fruit, the Tree, and the Serpent: Why We See So Well Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the temptation of Eve to the venomous murder of the mighty Thor, the serpent appears throughout time and cultures as a figure of mischief and misery. The worldwide prominence of snakes in religion, myth, and folklore underscores our deep connection to the serpent--but why, when so few of us have firsthand experience? The surprising answer, this book suggests, lies in the singular impact of snakes on primate evolution. Predation pressure from snakes, Lynne Isbell tells us, is ultimately responsible for the superior vision and large brains of primates--and for a critical aspect of human evolution.

Drawing on extensive research, Isbell further speculates how snakes could have influenced the development of a distinctively human behavior: our ability to point for the purpose of directing attention. A social activity (no one points when alone) dependent on fast and accurate localization, pointing would have reduced deadly snake bites among our hominin ancestors. It might have also figured in later human behavior: snakes, this book eloquently argues, may well have given bipedal hominins, already equipped with a non-human primate communication system, the evolutionary nudge to point to communicate for social good, a critical step toward the evolution of language, and all that followed.

Synopsis:

The worldwide prominence of snakes in religion, myth, and folklore underscores our deep connection to the serpent--but why, when so few of us have firsthand experience? The surprising answer, this book suggests, lies in the singular impact of snakes on primate evolution. Predation pressure from snakes, Lynne Isbell tells us, is ultimately responsible for the superior vision and large brains of primates--and for a critical aspect of human evolution.

Synopsis:

Runner-up, The Atlantic Books of the Year, 2010

Synopsis:

A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title of 2009

About the Author

Lynne A. Isbell is Professor of Anthropology and Animal Behavior, University of California, Davis.

University of California, Davis

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Primate Biogeography
  • 3. Why Did Primates Evolve?
  • 4. Primate Vision
  • 5. Origins of Modern Predators
  • 6. Vision and Fear
  • 7. Venomous Snakes and Anthropoid Primates
  • 8. Why Only Primates?
  • 9. Testing the Snake Detection Theory
  • Epilogue: Implications for Humans
  • Appendix
  • References
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674033016
Author:
Isbell, Lynne A.
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Fear
Subject:
Human evolution
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution - Human
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution
Subject:
Life Sciences - Human Anatomy & Physiology
Subject:
Evolution
Subject:
Biology-Evolution
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Anatomy and Physiology
Subject:
Science-Life Sciences - Human Anatomy & Physiology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Publication Date:
April 2009
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
33 line illustrations, 3 tables
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Primatology
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » History

The Fruit, the Tree, and the Serpent: Why We See So Well New Hardcover
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Product details 224 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674033016 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The worldwide prominence of snakes in religion, myth, and folklore underscores our deep connection to the serpent--but why, when so few of us have firsthand experience? The surprising answer, this book suggests, lies in the singular impact of snakes on primate evolution. Predation pressure from snakes, Lynne Isbell tells us, is ultimately responsible for the superior vision and large brains of primates--and for a critical aspect of human evolution.
"Synopsis" by , Runner-up, The Atlantic Books of the Year, 2010
"Synopsis" by , A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title of 2009
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